YOGA WIZARD . MOUSTACHE MAN . WHISKEY CONNOISSEUR . YOGI
Name: Daniel Scott
Practice Style: Vinyasa & Acro Yoga
What city/country are you reppin’? SF / Bay Area
What do most people think about your hometown/country? I grew up Jewish-Italian on Long Island, NY in the US of A... I am a real Type A New Yorker.What are the stereotypes? Jersey Shore meets Goodfellas meets Kyle's family from South Park.
What are you most proud of about your community and country? Of my community growing up? Lots of outdoors activity, great food, and good schooling. Of my country? Resiliency in the face of adversity.
What is your story? Anything is possible at anytime, given the right combination of effort, desire, and resource. Let's just say my favorite answer for multiple choice questions is "All Of The Above." I was voted "Most Unique" in my Senior Class... which was a HUGE compliment, considering I grew up in a particularly homogenous middle class suburb in the Tri-State area. Competitive swimmer, professional lifeguard, and Vice President of the Video yearbook in High School. Model student by day, party promoter by night in college, a mix that translated well in to my years as a young professional afterwards
How would you describe yourself? Constantly Learning. Always hungry. Taker of large bites. I notice the shit out of things.
How would your mother describe you? "He's a very good boy. Never got in trouble, never had to worry about him."
What did you want to be growing up? When I was in first grade, I really wanted to be an architect-- castles, specifically. Learned all I could about them. After realizing there wasn't much of a need for them in these modern times, I've been dabbling around. Still figuring it out, really.
What do characteristic do you value most in others? Authenticity. If you're real and true to your values, that's brave and I can appreciate that.
When did you last cry? What was it about? Letting off steam after a long, stressful day of working on carpentry projects with my father. I love him, a lot, and am realizing that we have two differing approaches on what it means to connect on a deeper level. It's frustrating that no matter how much spiritual and personal development I do to take care of myself, I can't do the work for others... despite my best intentions.
Is there anything you preach but don’t practice, or practice but don’t preach? Regular self-care through physical practice and meditation. When I'm talking about it, it's harder to maintain. When I'm not, it seems to flow easier. Such is the life of a traveling wellness teacher.
We’ve all done a few things we’re not proud of, care to share one? Show us you’re not perfect. Did you know that nothing is ever my fault? I did-- for quite a long time-- and it turns out I was wrong. Be it a failed relationship, dead-end job, or injurious circumstance... sometimes, my intuition is off sometimes and -- like everyone else-- I've learned to take my lumps instead of deflect them.
Let’s play favourites?
Breakfast lunch or dinner? Yes.
Favorite book? Lately, anything Tarot-related.
Sport/activity to play? Trail-running
Sport/activity to watch? American Ninja Warrior
Favourite place you’ve been too? Anywhere new.
Favourite drink? Coffee, be it high-end or gas station.
Favourite drink at the pub? Whiskey
Tea or Coffee? Guess!
Boxers or briefs? Briefs
Dad’s son or Momma’s boy? Love 'em both dearly... as the second son, my parents probably feel the same way about my brother and I, right? Historically, I've spent more time and gotten along better with my mother, even if I (not-so) secretly wished for more opportunities to change that. Nevertheless, my father has been one of my biggest inspirations in all that I do for as long as I can remember... a prominent reminder that no matter how much work I do-- be it on myself or out in the world-- there is always room for more and it's entirely up to me to decide how to make the most of it.
Heartbreaker or hopeless romantic? Both
Favourite Song? Currently "Possum Kingdom" by the Toadies (for very personal reasons)
Favourite Movie? The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen
Best dance Move? The "Old Man Dance"
What does a male yogi look like? Easy to picture, hard to describe. On the surface, a man who practices yoga can be considered a yogi-- but are we talking about the physical practice, or all the other important bits... like meditation, active listening, mantra, and yadda yadda.
Honestly, I know many guys who go to countless yoga classes and are, arguably, the least "yogic" people I've ever met. On the flip side, we constantly meet people who have never stepped foot on a yoga mat in their life and are amazing yogis in their own right. It's less about how things look, and more about how things feel.
