Life can amaze you. It did with me.
When I was a kid my mom forced me to practice a sport every year. I changed so many: swim, volleyball, basketball, and gymnastics. The ones that lasted the most were swim and volleyball. I gave up on both of them for the same reason: I was bored and let’s be real, I wasn’t that good.
I was a kid, a competitive one too I’ve recently realized. Losing the games, losing the swim races upset me at the point that I gave up. Because of this, for years I thought any kind of sport or fitness activity wasn’t for me.
In my mind, thru high school and then the years at university, I knew that physical activity was good but, because of my mentality of a couch potato, I did nothing. When I was losing weight was because I was traveling or working during the summer.
I was just vegetating. I wasn’t living and I was overweight.
If you read my blog before, you know by now that I’ve started changing my mind on sports and myself by the time I moved to the States. Like an epiphany, I realized that physical activity gave me back my life. The times when I felt most inspired to live were the ones in which I’ve realized how good moving made me feel.
So… why did I decide to start a business in the wellness world?
Because I want people to feel alive.
I was one of those people that was skipping PE at school. I didn’t like it. I was always finding an excuse. Now, I’m the one that goes to the gym 5 days per week and practice yoga as a plus. Why? How?
I feel alive.
I look back at the moments when moving wasn’t part of the plan. I was living in the darkness. My life didn’t have a purpose. I was caught up in this society idea that I had to graduate, and not succeeding to something that I didn’t like was killing me. It was the only thing that I was thinking about, it was draining me.
Moving to the States saved me, and yoga most of all. Some people say that I was brave when I moved to the States. No, I was desperate. I was living a life that wasn’t mine. The only courage that I had was to change a situation that wasn’t comfortable
I want people to feel that the possibility of change are unlimited.
There’s no right time to change, there’s not a specific time to change, there’s not an expiration date to change. Those are just limits we set ourselves. I want people to experience the magic that comes from going out of your comfort zone.
That’s why I want to work in wellness, why I’ve decided to start working with The Healthstyle Emporium.
I can help people.
I can show them that there’s always a possibility of change, no matter how old are you and what you are doing with your life.
Close your eyes, ask yourself: “Am I doing what’s right for me?”
If you are ready to make a change, don’t hesitate to contact me filling up the form down below. Stop making excuses, stop thinking that it’s too late. I can help you. The Healthstyle Emporium has an amazing team of professionals behind and we are going to help you in achieving your best results in a holistic way: weight loss, skin problems, general well-being.
Are you ready to make a change? Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone? I’m here to help, write me and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Happy New Year lovely people!
2019 has officially begun and all the brand new firing resolutions are out there. For this year, I took inspiration from Kayla In The City and decided that, rather than writing resolutions that I’m definitely not going to follow, I’ll set intentions and a specific focus word for this brand new year.
I’ve seen a lot of people using fancy words to focus on in their 2019. Mine is not fancy, romantic or elegant. My word is BUSINESS, and now I’m going to describe why.
I’ve always been struggling with jobs. I don’t like the idea of working for someone, I love making my own decisions. Because of that, I’ve decided to create my business online of health coaching and yoga teaching. This year I’m going to dedicate entirely to it. By the end of 2019, I would like to have my business running, my certificate as a health coach in hand by the end of March and lovely clients to work with.
Around the word BUSINESS I’ve set three specific intentions
➸ Find a way, not an excuse.
I’ve chosen this one to start because I’m really good in making up excuses. If something doesn’t happen, I just blame rather than taking action. That’s what I want to change in 2019, I want to find ways to achieve my goals staying away from the many excuses I surround myself with.
➸ To make an income while making an impact.
What my grandpa used to say is that in my family, we are not good in making money because we are too good. I want to use this statement and make it real. I want to show my grandpa, wherever he is, that you can make money while making an impact, while being good.
➸ Trust your struggle.
Business is not my jam, marketing is a nightmare for me. That’s why I decided to join Babes in Business to help me get going and understand all the marketing tricks out there. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I have to trust what I’m doing, even the hardest part of it.
What’s your focus word of the year? And do you have any intentions you want to set for 2019? Let me know here down below!
