The Places I've Been | Daniela Olds

Winter 2020 | Wild Fronteirs | Teacher Highlight


I was born in Slovakia, a long time ago. Remembering my early years I always dreamt of escaping elsewhere. Anywhere. Into the big-wide exciting world. I am not sure if it was due to the Communism regime, the strictest of the strict father figure and the restriction of reality, or just a personal dream or wish. I knew I would not stay. After I turned 18 years old, becoming an adult in charge of my own choices and my own reality, I started to plan my journey and finally moved.

I started with England, for no other reason than it was easiest. I hoped to go anywhere but Slovakia as soon as my nationality, passport, politics and capitalism, money allowed. Destiny, of course, played a part.

Some years later, still in the UK and at the beginning of my thirties, I decided to embark on my Yoga career. That brought some profound changes to who I was yet to become. Putting behind me a past of an unsuccessful “family and marriage” with two stepkids and narcissist of a husband, the tragic loss of my mother, the subsequent failed relationship with a heroin addict - I was deliberately and aimlessly chasing love, happiness and stability of some kind. Soon I realised this was the beginning and not the end and my path is not meant to be an easy one.

Yoga started to open its door to guide me through my losses, my difficulties, and ultimately changed the course of my destiny. I became true believer that you can change your path. You can change the course of where you are meant to be and also where to go. With yoga as a practice, I became more confident, more determined, eventually more open minded and more open hearted. I soon discovered, life can be full of joy, but also became aware of how we can deal with all the sadness within us.

I completed my yoga teacher training in 2012 and my journey of being a free spirited yoga teacher, student, traveller, gypsy, nomad began! I loved the next few years of discovery. I was able to connect with like minded individuals, started to expand myself, and swam confidently towards my dreams and my future. Throughout the next few years, I have found love, happiness, confidence, a strong self belief system, determination, and a drive to success.

I created a dream and made that dream happen all the while working hard and flying high. I found myself in many places that made my heart sing - the home of yoga and my own yoga business - India, Thailand, Mexico, Europe, and the US. Whilst I placed an importance to my physical travels and loved every minute of being on the move, whether be it on a plane or train, part of my traveler's mentality was I would not change a thing, I was in my element to be here,there, and everywhere. The biggest journey was yet to be discovered.

Falling off a scooter in Thailand, travelling to authentic Rajasthan to lay rest to my tooth, surfing in storms and rainbows in Mexico, dancing and swimming under the stars in Goa, realising my self worth in Texas. My travels led me to meet beautiful and inspiring souls on every corner of the world, What I have started to value and experience was a reminder of my old childhood dreams to escape restrictions and be free.

Without realising it, all of these travels were (without being a cliche) me desperately trying to “find myself.” I chased happiness, connection, friendship, and freedom around the globe. I loved and failed many times. I lost and found friends, hair, and weight. Throughout all of this I discovered that at the end of my path of pain, suffering, and self discovery is a rough jewel of a diamond inside of me. My goal is to polish it and embrace it, while valuing the rough parts that taught me the most.

Yoga is and always has been a journey of self discovery. It’s not something anyone can teach you, it is something you need to open yourself up to. It is a learning curve, it is sitting in the classroom and studying your own behaviour, your own actions, your own silence, your ways of thinking, your shadows and change of perspective. All those places that we travel to, both externally and internally, over years, countries, failures, dark times all one day bring us back home to ourselves.

Looking back I am so grateful I have not had it easy. The shy teenager that came to the UK is now a wise and open woman. I would not change a thing. I look forward to the changes still to come that will take me on a path full of ups and downs, positives and negatives, light and darkness, failures and successes, love and heartbreak, happiness and sadness. We all have journeys we have been on and we all have journeys to come that will enlighten our sparkle.


aim to be more than just a yoga teacher, I am here to be empath and spiritual worker, to share wisdom and knowledge, to inspire, to hug, to talk, to listen, to connect, to honour and to fly high and to sit low. I am here to study and discover the depth of my own soul, my heart, my connection to myself and those around me.

Daniela is teaching in a variety of London’s studios while running her own retreats in Goa and Thailand. Her next yoga retreat is in Goa in March of 2020.