Go deep into your practice and learn to be a hot yoga teacher. Who better to learn from than Pure Yoga lead teacher Danny Copper Crow – cover model of our April edition (now, you didn’t know his first name was Danny, did you?) Sign up for this 200-hour hot yoga teacher training session here. What a great way to make the most of your summer. Go ahead, check the box and achieve something you can talk about this summer!
Here’s an article about Copper Crow’s life, written by the man himself.
My dad was my first real teacher and still serves as my soul guru. He practiced Hatha yoga, but was a Bhakti yogi (spiritual warrior) at heart.
He signed me up for my first karate class when I was four years old, after I nagged him to move to China to become a Shaolin monk. Dad retired early due to a heart condition, which restricted him from working. Since he wasn’t tied to a job, we ended up traveling a lot, never spending more than a few years in one place.
I lived everywhere from Alaska to Louisiana on the west coast of the United States, with Texas and California being home. Since we moved so much, I learned to make friends easily, but never got into team sports.
My passion was always martial arts, and I’d seek out a school or dojo wherever we settled. I tried all different styles of practice from Taekwondo to Karate, but found my real passion in Kung-Fu and Muay Thai Kick-boxing. I loved anything and everything from Ninja Turtles to Bruce Lee, from Jean-Claude Van Damme to Sho Kosugi. It wasn’t the aggressive fighting that inspired my martial arts training, but the peaceful, controlled movements (kata), the emphasis on strength and flexibility conditioning, and later the breathing/ meditation practices. I was a dedicated to martial arts student all throughout my youth, from 4 to 16.
Then, at 16, two things happened that changed the course of my future—my father passed away, and I got my driver’s license. The latter also translated into a ’67 Ford Mustang! Fast forward to age 25, having spent my remaining youth in debauchery, I found myself working in finance—overweight and unfulfilled. I desperately wanted to get back in shape. When my friend suggested ‘hot yoga’, I initially laughed it off, but eventually caved in after he persisted. It killed me! At one level, I hated it because it was hot, exhausting and demoralizing to be a minority in a class full of fit and flexible women. A regular 2-pack-a-day smoking habit forced me to take breaks in the class to catch my breath. At another level, it was everything I always loved from my martial arts training—strength, stretch, focus, concentration—just me, no excuses! It took me a while to adjust to the heat and get comfortable being over-weight and shirtless in a room full of attractive women, but once I got on the mat, I forgot about everything and everyone around me. I found myself methodically following the cadence of the instructor and balancing my physical, mental and emotional states. A year later, 20 kgs lighter, I quit my job and dedicated my life to the study of yoga and sharing this amazing practice with others.
In some ways, I believe that I really did die in that first hot yoga class. The person who walked out of that room was not the same.
I found purpose, and the will to change the course of my life. I resigned from finance in 2003 and did an in-depth 9-week hot yoga teacher training in California. In 2004, I followed my teacher to Bangkok, Seoul and Hong Kong. I joined Pure Yoga in Hong Kong in 2006, and moved to Singapore in 2008. Now, after more than a decade teaching on the mat, I love and practice all yoga, and teach many different yoga styles—continuing to dedicate my time and sweat to sharing the practice that changed my life. I wish for yoga to be a catalyst that will change the lives of others. Today, I am a practitioner, teacher, husband to an amazing Singaporean yogini, and proud father to a beautiful little girl. Yoga is my life, but I still love kick-ass kung-fu movies!
By YJ Editors