At the end of each year, everybody sets a resolution or multiple ones: I want to lose weight, I want to find a job, I want to find the love of my life. Most of the times, the resolutions that we set are too big and unrealistic that, by the end of the year, we forget it and we don’t accomplish anything.
Do you want to know how to stick to your New Year’s resolution? Follow these 5 simple advice before setting your resolution:
1. SMALL GOALS
Start simple. Don’t set goals that feel impossible to realize the minute after you said it. Losing weight is a huge goal, amazing and awesome but can be overwhelming. For example, if you want to lose weight why don’t you start signing up at a gym, or have a consult with a health coach, or attend a yoga class. Start small to reach the top. Think day by day, week by week, month by month. Don’t think already at the end of it, organize the process.
2. ASK YOURSELF WHY
Yeah, it may sound stupid but ask yourself why do you really want to change something in your life. What’s the real reason why you want to find a new job, why do you want to lose those 5 kilos that nobody sees but you? Ask yourself the WHY behind your New Year’s resolution, find that why and your resolution will be way easier to achieve.
3. KEEP IT REAL
I mean, I definitely don’t want to destroy people’s dreams like going to the Maldives, or traveling the world. But keep your resolution real. Don’t waste your time with resolutions that you don’t believe in.
4. FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY
Like for my health coach training, I have found an awesome accountability buddy that keeps me grounded. You too need to find someone who shares your goal so that you can support each other to make it thru the new year. Find somebody like-minded, that you know is going to push you thru the limit. Don’t waste your time with people that don’t feel right. Choose wisely.
5. PUT REMINDERS EVERYWHERE
Change the save screen of your phone or laptop. Set daily reminders. Attach post its in the places that you are most likely to fall off the wagon of your resolution. See it, and you’ll do it.
Be simple, don’t overwhelm yourself and make yourself accountable. Remember why you are doing it. Do it for yourself, take care of yourself and 2019 will take care of you too.
HAPPY NEW YEAR.
At the end of 2018, I find myself certified as a yoga teacher and in the middle of the process of becoming a health coach. With six kilos less, I carry a different mindset to say goodbye to 2018 and welcome 2019.
How was I at the beginning of 2018? Let’s walk down a little bit on memory lane.
I spent New Year’s Eve high as hell in Madison, Wisconsin. I was sad, my journey as an au pair was about to come to an end. I didn’t know what to expect from my coming back to Italy after two years.
On January 6th, I took the flight back to Italy. I landed in Milan and I really didn’t have a plan. My only thought was that I had to go to Barcelona to finish my first immersion for my yoga teacher training as soon as I could.
The Thursday after I got home, two days before I took my flight to Barcelona, I fell sick. I had a terrible headache, a contracture in my neck and shoulders and I had to go to the ER. I could barely handle the pain. I had to give up on the first immersion in January, I kept vomiting and having terrible headaches for the following week. The doctor said it was due to the stress, and it was true.
I was stressed by all the changes that were happening in my life.
For two years I had lived in a bubble. I had my salary. Going back home meant to go back to university to finish the exam that I had paused two years before. It meant not having a salary and the independence that it came with that. I felt like, instead of improving, I was going back to the person I was before.
Luckily, yoga had my back.
I signed up at a yoga studio in my hometown, and I started to deepen my practice on this side of the ocean. I went to Barcelona for my first immersion in March, passed that part successfully. I had to wait until September to go back and finish everything. The University and its exams, once again, kept me from doing what I wanted.
I stayed in Italy for 7 months.
Even though, I traveled to Barcelona once and to Naples another time. For me, it wasn’t enough. I started to feel like I couldn’t breath again, like I was wasting my time. Once I finished my job as a summer camp supervisor in July, I packed my stuff and went to Spain.
My last exam at University, the one that I couldn’t pass, was Spanish level C1. I thought: “since I can’t pass it here, let’s go to Spain and see how it goes.” I went to Sotogrande, an English enclave close to Malaga and Gibraltar. I went there as a Workawayer. I volunteered, in exchange for food and a place where to live, in an English family who owned a gym.
