Dear DYWM community,
We are excited to announce the addition of two wonderful humans to our team: Dean Edwards and Angela Lazova!
They are both fantastic, experienced writers, with strong backgrounds in yoga and wellness, who are curious about life, and have the voice, character, and values that align with us. Together, we plan to expand on our blog’s library with informative, fun articles that will make you laugh, connect with your heart, help you through challenging times and guide you in your yoga journey.
Please help us welcome them by commenting below. And to get to know them better, check out their bios on our Core Team page and/or read their answers to some fun questions below.
1. What do you like to do in your free time?
I like practicing martial arts and do that two or three times a week. I’m also into meditating. I watched kung fu movies as a kid, so I’ve always done both. Never quite got the hang of flying though.
In an ideal world, I also like making music. I have some talent with drums, according to my teacher, and I love music, but I can’t really play an instrument, like as part of a live band. I make compositions using my laptop and try to turn mistakes into art.
I love reading, going for walks with the dog, and sleeping. But as I say, these are all ideal world scenarios.
And then, of course, there’s writing. While that’s work, I also write in my free time. That boundary is so blurred it might not exist anymore, which was my goal when I first started writing “seriously”. These days, I have a lot of fun keeping a dream journal and turning the dreams into stories.
I’m really into yoga (Ashtanga vinyasa) and running—they keep me active and balanced in every sense of the word. In fact, I found out I’m happiest when I move, whether I’m hiking, swimming, or cycling. Actually, cycling through Berlin has become my latest obsession, as I discovered it’s such a cool way to discover the city.
I’m also a bit of a travel junkie; experiencing new cultures is something I can never get enough of. Although, I often gravitate back to my hometown. There, I volunteer at the local animal rights organization that I co-founded. Keeping animals off the streets and nursing them back to health is the biggest reward for my soul.
And yeah, I’m pretty much always reading, but mostly academic stuff. I’m a psychologist and a neuroscientist, so learning is a lifelong journey for me. When it gets too much, I like to unwind by spending quality time with friends.
2. What topics do you particularly enjoy writing about?
I like writing about things that help people. If I can imagine a reader taking something on board and then going away and applying it, that makes me happy.
I enjoy content writing most when I can easily imagine an individual rather than a business. (Though I know businesses are made up of people).
I developed experience writing about digital marketing (mostly writing about how to write blog posts and email newsletters) and I also ended up writing a lot about cybersecurity and enjoyed that. Again, helping people protect their machines and thus themselves. My educational background is in writing, business, and IT, so that converged quite nicely. I could spend all day writing about how to set a strong password.
Oh, I love writing about anything that lets me share a bit of what I know! I’ve spent my life exploring the power of words and how they can really help people, so I’m all about spreading that knowledge. Anything related to the brain and mind is my jam—how we make decisions, overcome difficulties, or become better versions of ourselves, be it through yoga, therapy, or journaling, you name it!
But I also enjoy diving deep into the science of health. I want to break it down and make it accessible, showing people that learning about physiology and anatomy isn’t just informative—it’s a compelling and empowering story about oneself. It’s all about making these topics relatable and showing how understanding our bodies and minds can be a real game-changer!
3. What are your top 5 favorite books?
I’ll try reading anything, but my favorite books are a bit dark. I write a lot of scary stories. As well as watching kung fu movies, I liked the Twilight Zone and horror movies.
In no order of preference, because that changes all the time:
Imajica by Clive Barker — (Spoiler) so in this fantasy novel, the earth is just one of five “dominions.” They used to be connected, but the world as we know it today was separated from the others. A group called Tabula Rasa made sure that anything “magical” was discredited and made to look unreal or ridiculous so that the dominions stayed separate. The Tabula Rasa think magic is pretty dangerous and want to keep it for themselves. The protagonist of this book is a magician who once tried to reconcile the five dominions, joining our world to the four others. It went so badly that he had himself brainwashed and destroyed all his materials. However, bit by bit, he starts to remember and people encourage him to try again.
The Beach by Alex Garland — I love the main character of this book. He’s a kid who wants adventure, gets in over his head, makes stupid mistakes and generally behaves like a human. Better than the film (Sorry, Danny Boyle). The best character in the book (Jed) isn’t even in the film.
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis — I got some funny looks reading this. It’s a satire on 80s greed. There are funny bits.
Lightning by Dean Koontz —- at school, a friend bought this book for me for Christmas because it said “Dean” on the cover and he knew I wanted to be a writer. It was the first thriller/horror novel I’d ever read and it changed my life. I don’t know if it’s even that “good” a book. I’ve read the same copy several times and love it.
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers — I thought it would be nice to add a non-fiction book. I liked its blunt honesty. Instead of saying that you could overcome fear, it said that fear is normal, and probably always will be a part of your life, just don’t let it stop you. I did not want to hear that advice, but reading the book did help me get stuff done. I should read it again.
Most of my reading these past years has been academic stuff, like Modeling Neural Circuits with Python (my current read), but I don’t think many people would ever want to read that, haha.
So…instead, here’s a list of popular science books designed for the masses that I personally recommend because of how impactful and helpful they are:
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
Gut: The Inside Story by Giulia Enders
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
Oh, while writing these, I remembered White Nights, a short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I can’t really explain what it was that drew me to it, but it’s my absolute favorite non-academic read.
