Meet our teachers!
Danielle Graham is a Yoga Alliance Registered 200 Hour Yoga Teacher (RYT-200). Danielle is committed to creating and offering spaces for healing and presence through yoga, breath, meditation and sound. She is equally committed to creating and teaching in spaces that are diversely represented, universally accessible and inclusive of all people of every hue and body type, specifically people of color. Being an abundantly curvaceous yogi herself, she embraces that yoga is for every body and is a unique practice for every body. Danielle is also particularly drawn to infusing live sound and spoken word in yoga and meditation practice. She believes these rituals help to cultivate mindful connections and communion with self and others. As a yoga teacher, Danielle’s teaching centers around practices of stillness that include meditation, as well as; yin and restorative yoga. She is an advocate of rest and stillness. Now practicing for over eight years, these practices have been her balm to life’s unfolding transitions and transformations.
“I had tried a lot of other types of mentally calming things like going to church, counseling, self-help books, and talking to my friends,” she says. “Yoga seemed like it would work because I didn’t see anything else working.” Daphne soon discovered that yoga had its advantages.
“I practice yoga every day” says Daphne. “I practice alone and in a class, because yoga is not a destination. It literally is a practice. It’s something that you do, and it’s strictly for you. It’s not for anyone else. The more you do, the better you get. The physical fitness through yoga is actually a by-product of the emotional calmness and the focus you gain just by listening to your instructor, listening to your body, listening to the breathing, paying attention to yourself, going inward to get the power that you need, and yet having a power greater than yourself, even focusing in on the God that you serve. You know, whatever is greater than you. All of this focus is necessary just to be able to put one foot in front of the other.” From Huffington Post
My yoga journey began when I checked out a beginners yoga VHS tape from the public library. I loved the gentle moments of yoga and was intrigued by the idea of “using my breath”. After checking out stacks of yoga books and videos, I was ready to try the $5 yoga class offered at my community center. This class did not disappoint! I left feeling euphoric and wanting more!
Since that first class, I’ve visited many studios and explored many different branches of yoga. I love all yoga, but my personal favorite is yin and restorative. I find the more gentle styles of yoga help to balance my busy mind.
I decided to pursue a 200 hour yoga teaching certificate because I want to share the happiness that is yoga. If you ever find yourself in one of my classes, expect encouragement to breathe deeply and let go. It is my wish that everyone leaves my class feeling centered and peaceful. Namaste.
Mashell Lawson is a yoga teacher trainee. She initially went to training because she wanted to get a better understanding of yoga as she addressed her stress and anxiety. During her journey, she learned to fall in love with herself, daily, and simply breath through every moment of life. Through her reflections, she remembered the discomfort of her initial experience with yoga.
In 2013, Mashell tried some yoga classes at both a local yoga studio and a franchise gym. No one spoke, not even the teacher, and there was no one who looked like her – a plus-sized curvy woman of color. After a couple of times at each place, she never went back and simply put the idea of yoga out of her head, thinking that maybe yoga wasn’t for her. At the time, she thought it was focused on gaining flexibility, so she just found other activities to do.
Fast forward to 2018 the stress and anxiety began to affect her daily life. She still didn’t know much about yoga, but she knew that it could help her cope, so she found a program & studio that was warm and welcoming, then she enrolled in yoga teacher training. Mashell decided to enroll in a YTT program (instead of simply practicing) because she didn’t want to just “do” yoga – she wanted to understand it. Through the training, she fell in love with the emotional transformation she was making and her ability to cope in a healthy manner.
Her lightbulb went off! Although she’d initially enrolled in YTT for personal reasons, she had a desire to add value to the community. Her experiences made her want to offer an inclusive space that was safe – a space where practitioners felt comfortable, welcome, supported. She wanted women to see someone who looks like them at the front of the room. That’s when she decided to teach and travel the journey with others as they find their inner peace and balance.
"I found my yoga practice a few years back when a friend invited me to an antigravity yoga class. I was going through a rough patch and she advised that it would help."
"In the class I felt awkward and out of place but chose to make the best of it. I got the hang of it after few classes in but felt like something was missing. I decided to ground my practice and after looking into studios and class descriptions, the restorative style felt the safest."
"This class changed my life forever. We were taught to sit still. To quit our minds and to breath with purpose. I walked away from this experience vowing to help people feel what I’d just experienced. A year later I began Marni Task’s Jivasara Yoga Teacher Training."
After graduating in the spring of 2017, Kashmere taught at various studios around Cleveland. She loves to teach grounded classes like Restorative and Yin Yoga but is well versed in the more active style of Vinyasa Yoga. When attending her classes, one can anticipate eclectic musical selection ranging from classical piano and strings to hip hop and everything in between. Kashmere, offers essential oil infused yoga assists and gentle massage during savasana.
We are Daybreak Yoga
We teach a variety of yoga styles to meet the needs of our varied yoga community.
Every BODY can do yoga!
Through sharing, encouragement, and open mindedness, Daybreak Yoga creates a safe space for ALL individuals.