Maybe, it wasn’t the right move for my Spanish, but it was awesome for my health. I started weight lifting alongside my yoga practice. I lost three kilos in a month, gained muscles and learned a ton more about nutrition than I could expect. I gave up on sugar and carbs for a month, I trained twice a day and practiced yoga. I changed for the better, I felt awesome.
I wasn’t expecting that.
I started to realize how important nutrition and health is in our everyday life. I decided to enroll in the August Accelerated Course at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), a nutrition and holistic health school online. The best choice I could ever make. Enrolling in IIN doesn’t just open up a new career path for me, alongside my yoga teacher training. It opened up to the opportunity of a journey of discovery.
In the same period, I fell in love with my boyfriend who knows a lot about nutrition and fitness. Besides making my heart beat fast every day and making me laugh, he taught me a lot about his field of knowledge.
At the end of my month in Sotogrande, I went to Barcelona for two weeks for my yoga teacher training. It was a tough and amazing time that you can read about in my first post here. After passing it successfully,
I moved to Sevilla, Spain.
I moved in with my boyfriend. While I was trying to find a job, I had free time. I started to go to the gym 5 days per week. It became a habit. Now, if I don’t go, I feel like I’m exploding. I started teaching yoga and English to make some money, but the job offer in Andalusia is worst than in Italy. I’m patiently waiting, sending out my best vibes for 2019 working out in the meanwhile.
At the beginning of 2018, I was sad, scared, unhealthy, and hopeless. At the end of 2018, I’m happy, loved, healthy, and hopeful.
It’s crazy how a mindset can change in a year, how many things can happen. I came to Spain for a reason, I ended up staying for another. I lived in three countries in a year: States, Italy, and Spain. I feel like Spain is not going to be my last stop, but for now, it’s where I’m supposed to be. It’s a hard time finding job here, that’s why I’m trying to build a business online.
Soon, I’ll start accepting clients as a Health Coach, building my program that will combine my coaching skills and my yoga teaching ones. I want to share with everyone how life can change, how we are not stuck. Little shifts in our life can create incredible events.
I want to help people make the change. Look at your 2018, did you change from the beginning of 2018 or do you feel stuck? Are you ready to make a change to find your better self, mentally and physically?
At the beginning of 2018, I would have never thought I would have been living in Spain by the end of it. Or that I would welcome 2019 without 6 kilos, with muscles on my body and a different attitude. But it happened, and I’m so glad it did.
Do you have a friend who’s a yogi but you have no idea what to gift them for Christmas? Well, you came to the right place. I’m that yogi friend, so I can easily help you with your task and suggest what I would love to find under a Christmas tree as a yogi (wink to all my friends out there).
1. YOGA MAT BAG
Most of your yogi friends will probably have a yoga mat yet, that’s the first tool that a yogi needs. Most of all, if in the yoga studious where they practice they have to rent it. Sometimes, when you buy a yoga mat, the bag to carry it doesn’t come with it, or it’s ugly. If you see your friend carry her yoga mat under her arm, or thrown in the trunk of the car with no protection, for the sake of the poor mat, I suggest you gift them with this yoga mat bag from ACTIVE THERAPY CLOTHING, a mindful activewear ethically made in the UK. It’s pretty, help the environment and will help your yogi friend to carry her precious yoga mat to the yoga studio or wherever they are going to practice.
2. A BOOK
A yogi always wants to dig deep more into his practice. One of the main focuses of yoga is Pranayama, the control of breath. During a yoga class, your yogi friend will face this part of yoga that will help him heal from the inside. There are various aspects of this practice that are not talked about during the class. If you feel like your friend can be interested, they can dig dip with a book that I read and discovered during my yoga teacher training: “The Healing Power of Breathing“.
3. Yoga pants
Yoga pants are an essential part of everyday life, so essential that even people who don’t practice yoga wear them. You can find them online, pretty much everywhere. You have such a huge variety of choices. From the most known as OYSHO, that offers an entire line dedicated to yoga, or 90 DEGREE BY REFLEX (personally my go-to) to the small businesses like ACTIVE THERAPY CLOTHING and SHAMBHALA BARCELONA.
