Q&A with Riva Gdanski

Yovada ambassador Riva Gdanski tells us her yoga story, where is next on her travel list and so much more! (You’ll never guess who she would love to interview…)

1. What’s your yoga story? (how did you get involved, how long have you been practicing, etc.)

I walked into my first yoga class on a whim over 16 years ago. I’d just finished my workout at the gym, and was on my way out when I noticed a yoga class taking place in one of the smaller rooms. The stretching looked interesting, and I figured I’d give it a try even though the class had already started. At the time I’d been working as a software developer for a number of years and had been experiencing symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome from hours of sitting at the computer. After that first class I left feeling better than I had in a long time – lighter, more open, and the pain and numbness in my wrist was noticeably better. I began to incorporate yoga classes into my routine, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I really began a dedicated Vinyasa practice.

2. What’s your favorite song to practice to, or favorite playlist?

I love listening to music while I practice, but it would be impossible to name just one favorite song – my playlists are constantly changing. Some of the artists I’m listening to now include BORNS, Rihanna, The Weekend, and Marian Hill.

3. What is something you’ve learned from yoga that resonates with you the most?

That anything of value takes practice, patience, and dedication.

4. What is your most memorable yoga experience?

I’ve had fun trying out some new styles – like aerial or wall yoga – but I have to say that the connections I’ve made, especially through social media, have been really incredible. I’ve made close friends, and have had some really unforgettable adventures with a number of them.

5. What destination is next on your travel list and why?

I have a strong case of wanderlust, and find myself constantly planning new adventures. Right now some of the places at the top of my bucket list include Greece, Croatia, and Bali.

6. If you could interview anyone who would it be and why?

Hmmm, I don’t know that I’d want to interview anyone, but I think it would be nice to have a cup of tea and chat with Oprah.

7. If you had to choose a theme song for your life, what would it be?

That’s an easy one! ‘Upside Down’ (by Paloma Faith).

8. If you were on a deserted island, what 3 items would you bring and why?

Coffee, my music, and a good pillow.

9. What’s one food you couldn’t live without?

Chocolate, but if I’m being healthy then mango.

10. What is one quote you try to live by?

‘True investments aren’t cars or antiques or property or stocks, but your dreams, your passions, your health and your heart, [and the ones you love].’ (by Beau Taplin, with addendum by me 🙂

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Danielle Radulski

Danielle Radulski is a social media manager at Yovada who eats, sleeps and breathes everything health, fitness, yoga and wellness. She is also a yoga teacher, avid traveler and major foodie.

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