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Stillpoints: A Podcast with Scott Johnson

Nov 3, 2019

Scott talks to Danny Paradise, one of the original Ashtanga yoga teachers and pioneers from the 1970s, about his life and practice in a vast and wide ranging conversation. 

Danny Paradise is one of the longest practicing western practitioners of Ashtanga yoga,. He began studying with David Williams and Nancy Gilgoff in 1976 and became a pioneer of the method through the late 1970s, 80s and 90s. He brings a wide ranging perspective to the practice and teachings of yoga and has developed his own unique approach to teaching the practice. Danny is deeply influenced by many other spiritual and mystical traditions.

Danny has inspired countless students and teachers over the years and was one of the first teachers to deliver Ashtanga yoga workshops in the UK in the 1980s. He continues to teach globally to this day. 

Danny lives in Hawaii and you can find more about him and his teachings here


Create Your Own Way

In this incredible conversation Danny shares with Scott his journey into yoga in the 1970's and how he became the inspiring teacher we know now. The 1970's was an incredibly fruitful time for spiritual traditions and Danny shares this in a beautifully open way. He shares the little known story about how David Williams found yoga, how they all practiced together in those early years and the fascinating people who surrounded them as they learnt the practice. This conversation is such an incredible journey into another time. Danny also shares his movement into teaching yoga and the mystical traditions which are now a major part of his life. He believes in people finding their own path, that yoga is a tool for you to find your own way through life. He encourages us to become truly independent. 

This is such a rich conversation, sharing yoga history with deep teachings. It's one that you can listen to again and again....

Danny talks about:

  • his way into yoga was through martial arts.
  • how yoga was a dance for him.
  • the amazing story about how David Williams found yoga by going to the Atlanta Rock festival and a teacher called Tom Law.
  • How he first met and practiced with David Williams and Nancy Gilgoff.
  • meeting Cliff Barber who was an old yogi in Maui.
  • how the practice was meditation.
  • how right from the beginning it was about self practice.
  • how they learnt the ashtanga series very quickly.
  • how he moved into teaching
  • how he started teaching in Goa
  • how he started to be influenced by others things that came into his practice.
  • how he had deep structural change that deeply changed him.
  • how Shamanism became a deep part of his practice.
  • his own realisation that yoga and receiving information through indigenous spiritual knowledge.
  • how he sees yoga as a devotional science.
  • how he connected with Buddhism
  • his connection to Egypt and why he uses egyptian movements in his classes.
  • how to bring this type of awareness to cities


Show Notes

Teachers Mentioned

David WilliamsNancy GilgoffTom LawCliff Barber, Ganga White, Kathy CooperMatthew Clark

Special mention

Ian and Josephine McDonald in Oxford