4. YOGA CLASSES AT A LOCAL STUDIO
A yogi always wants to keep practicing, even when it’s already a yoga teacher and he or she could easily do it by themselves. As Lucas Rockwood says: “Practice is everything”. Gifting a friend with a bundle at a local studio will make them the happiest people in the world. In December, studios begin to sell those gifts bundle. I’m sure your local yoga studio does it to, ask for it.
5. CONTINUINING EDUCATION COURSES
This is mostly for teachers, but for non-teachers too. Most people think that a 200hours YTT is the end of a journey. In reality, it is just the beginning. I’ve personally heard so many yoga teachers saying: “After this, I’d love to focusing on Yin Yoga, or Kids Yoga, or Yoga Trapeze”. Those continuing education training can be a little bit expensive, but definitely less than a 200 hours teacher training. If you want to invest in your friend’s future, don’t hesitate to gift them with a course like this. It could be even a business, marketing course for an entrepreneur yogi friend.
Are you scared of going to a yoga class because you are not flexible? Do you think because you can’t touch your feet you are not going to be able to do yoga? Well, I’m telling you something: I was scared too. Another secret that I’d like to share is that I’ve never really been flexible. Not even when I was a little kid practicing gymnastics. All of my friends were doing splits so easily, while I was truly struggling. Eventually, I gave up on gymnastics, I started swimming and that definitely didn’t help my flexibility. My legs became stronger than ever, but they lost a lot of flexibility.
When I started practicing yoga, I couldn’t even touch my feet.
Right now, I can double down and even overpass my toes. Today I’m going to share with you the 5 best yoga poses for hamstring release. Just practicing them for a couple of minutes every day can make the difference.
But first of all, let’s clear things out: hamstrings are one of the three posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee (from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris).
Tight hamstrings will create a pull on your pelvis, which can lead to problems of your hip, sacroiliac, and lumbar spinal joints. They can even create problems with your knee and tendons.
FORWARD FOLD (UTTANASANA)
HOW TO: From mountain pose, hands on the hips, fold yourself in a half. Strong legs, arms relaxed as well as the entire spine, shoulders, and neck.
BENEFITS: The forward fold – both seated or standing, wide leg stretch or not – besides helping hamstring release, it stretches hips and calves. It strengthens thighs and knees while also helping your spine stay strong and flexible.
WHEN: Practicing it every day, keeping it for 5 to 7 minutes can help loosen up the muscles.
HALF SPLIT (ARDHA HANUMANASANA)
HOW TO: From downward facing dog, place the right foot between your hands. Lower your back knee on the ground, relax your foot. Flex your front foot towards your, extend your leg placing your hips on the same line of your knee. With your hands on the ground (or with the help of blocks), inhale, open your chest and fold on the knee keeping your leg straight and your gaze at the big toe. Do the same on the other side.
BENEFITS: besides stretching the hamstrings, it stretches the thighs and groins. Great preparation for a full split. The deeper you bend from your hips, the deeper the stretch.
WHEN: each day, hold it for 5 breaths.
LIZARD POSE (UTTHAN PRISTHASANA)
HOW TO: From downward facing dog, place the right foot outside your right hand. Keep your back knee up. Inhale, open your chest. Exhale, if your body allows you to relax on your arms or your hands. The left heel has to push toward the back of the room, allowing a deeper stretch of the hamstrings. Follow on the other side.
BENEFITS: besides stretching the hamstrings, it stretches hip flexors and quadriceps.
WHEN: each day, hold it for 5 breaths or more.
INTENSE SIDE STRETCH POSE (PARSVAUTTANASANA)
HOW TO: open your legs straight about a meter apart, feet parallel on different rails, toes pointing in the same direction. Hands behind your back in prayer position. Inhale, open your chest. Exhale, bend over your knee keeping your back straight. Gaze at your big toe, shoulders away from your ears. Hips on the same line. Do it on the other side.
BENEFITS: besides stretching the hamstrings, helps open up hips, spine, shoulders, and wrists. Strengthen legs. This pose is indicated for runners.
WHEN: every day, hold it for 5 breaths.
