I found a new hero and her name is Dana Falsetti.
It’s a name you’ll want to remember.
Especially when you’re about to give up on nailing that headstand, or on just about anything that seems out of reach.
Dana is, as she puts it, bigger bodied. For years she allowed that label to hold her back from pursuing a fulfilling life and contribute to the development of an eating disorder.
After working to get fit and losing a significant amount of weight, Dana realized that although her physical body had changed, “all of my habits and tendencies and fears (came) with me to my ‘new’ body.”
Dana mustered the courage to attend her first yoga class, and then her second. Now, she is a “plus-size” yoga instructor inspiring all of us, with 126, 000 following her on Instagram.
Oh, and she also is an incredibly gifted singer, but that’s for another post.
Dana teaches us about overcoming limiting beliefs. She is a testament to the amazing power of yoga to transform not just our bodies, but more importantly, our minds.
“Your physical body isn’t a deciding factor in whether or not yoga is for you. The physical practice is simply a manifestation of the internal change. It’s a practice of non-attachment. “ ~ Dana Falsetti
Reading Dana’s story made me think about my own imagined barriers, and about how often I assume that there are limitations to what I am capable of—limitations that I believe to be fact.
Through her example, Dana invites us to challenge these assumptions. Often, we don’t even allow ourselves to imagine the possibility of realizing a dream. Meanwhile, many of the limitations we think are non-negotiable are quite often mind-made.
“I thought my body would limit my practice, but eventually I learned that only my mind sets limits.” ~ Dana Falsetti
In addition to demonstrating how to break through self-imposed barriers, Dana embodies the gift of self-compassion that can be found through the practice of yoga—a gift that can transform our lives.
Although hers is a strong physical practice, yoga doesn’t look the same from one person to the next—it’s not a one-size-fits-all practice. For some of us, it may take the form of simple stretching and daily sun salutations. For others, it may be an increasing awareness of the breath. Yoga welcomes us with open arms and accepts us for who and where we are.
Dana is the kind of public figure I think we need more of these days—a good role model—because the impact of her story reaches beyond her personal triumph.
She encourages us all to ask ourselves what limiting beliefs we are nursing—to identify those voices that whisper, “I can’t” with so much conviction.
She provokes us to challenge those beliefs, and to become researchers of our own experience.
“Only those who risk going to far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~ T.S. Elliot
Author: Roseann Pascale
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Images: Dana Falsetti/ Instagram