About Emanuela and Minimum Yoga
I created Minimum Yoga in 2014 to provide an informed service of yoga and meditation classes centred around the idea of encouraging and supporting regularity of practice over time. I teach Ashtanga vinyasa, slow dynamic sequences informed by a somatic approach, and mindful movement and meditation classes. In May 2019 I added Thai massage to the Minimum Yoga journey. I like to teach a wide variety of practitioners, of any age, shape, and background, providing a safe space for everyone to stay curious about their bodies and hopefully discover more about themselves.
The power of the minimal: continuous change through practice
Practice is central to the Minimum Yoga's approach. As a physical practice, yoga builds a healthier and stronger body, increases our strength 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 our focus, and pacifies our emotional states providing us with insights to enlighten our everyday life.
My training and teaching
I attended my first yoga class in 2005 but didn't establish a daily practice until a few years later. In 2014 I gained the initial 200-hour Yoga Alliance-certified Teacher Diploma with the YogaLondon school, completing a year-long course of study. Eventually I 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 Swenson 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 with Matthew Sweeney in Rishikesh, India. Since 2018 I have also 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. Through Carrie's teaching I was inspired to broaden my horizons and I have been investigating other areas of study including somatics, biomechanics, neuroscience and evolutionary biology. All of these have expanded and continue to expand my understanding of the yoga practice and have made it even more powerful. Other teachers I gain ongoing inspiration from include: Simon Borg-Olivier, Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, Doug Keller, Susanne Lahusen.
I completed a Meditation training with the Yoga Healing Foundation at London's Yoga Campus. I accompany the teaching of asana classes with that of meditation, offering tools and techniques for mental decluttering.
I completed 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 2006 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 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, as well as other courses in Chiang Mai.
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.
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. We explore the Primary Series, working on alignment, sequence memorization, and the moving meditation that is the core of the practice. The Primary Series is a set sequence of postures beginning with the Surya Namaskara (the Sun Salutations). I facilitate a mindful and slower Ashtanga experience, remaining fully committed to the potential of this more traditional of the hatha yoga practices.
In the 'dynamic sequence' classes I guide you through breath-synchronised movements, following a step-by-step approach, allowing the body to open gradually through what I call 'minimal shifts' and somatic explorations, and 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.