RECLINING HAND-TO-BIG-TOE POSE (SUPTA PADANGUSTHASANA)
HOW TO: lay on the ground, face up. Lift your right leg up keeping the left one on the ground. Catch your big toe. If you can’t reach your big toe with your fingers, you can use a strap. Same on the other side.
BENEFITS: hamstring and hips release.
WHEN: each day, hold for 5 breaths.
I feel I still have, after two years of yoga, very tight hamstrings. But, after all, yoga is a journey and I promise you that following the instructions, doing it every day, will improve your hamstrings. I started without the capability to touch my toes, now it’s one of the easiest things I can do and when I feel like I’m not growing in my practice I remind myself from where I started.
Always remember from where you started. It will make everything in prospective.
The first time I set foot in a yoga class, it wasn’t even a yoga studio. It was exactly one year that I was living in the United States. During all that period, even though I wanted, I couldn’t find the courage to step into a yoga class.
I thought I wasn’t good for yoga because I wasn’t flexible, thin or had a background in gymnastics. I was scared by all those amazing yogis doing weird ass poses on Instagram. I thought I was never going to be able to do them.
I wish I could go back to the younger me and tell her: “you don’t need to be flexible to enter into a yoga studio. Nobody is going to look at you.” But that didn’t happen. The word BEGINNER helped me making the big step. I thought it would have been a safe environment, and so it was.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOGA.
I practiced yoga twice a week. Once the course finished I signed up for a membership at a yoga studio in Madison, Wisconsin, where I was living at that time. It was a hot yoga studio. If you don’t know, it means that you are going to practice yoga in a 40C degrees environment (90F), with a 60% of humidity.
It was an open membership. I started to go to yoga every time I could. Slowly, the studio became my safe place. When I wanted to escape my routine, I checked the timetable to see if there was a class around that time. I started practicing all the days of the week, Saturday and Sunday included.
Before yoga, I never felt the need to do physical activity. Yoga shaped my body, but mostly it shaped my mind. My hamstrings started to loosen up, and my mind too. I wasn’t scared anymore of going to a class. I overcame my fear of putting myself in front of the mirror. Looking myself in the eyes while doing a pose wasn’t challenging anymore. I liked what I saw. It wasn’t perfect, but I started to embrace who I was becoming.
YOGA TEACHER TRAINING – THE SEARCH
Inspired by Sarah Higgins, my first yoga teacher, and by all of those at Dragonfly Hot Yoga, I decided to become a yoga teacher myself. I searched and searched. I’m not a spiritual person. My type of yoga was less spiritual, namaste and OM. It was more fitness, and I needed a training like that.
I was finding all those month-long pieces of training in exotic places, appealing for the location but expensive. I was working as an au pair, I didn’t have time to take off, just weekends. I wasn’t even sure if those trainings were good for me. Could I really learn everything I wanted to know to become a yoga teacher in a month? Probably not. I needed something that could have given me the right information in a reasonable amount of time.
After weeks of searching, I finally found MY perfect yoga teacher training: Yoga Teachers College.
YOGA TEACHERS COLLEGE
I think it was a Facebook add that drove me to this training. I opened it, and I felt relief. This training was not just about yoga. It was about creating a career with it, to become a yoga professional. I didn’t need to leave my job for an entire month, I wouldn’t have to deal with chanting that would have made me feel uncomfortable. I would have learned about yoga philosophy, anatomy, and business. An all-around program that warmed my heart.
The Yoga Teachers College is self-paced. It can take you from 4 months to 1 year.
To obtain your certification you have to complete:
- 24 eLearning modules that you can easily do at home from your computer;
- 100 classes that you have to take in your local yoga studio (they will give you a book that your teacher, at the end of each class, has to sign);
- 1 week Barcelona Immersion #1;
- 1 week Barcelona Immersion #2.1
- 1 week Barcelona Immersion #2.2 – Apprenticeship and placement.
In March I could attend the immersion.
Get ready for that week. Relax the days before, take care of yourself because you’ll be in the yoga studio from 7:30 am to 8 pm if it’s a short day. You won’t have time to think other than yoga.
