About Emanuela and Minimum Yoga
The power of the minimal: continuous change through practice
As a physical practice, yoga builds a healthier and stronger body, increases our resistance and flexibility, stimulates the circulatory and immune systems and opens up knots and areas of tension. At the same time and without fail, it steadies our minds, enhances focus, and pacifies our emotional states.
My training and teaching
I started practising Yoga asana in 2005. Nine years later I gained the initial 200-hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Diploma (2014), after a year-long course with the Yoga London School. I subsequently trained with two senior Ashtanga teachers: Maty Ezraty and David Swenson. I was blessed to have the unique opportunity to study with Maty on two courses before her premature passing. Her approach deeply influenced my teaching and will always hold a special place in my heart.
I completed the Ashtanga Teacher Training with David in Paris (at Ashtanga Yoga Paris), and practised intensely with Maty in Goa, India (at Purple Valley Ashtanga Yoga) as well as completing a teacher training with her in Paris (at Yoga Colibri studio). In 2018, I completed a month-long intensive course with Matthew Sweeney in Rishikesh, India, and I have now adopted his Chandra Krama sequence as part of my regular practice. Since 2018 I have been practising regularly with Carrie Owerko, both face-to-face on her visits to London, and online. I love Carrie's intelligent approach to movement and the humour she brings to her teaching.
With a six-day practice, First Aid-certified, drawing upon the rich genealogy of contemporary Hatha Yoga with a view to learn more from each tradition, I complement my asana (posture) practice with regular Pranayama (breath practice) and Meditation, while constantly expanding my understanding of movement and mindbody awareness through regular research.
I completed a Meditation training with the Yoga Healing Foundation at London's Yoga Campus, and I studied a variety of meditation approaches from different traditions. I accompany the teaching of asana classes with that of meditation, offering tools and techniques for mental decluttering. Group and one-to-one sessions available.
I hold an MA in Cultural Studies, I have studied Western philosophy and culture production extensively, and continue to study many different philosophical traditions from all corners of the globe. My MA dissertation Music, Difference, and the Unpresentable: Sounds of Vision and Devotion focused on the role of sound and the auditory in our perception of reality and beyond.
In May 2019 I qualified in Thai Yoga Massage with Kira Balaskas at The School of Thai Yoga Massage in London and I now offer treatments. In December 2019 I travelled to Thailand to refine my understanding of the theory and practice of Thai Massage by attending a variety of courses, including one on Reusi Datton at Wat Po Thai Traditional Medicine School in Bangkok, and other courses in Chiang Mai.
Despite practising gymnastics and swimming as a teenager and young adult, I came to yoga after years of physical inactivity, at a time of intense academic study. With a background in Cultural Studies, philosophy and music, I found in yoga the ultimate tool for intelligent and conscious living. From the very first asana class at the University Campus in 2005, something clicked and started a process of ongoing transformation.
As I gradually built up my own physical practice, I discovered the myriad ways in which body and mind relate and connect, beginning to 'embody' what up until then I had only read in books: that they are a unity, a whole, a totality.
In Western cultures, mind and body have traditionally been conceived as two separate entities and most Western beliefs and customs are imbued with oppositions as a by-product of that misconception. Looking more deeply at these dichotomies and scrutinising their validity has always been my concern. Yoga gave me the ultimate tool to undo misconceptions and pursue my own ongoing physical and mental transformation. While enjoying the innumerable physical benefits of the practice, I return to it every day to encounter that minimal shift that will open new territories of self awareness.
Through yoga – which we translate as ‘union’ – I found not only an avenue of wellbeing and physical/mental invigoration, but also one of insight and awareness, on all fronts. It is part of my journey to share these insights with others through teaching, so that they may be inspired to identify and target their own concerns and goals, whether it’s a more agile body, general fitness or releasing stress and anxiety caused by pressures outside themselves.
The classes I teach
Ashtanga is a dynamic form of yoga that tones and strengthens the body by working on the same series of postures, carefully combining each breath with movement in the vinyasa count. In the Ashtanga Vinyasa classes, we explore the Primary Series, working on alignment, sequence memorization, and the moving meditation that constitutes the core of the practice. The Primary Series is a set sequence of postures beginning with the Surya Namaskara (the Sun Salutations). I have studied and practised this system with the late Maty Ezraty, David Swenson, and Matthew Sweeney.
In the Dynamic sequence classes I guide you through breath-synchronised movements, following a step-by-step approach, allowing the body to open through gradual 'minimal' shifts, in flexibility and strength, progressing into more complex segments before returning to stillness.
In the Meditation sessions I work with techniques from different contemplative traditions, such as breath awareness exercises, body scans, seated sound observations and many more. I provide quotes and references to works that you can explore in more depth in your own time if you so wish. Combining my meditation training at the Yoga Healing Foundation with ongoing research into, and practice of, several philosophical traditions from both the East and the West, I deliver a meditation session that is simple, practical, and above all experiential.
Minimum Yoga is a mindbody practice. It advocates the cause of the minimal in all its wonders: minimal daily exploration of the infinite possibilities of the mindbody connection through asana practice, meditation, and bodywork, to tune in to a state of mental and physical wellbeing where no impact, judgment, demand – on self, others, and the space around us all – is needed.