I encountered Yoga for the first time over 12 years ago. I was 12. I was only a child, Yoga was totally unknown here. I didn't stay.
I found Yoga again at the end of 2011: my university offered a very cheap course and I seized the moment.
In September 2012, I left for Ireland and it was there that my love for Yoga bloomed: I started going to Hatha and Kundalini yoga classes, And fell in love.
I have been practising Yoga regularly for over 3 years.
Yoga is for everyone and can help everyone, no matter age, shape or state of health. I always share bits of my life and experience, as I am a living proof of what I preach, I try to make sure that my students get from my classes what they most need: to some it could be only the physical benefits, to some others it could be mental relaxation, to some it could be the full package. To each their.
I can recall many special moments. If I have to choose one, it can be that time when my grandmother (yes, she's one of my students), after practising a short energy sequence, said: "I can feel energy moving throughout my body and a sense of peace" - she's always been a Catholic, so that to me was a sign that something within her had changed. It moved me.
Yoga is more than just physical and mental: it is emotional, energetic, spiritual, and much more. Both as a practitioner and as a teacher, I have moments when I favour one aspect and times when I favour another aspect. Yet, Yoga always remains whole.
One of my favourite words which I love is "glicine", both for the sound and for its meaning (which is wisteria, I love that plant!)
My favourite food... how can I choose? I know I can sound cliché, but...pizza!
As for local tradition, first thing that come to my mind is a tradition from my town Cetona - it doesn't exist anywhere else. It is called "Cucco-ciccio", which in our dialect means "egg-meat". It is similar to the Halloween tradition of Trick-or-Treat, but way older, at least here.
It is celebrated twice a year: on "Giovedì grasso" and "Martedì grasso" (the Thursday before Carnival and the following Tuesday). Children go from door to door, knock at the door and, when the door opens, they exclaim "Cucco-ciccio!". Nowadays they receive sweets, chocolates, and some money, but years ago they were gifted eggs and, if lucky, some meat - when there was little to eat receiving food was pure joy! I loved doing "Cucco-ciccio" when I was a child, I also received a few eggs.
Oh, and of course if the person behind the door doesn't give anything to the children... well, they usually throw eggs at their door!
I think Yoga is helping improving the world. It's not the only practice that does so, but it's an important one. By practising yoga, at the very least people start taking care of themselves, and as we are all part of the Whole, taking care of ourselves means taking care of the Whole.
Not only, after a while yoga practitioners usually become more aware of their inner and outer world, thus becoming more compassionate towards themselves, their loved ones, their fellow humans, but also towards Nature and the Planet. Aren't awareness, compassion and love, is what can change the world for the better?
Yoga is just starting spreading in this part of Tuscany. As I said, 12 years ago there was a course, but it didn't last long from what I know.
There have been a few courses some kilometres away from here during the years, but when I started teaching back in September 2014 I was looked at like a weirdo. "What's this Yoga thing? people used to ask.
I was amased when I reached a total of 20 students last year!
Then in September I left for England and when I came back in October there were already other 2-3 teachers teaching around here... Yoga is spreading 🙂
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