A curvy peace of mind

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A curvy peace of mind

Mary Graci

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Within less than a year, Dana Falsetti went from senior music industry studies student to 12.1 thousand followers on Instagram for Curvy Yoga, @NolaTrees.

Under the name NOLA Trees Yoga, Falsetti found more than just a means of exercise when she began her practice last May — she found a new lifestyle.

“Honestly, yoga has just become the foundation for everything in my life,” Falsetti said.

After working on weight loss and leading a healthier life, Falsetti decided she wanted to add something more to her everyday workout routine.  That’s how she discovered yoga.

“It was super challenging at first of course, and I wanted to stop going many times, but I just stuck with it until I started enjoying going and I wasn’t making myself go.  It just really clicked with me,” Falsetti said. “And since I’ve started, it’s the only thing I do as far as physical exercise, but it’s become more than that for me.”

As yoga began to shape her life physically, it gradually began to shape her life spiritually as well.

“The thing that I love about it is that it can change your life so positively, but it’s just you.  Nothing is happening to you and no one is necessarily guiding you to this new place, it’s just through self-discovery,” Falsetti said. “It’s that journey of finding who you really are, who you’ve been this whole time before other people told you who you were or who you thought you were supposed to be growing up.  Finding who you were before all of that came into your life, getting back to that place and kind of staying true to that as much as possible on that journey.”

With little to no warning, Falsetti found herself under the spotlight.  Her Curvy Yoga caught the eyes of not only eager Instagram followers but also the writers over at the web publication BuzzFeed, who featured her in an article about how “every body can be a yoga body.”

“A year ago, I wasn’t even doing yoga, and now this path has become hopefully the way I am going to live and support myself,” Falsetti said. “That’s got to be the best thing, when you’re doing what you love but it’s benefiting everybody else.”

When Falsetti realized how positively yoga had shaped her life, she knew others could use it to do the same and encouraged others to give it a try.

“YouTube is a great resource and the Instagram community in general has done a lot to help my own practice. I’ve seen it help a lot of other people kind of come out of their shells, being willing to post on Instagram and seeing other people do it there, so really through social media is a good place to start looking for that,” Falsetti said.

While Falsetti recognizes that yoga can be very challenging for a newbie, she stressed that no matter the body type or level of athleticism, the only thing to remember to get you through the tough times is that you are doing this for you — and only you.

“Try not to be your own worst enemy in the beginning, which is really hard thing to do.  It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re not strong enough or you’re not flexible enough to do the postures, but yoga is about a lot more than just the physical practice,” Falsetti said. “There’s an image attached to yoga that is very far from what it was meant to be, and I think that when you can really get into the practice as a whole, that’s when all of those things that are really challenging in the beginning start to kind of drop away or become a little easier.”

Falsetti has big dreams for the future of her Curvy Yoga, a way to continue doing what she loves and help others in the process.

“The business side of it has kind of happened on its own,” Falsetti said. “Yoga is really teaching me to kind of take a step back and still be smart and still have goals in mind but let things flow the way that they should.”

She even plans on integrating yoga into her future career.

“Eventually, I would love to come back to New Orleans and open a Curvy Yoga NOLA.  That would be the big dream, but I’m taking baby steps for sure and what feels right in the moment and just going with that,” Falsetti said.

With so many yoga fads sweeping college campuses, Curvy Yoga is growing in popularity.  However, Falsetti believes that something that has changed her life, and others, so much is more than just a fad.

“I always thought that I probably couldn’t do it, which is the same thing I’m now on a mission to battle, the same kind of notions I had in the beginning,” Falsetti said. “Challenge those preconceived notions and maybe challenge them through yoga.  I think there’s a lot of benefit in it for everybody.”

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