Last week - after months of planning and trying to firm up a suitable location for the shoot (and one that fit my sporadic and unpredictable schedule) - Marysia and I teamed up to curate a beautiful Marysia Muse feature centred around well being, and travelling well. Set in Sweden (somewhere I spend a lot of time visiting my boyfriend), we spent a day in Länna exploring the woodlands and bathing by the lake. Scroll down to read my interview, browse the images and watch my exclusive morning yoga video which you can do anytime, anywhere. It’s my go-to sequence when traveling. Enjoy!
“Though I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Danielle, she embodies everything that we look for in our Muses. From her clean range of breakfast goods (Qnola), to her dedication to yoga (we share the same teacher, Tara Stiles!) she is an inspiration to everyone out there looking to find balance. Below she shares a video of her energizing morning routine, and here she shares a recipe for one of her favorite snacks. I hope you enjoy reading her interview as much as I did.
TO YOU, MARYSIA IS…
Flattering, functional fashion, complete with true character and authenticity. The designs are super unique but have an edge of effortlessness, meaning when you wear them you feel a million dollars without feeling over the top. Each piece is incredibly flattering, not to mention comfortable and practical for all kinds of activities (even yoga!).
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE FROM THE COLLECTION? HOW DO YOU STYLE IT FROM DAY TO NIGHT?
I adore the brown bikini and wear the top with a high waisted skirt or trousers, either alone or under a sheer top. I'm also obsessed with the coconut maillot and style it with a skirt or shorts to take me from beach to bar.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR VACATION IN SWEDEN - WHERE DID YOU STAY, WHAT ARE YOUR ROUTINES AND SPECIAL SPOTS THERE?
Sweden is super special to me as it's where my boyfriend is from and currently lives. It's become my second home. In the summertime, Sweden is idyllic. After long, harsh and often dark winters, the atmosphere is so positive when the sun finally comes out. The countryside and the lakes in Sweden are what I love most. I could spend hours relaxing by a lake and swimming in the clean open waters, drying off with a cooling walk through the enchanting and quiet woodlands. It’s so peaceful and being in nature like this soothes my soul. It's so simple.
I stay in Uppsala, just north of Stockholm, with my boyfriend, close to his friends and family. When we're not bathing in the lakes, we go for fika (coffee and a cardamom bun), hang out with friends, go on long walks, take a roadtrip to a nearby town and go thrift store shopping. We take it easy. It's a different pace of life here and thats what I love about it. I can truly relax and go with the flow when I'm here.
WHAT IS YOUR DAILY YOGA ROUTINE? DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS?
I try to do yoga everyday, and if I can’t make it to a class at my local studio, I'll do it at home or in my local park. Whilst travelling, I always practice in my apartment or hotel, even better if there's a balcony or some outdoor space.
I trained in Strala yoga a couple of years ago and this approach to yoga is my favourite. It is all about 'your' yoga; developing a practice that is personal and that works for you as an individual.
My daily routine is usually an energizing sequence inspired by my strala guide, Tara Stiles. If I go to a class, it will be an invigorating vinyasa flow, hatha, ashtanga or jivamukti - occasionally kundalini. In the evenings, I also like to practice yin or yoga nidra, a more calming sequence of slow and still postures.
For those new to yoga, I always advise that it takes time to get used to it, and to come to love it. I love the quote 'the teacher comes when the student is ready'. Applied to yoga, I think you really have to be ready and willing to learn yoga and make it a part of your life, rather than just having an impatient attitude towards it. Many people find that yoga is too slow or not challenging enough, whilst others might be put off by a teacher who is not helpful for beginners or who is too spiritual. It took me a few months to really connect with yoga and understand it is more than just a workout but it is a lifestyle and a practice you can continuously learn from and apply throughout all areas of your life. My advice to beginnings is to find a teacher you truly connect to and who's classes you really enjoy. Don't do yoga if you are in search of an intense workout. Do you workout some other time and use yoga to build strength, focus, stamina and mental clarity. It will become a workout in itself as your practice develops. Stick with it. It takes time to build up initial strength and to gain flexibility, but it is possible for anyone and it is deeply healing mentally and physically, and can even help to improve posture and injury over time. It is magical; trust the process.
WE LOVE YOUR COMPANY, QNOLA. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
Qnola is a range of quinoa based breakfast goods free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugars. I started making a simple quinoa granola recipe for myself as a healthier alternative to shop-bought granolas, and as something quick and easy to take with me on shoots. It then developed into a worldwide brand, one department store and health food shop after another, as I noticed there was a high demand for the product in the UK. I really wanted to create a more honest and reliable breakfast option that was ready-to-eat to give people a more functional start to the day, and to provide more sustainable energy that didn't require too much time to prepare and add to morning stress. Looking back, I'm not sure how I created such a popular brand, but I think it is down to the product being built on pure passion, rather than just as a way to make a quick buck. Most of the time since starting the business has been like feeling around in the dark. I didn't have business expertise or any food experience, I simply learnt on the job and crossed every bridge whenever I got to it. In a way, it has been for the best, as I haven't always had time to worry or overthink things before they happen. It's been stressful but I've learnt so much and its been an incredible journey. One thing I've learnt and that I love to share with people is that if I can start a business on my own, at the age of 20, then anyone can.
Danielle was kind enough to share one of her healthy snack recipes right here”