International youth yoga champion
Aspiring to inspire training, life lessons and new ventures
Submitted by: Genevieve Smith
Danton Delbaere-Sawchuk, the cellist for the award-winning Métis Fiddler Quartet and recent Honours graduate of Toronto’s Collège Français, can now add International Yoga Sport Federation’s ‘World Youth Champion’ to his impressive list of accomplishments
Having placed third at the 2013 competition in Los Angeles, the 18 year-old travelled to London, England for this year’s event, determined to improve his result. The outcome of the London competition represents a significant landmark in Danton’s yoga practice. Since August 2011, he has trained with some of the foremost yoga practitioners in the world.
Danton attributes much of his success to his mentors: Esak Garcia, the 2005 International Men’s Champion and Mary Jarvis, the head coach of USA yoga, both of whom have been instrumental in strengthening and refining his practice.
Esak’s training format sparked a journey into green nutrition and disciplined physical practice, leading to significant lifestyle changes. Mary Jarvis also had a great deal of influence on Danton’s training, and through her teaching, helped him develop a sincere gratitude for his practice along with a deeper appreciation for life. His Métis background was essential to him in providing the initial foundation for this personal growth.
Danton believes that yoga is a marriage between the body and the mind, requiring a great deal of mental discipline to build body-awareness. Beyond that, he has found a deeper connection to his Métis roots and feels this connection has been incredibly beneficial to his practice, spiritually and otherwise. Consistent practice improves the connection between mind and body, which enables one to develop an active awareness in the present moment. Postures should never be strained or rushed. Instead, one must be aware of, and appreciate one’s present level of success within a posture before attempting to move deeper into the pose.
As the world youth yoga champion, Danton looks forward to sharing the lessons that have helped him to succeed, particularly with youth. With his new venture into teaching, he hopes to inspire people to become more physically active and mentally aware, in order to effect positive change on both individual and global levels. He enthusiastically promotes yoga and its ability to empower people to better manage their health and their lives.
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