Inspirational person of the month – December 2009

Daniel Holfeld is a photographer practicing in fashion, beauty, advertising and art based photography (www.danielholfeld.com). Photography is his first passion and after that comes yoga, which he has practised since he was 16.

A few months ago he started practicing Bikram yoga, a 90 minute cardiovascular work out of 26 postures done in a studio heated to 40.5°C.

For the first time the European Yoga Championships were being held in Dublin last month and Daniel decided to go forward and compete. He got placed and will continue on to represent Ireland in the Yoga World Cup on the 13th February in LA.

A: Daniel, why did you decide to take part in this competition in the first place?

D: At first I was quite shy about competing. I had never heard of a yoga competition before! But I slowly began to change my mind when I saw the other Irish competitors training and pushing themselves to reach their goals in time for the competition. So I signed up and joined the training. Also I thought, “why not!”. I have practiced since I was 16, so it was time to take on a challenge and see just how far I could go with it. Also I wanted to represent the guys, because I think people tend to think of yoga as a girls sport!

A: How do you fit training for a competition like this around your working life?
D: It wasn’t easy. In the run up to the competition I was practising every day after work in the evenings and then doing extra advanced classes on the weekends. So, on a Friday evening and Sunday I would be doing about 5 hours of yoga. It took up a lot of my time, but it was rewarding and great to see the results in my body, using different muscles and seeing a deeper practise just encouraged me to keep going no matter how much it ate into my free time. I think you’ll find the time to do anything you love and where you can see the results!

A: How do you discipline yourself to train when you’ve had a bad day, for example?
D: The hardest thing to do with any training is to start the session. So, if I’ve had a bad day I always say to myself “just start” and the rest will take care of itself. And it does, within the first 10 mins you are having a great session. Often the times when you feel the worst you end up have the best training. In order to keep up the regular discipline my body reminds me, because you feel so good with regular training and with anything good, you don’t want it to stop. Also, the group morale in the studio is great, we encourage each other a lot, which really helps.

A: What motivates you to keep going?
D: I’m motivated by setting new goals for myself. With yoga you can always learn new things about your body and how it reacts to more training. The results you get show just how malleable the body is and how much it can actually handle. For example, whenever I think I can’t go any further I always try, even if it means stretching a few more inches, then you see that you can do it, so the next time you try again. Also, I remind myself of how good I will feel after the
training, which is great motivation.

A: What inspires you?
D: This competition was a huge inspiration, setting myself this goal as something to work towards. The current two world champions came over and held classes and did demos. Seeing Courtney Mace move was definitely inspiring. In fact I will be going to NY to practise with her before the competition in LA. Never thought my holiday would consist of training but it’s really given me something to aim towards and the opportunity to train alongside a world champ is too good to miss!

A: What is the biggest challenge you have overcome, and how?
D: A few years ago I fell skiing, I went over some ice and my ski didn’t come off. Basically my ski went one way and my body went the other way! I tore my Anterior cruciate ligament. The challenge here was being disabled. At the time I was doing daily ashtanga practice so being bed bound when I got back was difficult for me. But I did the physio and lots of yoga and now its as though I’ve never had anything wrong with my knees. It hasn’t limited me in any way, largely because I stuck to a good physio routine and combined it with my yoga practice.

 

Inspirational

 

Every month, I will be interviewing an inspirational person. It could be a friend, a client or it could be you! If you know of anyone who qualifies and would like to inspire others, contact me at anna@delite.ie

Thanks,

Anna



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