The world is full of connections, sometimes in places you less expect!
I know I should not say this, but I do miss going to the gym. I mean a real gym with different studios, equipment, mirrors, showers, and clean towels. I miss it. But there is one thing that I absolutely love about training online: the fact that you can practice anywhere in the world and you can follow your favorite teacher wherever they are or they will go in the future.
One can carry on training with the same bunch of people when going on holidays or while traveling for work (whenever we’ll be allowed to do that again, I mean).
For a digital nomad like me it’s an immense added value that gives me the freedom to be located anywhere and still follow my fitness routine with my teacher and my community.
Do you have a special type of yoga practice that it’s done only in Kerala? You can do that.
Is your favorite yoga teacher Japanese and she is going back to Ishigaki? No need to say goodbye, you can still meet online and practice together.
We knew that already, right? But now it is more real and structured and it really forces us to think outside the confined space of your studio. Your teaching can reach anyone in the world who speaks a common language, we can still communicate and feel we belong although we are in different countries.
Why did I say all this to introduce our next yoga teacher Barbara from BYoga? Because I feel that she is a fellow human who has her roots everywhere in the world.
She is now living in Italy but trained as a yoga teacher in India and lived in Australia. She has clients from Australia who can now follow her teaching remotely. And so I have discovered that we can still be linked and we can still embrace each other in creative ways even through a screen.
These are incredible byproducts of teaching/learning live online that I won’t give up even if I’ll return to practice yoga in a studio.
1. You are Italian but you trained in India and taught yoga also in Australia. Are there cultural differences in the approach to yoga in the two countries?
I’ve been in Melbourne for almost 4 years and I had the opportunity to teach and also practice there, and now I’m teaching here in Italy. I saw many cultural differences between our countries, but just in terms of history, food, and daily life, but in Yoga I noticed that the yoga community all over the world follows the same philosophy and lifestyle.
Yoga was born in India as a spiritual and religious practice, in the modern time we realized the benefits of this practice and we decided to embrace it also in western societies, Italian or Australian. So I can easily say that I didn’t find differences in the yoga practice, between Italy or Australia.
2. I have been practicing yoga for a long time but I’m still super stiff. Were you always flexible or your flexibility improved with practice?
And which advice would you give to someone like me?
I don’t define my body as flexible, when I was young I studied dance and it was very hard to learn the split while the other girls were able to do it in no time. I practiced for many years and eventually I was able to do the split.
This is just an example of how you can improve with the practice.
If you feel still super stiff after years of practice maybe you should consider another style of yoga or another approach that is more suitable for you, I believe that yoga is accessible to everybody, so probably you might need a different angle.
Or also you might reconsider the schedule of your practice, sometimes you need to do less but more often, 10 minutes a day can be enough, if you practice every day, in this way you can focus better and your practice becomes more efficient.
Another advice I can give is to use props, they are very useful to support the body in harder positions, you can use pillows, bolsters, blankets, yoga blocks, straps, everything that can help, and you will immediately feel the difference in the practice.
3. This is very good advice. Thank you! Is there something you prefer about teaching online vs teaching in a studio?
Teaching online gives the opportunity to people to practice from their home, whenever they want (attending streaming or recorded classes), without time and travel constraints, to dress as they like, to decide how much to practice, how and whether to stop when they need a break, and to save some money.
From the teacher point of you, teaching online allows me to reach people and potential students very far from where I am now, I have the possibility to save my classes and manage an archive that I can use from time to time, the class can be reviewed tens or hundreds of times a day, it gives me free time that I can use to deepen, train and promote my activities and furthermore I can teach from everywhere with internet connection.
4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start teaching online?
It’s not always easy to get yourself out in the internet world, there’s a lot of competition and also lots of good teachers out there, but it’s very important to be confident in your own unique skills and personality and don’t listen to that inner voice saying ‘you can’t do it’. And if you bring your true self in your classes people will recognize it and start to follow you.
5. Lots of teachers decide to do pre-recorded classes. What made you want to go streaming classes online?
Well, I found it hard to speak to nobody. So I feel that I can lead the class easier and better if I can see the people even if they are on the screen. Also I can see if they are doing something wrong and I can correct them, or I can adjust the timing and the level of the class depending on the people in that class.
6. When are you the happiest?
I’m the happiest when I reach the awareness of doing something good for me, following my aspiration and desires. When I’m in this state I can also bring my positive energy to the people around me and make them feel good too, so, it’s a win win.