Finding Empowerment and Healing Through Yoga

One Woman's Journey in Taking Control of Her Health

by TheSpot

If you meet Danielle Gilham, you may find her humorous, unpretentious, and someone who possesses a healthy dose of sarcasm. She’s that friend you call when you have a problem and she’ll be real with you. Meaning, tell you what she really thinks and not what you want to hear. If you have that friend in life, they are the ones to hang on to. I met Danielle over twenty years ago through mutual friends. I always found her to be all of those good qualities. She is a tough Jersey girl who will give it to you straight. For decades, our social lives and entertainment consisted of hanging out at a dance club, rock club, or sports bar. Our friend groups were all part of the same social circle.

Danielle recently sat down with us to talk about her journey to health and wellness, and ultimately her life’s purpose. It is a story about discovery, passage, and purpose. Danielle’s introduction to the benefits of yoga began with her daughter. At a young age, her daughter Mikayla was suffering from severe anxiety. Danielle had taken her to therapy and even a hypnotherapist but it was doing very little to resolve her issues. One day she came across a “Yoga for Anxiety” class at her local yoga studio. To her surprise, her daughter responded very well to the class and wanted to continue to go. When Danielle asked her what was different from her therapy sessions she replied, “I realize that everyone feels scared sometimes and there is nothing wrong with me”. Danielle decided it was worth trying so they signed up for a 6-month membership. 


After attending several yoga sessions with her daughter, Danielle began to not only see a significant difference in Mikayla for the better but she also felt a substantial shift in herself. Danielle credits those early yoga sessions to the two instructors, Danna Niessner and Peggy Dyer, whom with Mikayla formed a pivotal bond. Those early sessions helped Mikayla in a 360-degree turnaround in her mental health. Today, Mikayla is a young adult who follows a path of health and wellness. Mikayla occasionally succumbs to bouts of anxiety but says she now has the tools to manage it. She is currently enrolled in school for Nutrition Coaching. Nutrition has become an essential part of her healing, mentally and physically. 

Years later, Danielle decided she wanted to share this experience and this gift of yoga with people to help them in their healing journeys. She enrolled in 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) at Seeds of Love in Pitman, NJ. Danielle spent 6 months with a group of amazing, like-minded, women learning and deepening her yoga practice. Part of the 200-hour training was to participate in various yoga classes to learn and observe. One night in February 2020, Danielle joined a Yin Yoga class at the same studio. February is the month of love so the Yin class focused on the heart chakra. The class was wonderful but the next day told a different story. A total sadness washed over her and she literally cried the entire day. She had no idea what was wrong. She went to her YTT teacher, Kristin Harris, and asked if this could be a result of the Yin class. Kristin answered, “absolutely”. She went on to explain how we store unprocessed emotions and by practicing Yin we can clear the pathways of energy that run through our bodies. Yin is a slow form of yoga that can clear any blockages, releasing, that energy to flow freely. (Similar to acupuncture).


This fascinated Danielle to the point of deciding to attend another class. This time the reaction was just as profound. She went to bed that night after class and began to shake uncontrollably. She felt so cold and was convinced she was coming down with a fever. There was no symptom in any way related to sickness or fever and after a couple of hours, the shaking stopped. This time she was sure it was the result of the Yin class. Danielle discussed these events with her Yin instructor, Suzi Zappile. Suzi told her it was not uncommon and to take an Epsom salt bath after each class to help clear the stagnant energy. It worked! She continued with Yin and did not have any negative effects. This experience intrigued her so much that she asked Suzi to teach her how to become a Yin instructor. Suzi had never taught Yin training as a teacher but Danielle convinced her to create a curriculum so she could learn. Suzi always wanted to do this and this was just the push she needed. She loved the idea and began working on it right away.

In the meantime, Danielle graduated from YTT200 in March of 2020 just as the pandemic hit. The yoga studios soon closed down but that did not stop her from creating a space to practice and teach classes. She continued to teach yoga classes outside in her backyard throughout the spring and summer of 2020.

Just as Danielle was delving into her journey as a yoga instructor, a trip to the ER changed her course. She had blood in her urine and the doctors thought it was kidney stones. An MRI proved different. To her unfortunate surprise, it was discovered she had a tumor in her bladder. The news was a shock but her first thought was not “OMG am I going to die, instead she asked herself, “what am I supposed to do with this? Why do I have this? What is this message”? Her reaction stemmed from her 200 hours of YTT training. She believes she would not have had this perspective otherwise.