What are the biggest stereotypes about guys who do yoga? That we're all slightly more serious versions of JP Sears, that we are soft-spoken vegans, that we're sexually promiscuous and awkwardly comfortable with our own bodies, that we listen better, that we aren't competitive, that we are better than guys who don't "do yoga"
What was the biggest challenge when you started the practice? Finding a yoga teacher who "spoke my language" (less frou-frou, more Let's Do This). Hilariously enough, all I could find were guys who fit that stereotype above (natch) or women... who also fit the same stereotype. It took a lot of trail and error to find the teacher who spoke directly to my sensibilities and interests. A LOT.
Why do you keep coming back? One of these days, I'm going to figure out how unlock my fullest potential, become a level 27 Yoga Wizard, and win the gold medal of Yoga. Until then, this epic journey of self-discovery through mindful movement is satisfying enough. In all seriousness, Yoga keep me sane, allows me to blow off steam, build up momentum, and focus my energy while maintain connection to a community of like-minded seekers.
What was the biggest challenge when you started teaching? Myself. Thinking you are way better than you actually are is a huge obstacle. That, and finding one's true voice. We tend to teach like the teachers who taught us, who taught like the teachers who taught them. It's a vicious cycle of monotony. Sounding authentically unique is a big ol' challenge that most people connect with changing their everyday voice to sound more like all the other yogis.
What is your best advice for a guy who wants to try yoga for the first time? Don't worry about how it looks. Bring awareness to how it feels. All those other people in the room? They don't really know much more than you do, and nobody knows your body better than you.
Tell us a story when your Yoga practice came into play off the mat? Most recently, I had to deal with the DMV and nobody got hurt. +1 for YOGA!
What challenges have you experienced being a guy who teaches yoga? Mostly with being taken seriously. "Oh, you're a yoga teacher? Man, you must meet so many women / That must be so easy / Ha, what else do you do?"
What does the next 5 years of yoga look like for you? Traveling less, being a student more, settling down, helping others join the party.
Things seem to be changing, what does the future of yoga look like in the western world? Yoga is super hot and fashionable these days, which means there are a lot of people showing off how great their practice looks. That is all bullshit. Sure, it's vital to growing exposure and inspiring more people to practice. However, there needs to be less showing off and more showing up-- otherwise, what's the point?
With so much access to yoga-- be it online or in person-- everyone seems to be a teacher now. The practice is growing exponentially, and we've got to be able to balance evolution and absorption without losing sight of what this whole thing is actually about: connection.
Other than yoga, what else keeps you busy? Amazing girlfriend. Training my face off. Recently, I've be restoring a travel trailer from the ground up. Talk about using yoga off the mat!
In your own words, what is BOYS OF YOGA? This community is predominately female-oriented, and BOYS is a great way to highlight and invite men to come play!
And what does the project mean to you? Making it totally ok for men or all shapes/sizes/colors/stories to practice yoga
What does it mean in your city/country? More men practicing, more men learning.
Why do you want to share your story? Honestly, I don't want to tell my story. All I want to do is share my truth-- that yoga has helped me feel better about myself more than any other practice, process, drug, therapy, game, or framework.
If you could spend time with hanging out, practice and chillin’ with some of the other BOYS, who would it be?
Les Leventhal - inspiring story, great sense of humor, wickedly humble practice
JJ Blau - equal parts humor and grace
Adam Husler - We keep crossing paths, interests, and goals!
What is your go to yoga pose? Malasana. Great for hip-opening, pooping, and releasing tension in my lower back.
What pose do you f*cking hate? Marichiasana C. Seriously, what is the freaking point of tying yourself up in a knot and trying not to poop yourself or sweat profusely?
Yoga is both a noun and a verb, a thing and and action. There is Yoga, the practice, and Yoga, the practice of. Think about it like the word Art. There are paintings and sculptures and things you look at, and there are masterful ways of practicing something.
Just like one can say "The Art of This" and "the Art of That", there is a Yoga of Everything... consider Yoga as the Art of Mindful Movement. There is the Yoga of Waiting in Line, the Yoga of Accounting, and the Yoga of XBOX. All you need to do is allow it to happen.
What is your favourite quote, or personal mantra? Live Forever or Die Trying
Finally, tell us a joke, try to be funny, go on. Boobs.
Interviewed: August, 2017
Photos by @michaeljameswong and property of BOYS OF YOGA LLC