4. What are your top 5 favorite shows?
Lost - I loved the formula of each episode where you’d get flashbacks that would reveal the history of a character and how their background affected their role and challenges on the island. The formula was always the same if I remember correctly, and yet it worked (for me) every time. Just genius. Despite critics saying they made it up as they went along, I think every season was intricate and meticulously planned. But it did feel like they were making it up. It descended into some pretty farcical scenarios. But I still think it’s brilliant.
Maniac — Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, and some brilliant writing. About friendship. Moving and exceptional in my opinion.
Game of Thrones — Lord of the Rings for adults. Sorry, LotR fans. My wife was watching this scene where Tyrion the dwarf was imprisoned and his captor agreed to allow him to fight a knight in order to win his freedom. At the end of the episode, I said: “we’ve got to go back and watch it together from the beginning.” Don’t think I’ve ever been so hooked by a TV show.
Dungeons and Dragons - when I was a kid, I’d watch this animated series about some kids that went on a fairground ride and ended up in a magical world where they solve puzzles, help the locals, and fight off dragons and evil beings while trying to find a portal home. As usual there’s an almost all-powerful being who guides them … but doesn’t quite help them enough to get home.
The series was never finished, but I found some episodes I’ve not seen, online, and recently learned that a script of the final episode was discovered. Ridiculously excited to read it.
Twin Peaks — I didn’t get it first time round. As an adult, however, I couldn’t get enough of this. So it was good that David Lynch made a bunch of films, too.
Ozark deserves an honorable mention. It was great. Very compelling and clever, but I don’t know if I’d really want to watch it again, as I would the others. Likewise Better Call Saul.
I wish I had some more unique shows to share with you guys, but my favorites are some of the most popular TV shows out there, haha.
Friends: My feel-good, nostalgia show.
Seinfeld: My laugh-out-loud show.
Criminal Minds: My “Oh, I wish I was a behavioral analyst” show.
The Walking Dead: My “I don’t know why I love this so much” show.
Mentalist: My favorite written character ever.
5. When did you start writing and why?
A teacher at school (I was 10) saw that I was good at English class and story writing and said that I could make a living out of writing stories. He said that people spend years writing books.
When I finished laughing, he said: “No, really.”
That’s when I knew that writing was for me. Getting paid to write stories?
I guess you could say ink runs in my family—my granddad was a writer, and my sister’s always been nabbing awards in school for her writing! But for me, it all started as a way to make some extra cash while I was studying. I wanted to be financially independent and had a writing opportunity that allowed me all that, plus the flexibility and freedom while working. So, I took it!
I never expected to fall in love with it, really! It just came so naturally to me, and I was hooked before I knew it. More than five years of daily writing later, it’s become my outlet, my go-to way of expressing myself.
6. When was your first paid gig and what was it?
The first time I got paid for writing was while working for a company that made case studies for universities and colleges. It was a part-time writing, editing, and admin job while I was studying at university, so I was about 20. The first marketing case studies I wrote were about Benetton, Penguin Publishing, and the (lack of) ethics in tobacco industry marketing.
My first fiction cheque was for about £50 in around 2000 for a 25-word story in an online publication called “The Phone Book” (for stories to be read on mobile phones years before iPhones and long before people were doing much aside from making crackly calls) created by digital artist and technoevangelist Fee Plumley.
That would be Writer&Co, where I’m still writing today. Me and the agency started and grew together. I had some other freelance writing gigs over the years, but my first paycheck for writing came from Writer&Co.
7. What has been your favorite writing project so far?
With regards to content writing, I helped a life coach write a book on emotional intelligence. I learned a lot, helped her express her ideas, and hope to help a lot of people. It was a great collaboration of her expertise and my writing experience. Because she had a lot of new perspectives, she could point me toward research that was similar, but we had to create completely original material.
Fiction-wise, I’m working on a fantasy story based on martial arts and dreams. It’s exciting.
Hmm.. Picking a favorite is tough, but I’d probably say it was the project on early childhood development and education. I was writing for teachers and parents, and it felt so rewarding to share insights that could really make a difference. It was all about helping them understand the little ones better and providing tools to foster a nurturing learning environment. Knowing that my words could potentially have a positive impact on both the educators and the kids—that’s the kind of stuff that makes writing so fulfilling for me!
8. What drew you to writing for DYWM?
I was very excited to write for DYWM, because it aligns with my experiences performing massages and meditating. Having some yoga experience helps and working with four yoga instructors could also be helpful.
I like the flexibility of yoga and that it can help you achieve various health aims, good for the body and the mind.
I’m delighted to be writing content that helps people. Whether it helps them avoid injury, or to focus better, or become physically stronger, or deal with stress and anxiety, it’s all great to me.
And I love the fact that the mission is to make yoga accessible with free videos. The range of instructors and class types is fantastic. And the production values are really high.
I’m delighted to be involved.
Well, I’m a yoga instructor, daily yoga practitioner, psychologist, and writer who wants to help people with her words. Being able to write for DYWM (professionally!) was like hitting a jackpot. I get to share my knowledge and help people while being part of a community whose values align perfectly with everything I believe in —accessibility, generosity, kindness —It really doesn’t get better than this.