As Danielle moved forward with the doctors, surgeries and treatments, Suzi finished her Yin curriculum called “Yinology.” The timing could not have been better. After all, what was this emotion blocking the urinary tract and causing problems? Who was Danielle directing her anger towards? What fears was she holding onto? Danielle’s studies on the subject led her to understand that a diagnosis of disease is not only physical but an energetic aspect to it as well. Danielle’s training led her down a path of re-discovery. It helped her face her own emotional trauma of growing up with a mother who suffered from severe anxiety and depression. Her family unit was unstable and eventually her parents divorced. 

Danielle believes the trauma centered on her mother’s illness and never feeling safe affected her health years later. According to Danielle, she grew up with a constant fear over her mother’s well being. She held onto that fear, hiding it from the outside world. As Danielle explained, she and her sister watched her mother suffer for many years. Their mother was treated with prescription medication and was in and out of hospitals without ever receiving sufficient help. She never received the tools she needed to treat her issues. Sadly, her mother ultimately took her own life in 2017. 


Today, mental health awareness is quickly becoming an integral part of conversation due to the experiences of Danielle’s mother and the misunderstanding surrounding the disease. After Danielle’s diagnosis, her friend Suzi immediately jumped into action and began Reiki sessions for Danielle with the help of her sister Sylvia. They were still in the middle of a pandemic so the sessions were performed outside. One specific cloudy day, Sylvia performed Reiki on Danielle while Suzi played crystal healing bowls. The rain was pouring down on the tent and out of nowhere Danielle felt the warmth of the sun shining on her face. She assumed the storm had passed but that was not the case. Suzi explained that during the Reiki session she said a prayer with her hands held high toward the sky. The sun they felt was only shining on Danielle and Sylvia. The rain had not stopped but the sun knew where to find them. For Danielle, this was another profound sign that energy therapy was necessary in her healing journey. It was also another practice she had to learn how to do for herself. She is now trained in the knowledge of the Usui Reiki system of natural healing and has received level I and II attunements. Danielle knew the next few months of her life were not going to be easy but she knew that she would be okay. 

After several surgeries and treatments, Danielle sought out a naturopathic doctor. The naturopath doctor provided a wellness plan that was two-part nutrition and lifestyle interventions. Danielle continues to follow this guidance including Mistletoe Therapy to remain cancer free. According to the National Library of Medicine website, Mistletoe Therapy is widely used in patient centric integrative and qualitative care.


Where is Danielle today in her journey? Today, she is a Holistic Health Coach and continues to practice yoga daily. Danielle’s experiences have led her to become passionate about helping others. She is actively on a mission to show you how to take back control of your health by providing holistic health coaching that consists of mind, body, and spirit. She believes the body is an amazing machine that is powered by the Divine and knows exactly how to heal itself; we just have to get out of its way. Danielle believes in a collaborative approach to health. She hopes to inspire all people to open up their minds to all-inclusive wellness. Her comprehensive program, aptly titled, “Take Control of Your Health” will give you the skills to implement lifestyle changes to improve your mental and physical health in just 90 days. 

Danielle’s credentials include Yoga Instructor (YTT 200) (Yin 100), Qi Gong Instructor, Reiki Practitioner, and Health and Life Coach.


Danielle inspires us to explore and prioritize the importance of wellness in our day-to-day lives. For more information on learning how to create transformational habits that will improve your physical and mental health, relationships, finance, career, love or spirituality contact Danielle today at 1-856-371-2648 to set up a one- on-one consultation. Danielle can assist you in creating your own step-by-step plan to reach your goals in 90 days or less. Follow the Peach of Mind Facebook page for updates on yoga classes and events. The goal is not to live longer but to live better!


Danielle Gilham Contact
Yoga – Peach of Mind Facebook Group

Health & Life Coaching – Danielle Gilham – Holistic Health and Life Coaching Facebook Group.
Other Resources:
Natropathic Medicine:
Dr. Marie Winters, ND, FABNO –
Yoga Teacher Training:
Kristin Harris – Seeds of Love Yoga, Pitman, NJ.
Danna Niessner – Bee Inspired, Woodstown, NJ.

Sound healing & Quantum Reiki:
Suzi Zappile –
Reiki, Pshche’K & Emotion Code:
Sylvia Somogyi –