Daniel Scott is yogi provocateur offering a fresh alternative to the traditional “yoga voice”. His classes are a lively mix of balance and improv, strength and flexibility, breath and body.
A globally renowned ashtanga-vinyasa teacher and certified AcroYoga instructor living in the Bay Area, Daniel enjoys barefoot running, street art, good coffee, large quantities, and great qualities. Forever striving towards community by inspiring exploration and trust, Daniel Scott is a Wellness Expert for MindBodyGreen, inspirational columnist for the Huffington Post, and champion of tasty deliciousness with FEARLESS CHOCOLATE.
With every breath, Daniel Scott strives to answer the ever-present question: Are you moving, or being moved?
Daniel has become a key fixture in the Bay Area AcroYoga scene after successfully navigating the international flow of a nomadic teacher for 3 years. A patented switch-hitter despite a 6ft, 180-lbs frame, Daniel Scott loves putting his base money where his flyer mouth is, constantly refining and creating a growing list of unique washing machines, transitions, and mounts.
We had a chance to catch up with one of AcroYoga’s more colorful personalities and found out more about the man behind the mustache and glasses.
How long have you been teaching acro?
A relatively short time, in the grand scheme of things. I successfully completed the first international teacher training (TT4) on the Greek island of Lesvos in June 2008. Let’s put things into perspective about how much the practice has changed since then: there were probably no more than six acroyoga videos on YouTube, 4-Step was just about the most challenging washing machine out there, free star was an impressive feat to both fly and base, Borat jokes were still funny, and I didn’t have a mustache.
Needless to say, I’ve packed a great deal of teaching in since then. In fact, Sarah Vosen(my first, and most influential, co-teacher) and I had a 5 day immersion scheduled in Vienna the day after training ended! We had already been traveling together and co-creating our unique style of the practice for months before Greece. Afterwards, we went on to teach all across Europe. What started off as a mean case of wanderlust became a full-on embrace of wanderlove. Sarah followed her path back to the states, and I stayed nomadic for quite some time. A lot can happen in four years whether you are a student or a teacher– this practice just keeps becoming more and more dynamic.
The story of your first flight?
My first flight took place on Becca Krauss’ talented feet in her family’s nicely appointed living room. One of my dearest friends, Becca was visiting home in NY after moving to SF for school. She was extremely enthusiastic to “fly me.” I remember thinking that I was having a significant experience with absolutely no context to understand what was going on. Surprisingly enough– even though my first flight was an amazing one– I did not land on the ground thinking “Oh. My. God. My life has changed forever!” In fact, I forgot it even happened. It took about a year for me to start taking regular classes before tapping into a bliss bubble that carried me far and wide.
Describe a day in your life as an AcroYoga teacher.
I wear a lot of different hats, shoes, and outfits, so it all depends on what day it is. For the most part, I’ve got to make a good amount of effort to practice what I preach in order to fully preach what I practice. When I’m not working the day job (social media development and strategy), I teach about 10 classes a week of both Vinyasa and AcroYoga. Thankfully, I do my best to enjoy my work, be it tasty deliciousness (Fearless Chocolate), reusable utensils (To-Go Ware), or fine handmade leather goods (Tradesrogue).
My personal practice is slow and steady. I’m serious about not taking myself so serious, yet sincere about how seriously I enjoy the flow. When doing yoga, I riff off of the Ashtanga primary series, sprinkle in a strong serving of inversions, arm balances, and interesting transitions. Working at the Athletic Playground gives me a great resource of talented individuals to jam and learn with, from whom my practice greatly benefits. There is core work, a great deal of acrobatic strength training, blasts of cardio in the form of barefoot running and explosive calisthenics, and a healthy appreciation for napping.
What are the biggest challenges / rewards?
It’s incredibly easy to focus on flash over substance, especially when starting out. In order to truly know, one must fully experience… and believe you me, I have experienced a great deal of flash in my Acro lifestyle. The real beauty of Acro dynamically unfolds when one stops thinking about how it looks and connects with how it feels. This challenge applies to both teacher and student, and the reward of embracing substance continually serves me every time I drop into the flow.
I’ve done my best to connect with my authentic voice as a teacher, to understand not just my ability to contribute but refining the actual offering itself. Being an Acro teacher is not all sunshine and unicorns. You don’t always have to om in every class, nor like everyone you meet. It’s not necessary to give leg love after every flight, nor should you feel bad for asking for some after basing all day. It’s about respect and compassion. There is give. There is definitely take. It should come as no surprise that AcroYoga– and to a greater extent, all partner-based movement– is no different than life. When things come up, either you process them and move on, or you don’t. This all manifests itself in the practice, as the practice itself is a manifesto of how we live. Such is life, and life has the potential to be so very, very good.
Tempus fugit. Time flies, especially when you’re having fun. The next few months are pretty epic, Acro-wise. I collaborate with Jeremy Simon and Arianne for the upcoming Solar Immersion in San Francisco. Three sessions at Divine Play. Workshops around Northern California. Teaching at the Korea Yoga Festa in Seoul in March, perhaps setting up a little side tour in Japan. I teach five Acro classes a week, three advanced and two therapeutic, so that keep me pretty busy on the regular. I’m pretty busy balancing my lives as an Acro teacher, a yoga instructor, a social media monster, and wellness enthusiast. What’s next? A nap… one of these days.
Interview by Lauren Fabrizio
If you’re ever in the Bay Area or beyond, make a point to check out one of Daniel Scott’s classes or workshops. You can connect with him in many ways:
For class schedule and more: www.DanielScottYoga.com
LIKE him on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DanielScottYoga
FOLLOW him on Twitter @cloudintrousers
Get NOSTALGIC with him on Instagram @TrustMore
If you SEE him in PERSON, GIVE HIM A HIGH FIVE.