Danielle Goldstein says she has been practicing yoga for about 15 years, but it was only fairly recently that she turned her love of yoga into her full-time profession as the owner of in Stony Brook.
"I get to do what I love every day. I love teaching yoga, I love practicing yoga. It’s a gift and a privilege to be able to teach it and share it every day," said Goldstein, 40, a Ward Melville High School graduate.
She established Mindful Turtle three years ago, after previously working as a guidance counselor in the Port Jefferson School District and as a gifted-and-talented teacher in Half Hollow Hills. Goldstein, who lives locally with husband Ian and sons Harrison and Ben, says she believes her education and counseling background complements teaching yoga.
"A lot of stuff comes out when you’re teaching yoga," she said. "... There’s a lot of work that goes into the yoga practice. It’s a lot of self-discovery."
Mindful Turtle offers more than a dozen different kinds of classes, including Hatha, Ashtanga, Kripalu, Vinyasa, Mysore, prenatal yoga, gentle healing yoga, and more. The 2,500-square-foot facility features two main yoga studios. But as a wellness center in general, it also its customers a host of other services, including massage therapy, rolfing, acupuncture, reflexology, and counseling.
Goldstein also facilitates charitable efforts several times per year, including food drives, pajama drives, and fundraising for the Morgan Center, a non-profit preschool for children with cancer – a cause close to her heart, as her son Harrison, now 11, is a cancer survivor.
While some competition exists between a few other yoga studios in the Three Village community – and more, if you include Port Jefferson and St. James in the mix – it is healthy for the local yoga community in general, Goldstein says.
"We’re just working to build a stronger community and spread yoga, and we all have something different to offer," she said.
Goldstein says while many people immediately think of flexibility and fitness as the main benefits of practicing yoga, the true benefits of yoga go much deeper than that.
"If you can learn how to pay attention, you see more things in your life and then you start to reap the benefits," she said. "The stress reduction, the slowing down of your life, greater concentration. ... We’re really looking to help you grow and change and help you to live your best life."