The schedule is pretty much the same every day: yoga class, break, workshop, break, workshop and yoga class, small break, lecture. One night, you’ll need to stay until 10 pm to observe, practice or assist the public classes in one of the YogaBody studios around Barcelona.
At the end of the week, you’ll have your first exam: teach a 30-minute class based on the YogaBody method. It’s going to be exhausting. You’ll have to teach your class, assist one and observe another. All the others, because you’ll be divided into groups, you’ll have to take it. It’s draining, but in the end, you’ll be rewarded. Not everybody passes, somebody fails but the rate is very low.
Once you’ll pass the exam, you’ll have the time to enjoy an amazing dinner at Flax & Kale in the center of Barcelona. You’ll relax, have a glass of wine and chat with the people that in a week have grown so much closer to you than you’ll expect.
IMMERSION 2, WEEK 1
If immersion 1 was challenging on a physical level, immersion 2 was challenging on a mental level.
At least, to me. Lucas, Katy, and Camilo kept repeating it: “the first immersion you’ll learn 80%, immersion 2 is about perfection the 20% left.” It’s mentally exhausting because they’ll be on you for all the tiny things, they want you to be the best. Time-wise, the schedule is pretty much the same as the first immersion. You’ll have workshops, breaks, lectures, and practices.
In the first week, you’ll work on creating your own personalized sequence, and a 10-minute workshop. You’ll have time, but I strongly suggest you use your breaks wisely. The sequence will be reviewed with the classmates and the teachers before you’ll be ready to actually teach it in front of clients. Find a focus, a theme for your sequence can be challenging at the beginning. Once you’ll find your flow, everything will come naturally.
As well, the 10-minute workshop will take time to build. It’s going to be part of your final graduation requirement passing it. They’ll give you all the information to build it, so don’t be worried.
Plus, during the week you’ll have a photo and a video shooting. So, you’ll have professional photos and videos to start your yoga career at the best.
Once the shooting is done, the sequence ready, and the 10-minute workshop presented, the first week is done. Dinner at Flax & Kale on a Friday and then, ready for a new week.
IMMERSION 2, WEEK 2
In the second week, you’ll be assigned to one of the three YogaBody studios around Barcelona. You’ll have the opportunity to teach at least a public class, observe and practice others. The schedule will be slightly different, challenging mentally and physically.
One of the requirements is, besides teaching, is to practice 10 classes. You’ll have your final exam during this week: teaching a public class. I had the opportunity to teach a public class before my exam, so I felt more confident when I had to do my exam, even though the road works just outside the studio weren’t helping. Once you’ll pass the exam, you’ll have to wait Friday for the final graduation.
If you have done all the 24 eLearning modules, passed the various intermediated exams during the immersion, completed 100 hours practice and succeeded at the final exam, you’ll have the certification in your hands at the end of the second week.
If you are missing one, or multiple steps of the course, you’ll receive the certification at home once you will communicate to the Yoga Teachers College that you are done.
I’ve completed my yoga teacher training with Yoga Teachers College in September 2018, one year after I’ve applied to it. Right now, I teach three classes per week. Two public classes in a gym, and a private one. Did I feel ready to teach? Absolutely. Yoga Teachers College gives you the right amount of knowledge to go into the world and teach with confidence. The Yoga Teachers College method is: I’ll tell you what to do and then, right away, you’ll need to put it into practice. It’s learning and do. It doesn’t give you time to think or worry. You just do. And that’s how you learn, you lose the scare that you have to teach starting to teach your fellow companions.
The online classes will help you get the knowledge, the immersions in Barcelona will give you the confidence. Before starting immersion 1, I was so scared of talking in public. I didn’t look people in the eyes, always looking at a fixed point. Right now, I have no problem to step in front of a class, smile, and start sharing what I’ve learned during my year-long teaching.
Yoga Teachers College is self-paced. Somebody finishes it in four months, others in a year. Everybody has a personal life, different reasons why they decided to make a change, so this program is built for everybody. You’ll meet extraordinary people from all over the world during your immersion, treasure it.
You’ll end your training being a different person from the one that started.