I’m not interested in yoga that is simply considered a form of fitness, or part of a trendy, fashionable lifestyle. I see a lot of distortion of the purity of yoga in the west, where this ancient science and philosophy is often manipulated for business, or practiced to support a narcissistic way of life.
Asana are the outcome of feeling and moving energy in many different directions. Asana are the physical form of the inner subtle energy body. I’m not just teaching you how to do a proper pose with the correct alignment, but also, and most of all, I’m supporting you to find your own personal practice and your true unique exploration. This inner process will lead you to meet the part of your body that moves easily. Where you can breathe life into the places that feel blocked, inactive and congested. Often in those parts we store pain, trauma and an old story. Maybe they are connected with injuries, or we just avoid them. Whey you consciously access them through your practice, you release them, unfolding a new sense of freedom and balance into your body. Often it’s also a release of immense new energy. Respect and awareness within the map of our body does not force or hold expectations, but simply allows a natural unfolding.
As we grow more connected with this process, our mind reconnects to our body, and emotions may release as we begin to experience the deep joy of being who we are.
“I have the honor of teaching hatha yoga, and I’m committed to maintaining the purity of the yoga transmission. My classes are based on Iyengar yoga alignment, which has been my main yoga practice since 2008. Before Iyengar, I immersed myself in the practice of Ashtanga yoga for many years.”
“Federica is an exceptional yoga teacher. She is lively and full of lovely energy and we all did a lot of laughing as well as lots of diverse yoga – everything from Iyengar to Ashtanga, flow to yin and yoga nidra plus some mantra and daily sitting. Federica was able to manage the extremely different levels of yoga experience and fitness that existed across the group of 20 people. She was inclusive and encouraging and everyone got exactly what they needed. We felt held, seen but also challenged to push ourselves and explore our boundaries. It was a really transformational week!”
~Sarah, the UK
Release. Receive. Rejuvenate.
Chronic stress has been named THE major cause of both physiological and psychological health issues people face today.
Stress is triggered and sustained by unreleased tension, including unconscious reactions, survival strategies, circumstances, beliefs, habits, personality traits, family dynamics, and more.
Yoga provides more than a superficial relaxation. It enables us to clear the root cause of discomfort and stress, and to unfold in a deep healing process. You will be amazed to see how well it works.
Prolonged stress causes the nervous system to loose its receptivity to the vital fuel for daily activities. In other words, not only are normal body and mind functions compromised, but being in a constant low level stressful condition BEGINS TO DEPLETE THE BODY’S VITAL ENERGY RESERVES. Then, the body runs on survival hormones. It leads to burn-out, and many associated symptoms, including exhaustion, anxiety, insomnia, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty breathing, digestion problems, depression, isolation, and more.
Yoga as Self-Inquiry
In yoga, the art of looking at ourselves from a neutral or non-judgemental perspective is viveka – discrimination. We discrimate between the real and the illusion, between our desires and our truth, our pleasures and our purpose.
“Discrimination allows subtler introspection: This one-pointed attention and discrimination, which comes from the practice of the eight limbs, is used for examining, exploring, and attenuating the colorings of the subtle impressions of the mind field (2.10), so as to go beyond, inward to the pure, eternal center of consciousness.” Swami Jnaneshwara Bharati
“The 8 limbs are for discriminative enlightenment: The reason for practicing the eight limbs of Yoga (2.29) is to develop attention as the tool for discriminative knowledge, which is the means to discriminative enlightenment and liberation. It means using razor-like attention (3.4-3.6) to separate the seer and the seen (2.17), so as to break the alliance of karma (2.12-2.25), and to get past the four mistakes of ignorance, or avidya (2.24-2.25), which are: 1) confusing the temporary for the eternal, 2) the impure for the pure, 3) misery for happiness, and 4) the false self for the true Self (2.5). Resulting from this systematic discrimination, the seer or Self is eventually experienced in its true nature (1.3).” Swami Jnaneshwara Bharati
Self-enquiry is not a mental obsessive process. it’s not a litany of demoralizing statements that keep us in fear from fully embracing life. We get stuck in our habitual thought patterns. We need to catch every time we enter into a negative monologue – that ongoing soundtrack in the mind that reinforces our negative beliefs about ourselves.
Self-enquiry is living consciously and catching ourselves in each moment.
“When you contemplate your own thinking process,” says Michael Stone. “you may come to notice that almost all of your thoughts are stories about you! Most of us go through the day telling ourselves endless stories about ourselves. Our perceptions in daily life seems to pivot around this ongoing narrative of ‘me’. We talk to others about ourselves, and if there is no one around, we talk to ourselves about ourselves and call it thinking!”
Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharishi felt that ‘I am that I am’ was the best description of God. His first teachings in Tamil questioned Nan Yar – ‘Who Am I?’ So as we unweave the web of our personality, the ultimate question is ‘who is this ‘I’ that we refer to?’
“When sought within ‘What is the place from which it rises as ‘I’?, ‘I’ (the ego) will die! This is Self-enquiry
“I am that I am” is like polishing the mirror. It is an opportunity to see God looking back at you.
Yogash citta vrtti nirodha
~ Patanjali (yoga sutra 1.2)
Self-Enquiry as Daily Practice
Yoga is the practice of Self-Enquiry. On a practical level, our daily sadhana of yoga and meditation give us the space and time for self-enquiry. As we practice, if we can sink into the body and into the present moment, we can start to drop the judgement of the mind and the notion of ‘I’. When we are ‘of’ the mind, we tend to be in the past thinking back to some glory days or dwelling on past troubles, or fast-forward into the future and we are projecting some rose-coloured future, a fantasy life. The more we can sink into the body, bringing awareness to the breath and subtle energy flow, the more we can surrender to the present moment.
When we dwell in the past and future, we are often stuck in a place of judgement – we judge this moment compared to what we thought it would be like (especially if we are struggling with a particular asana today or finding it hard to settle in meditation – it ignites judgement and mind games). So we don’t value this gift of a moment for what it is. Simply that it is. The present moment is the place where we can plant the seed of awareness and watch it grow. In each asana, in each breath, in each mantra, there is a chance for that seed to grow.