Originally from Italy, Claudia moved to London after college when she was in her mid 20's and incidentally started her yoga journey there. Her therapist said "do some yoga, it will be good for you", and so she did. This was 20 years ago. Her first 5 years of yoga can be summarised as a random exploration of teachers, class styles and ideas about practice. She travelled for about 2 years and went to every possible retreat, followed several yoga & meditation trainings, practiced alone, with friends and under the guidance of a teacher, until she could figure out where her passion laid and finally shaped her practice into something more sustainable. From the beginning, Astanga had been the most impactful yoga experience she had, and she met the Jois family in London in 2003 and planned her first trip to Mysore in 2005.
She had the privilege to practice with a long list of amazing teachers, the most influential being Lino Miele, Nancy Gilgoff, David Swenson and Eddie Stern. Nancy taught her mula bandha, David how to fly, Lino empathy and Eddie devotion. Along the journey, she also studied with Desikachar at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, where she got inspired that the practice is unique for each unique individual, and with Sarah & Ty Powers, where the combination of yoga, buddhist dharma and psycho-spritual inquiry made the equation complete for her. Each of these wonderful teachers have taught her something unique which she will forever be grateful for. She will humbly continue to be their students for as long as she can travel to study with them.
Claudia taught her first Astanga Led class in 2004 and is now guiding the Mysore Program since 2010. What she loves about the Mysore way of practicing Astanga Yoga, is that it gives the student all the space and time to really find their own unique practice. "It generally takes a few weeks for the student to figure out what they are doing in the Mysore room, but when they start engaging in exploring their breath and movements, the magic begins. I get to know each student very uniquely through their breathing & movement patterns, rather than through the usual social etiquette, and this creates trust in between us over time. The student relaxes and the practice unfolds. Witnessing such incredible growth is a real privilege and a great reminder of how boundless we are as human beings. Mysore classes are quiet and communication is primarily non-verbal, it feels like a crowded moving meditation room at times ;-)"
She loves retreats and loves teaching groups in retreat settings. "There's something very special about taking yourself out of your regular routine (and distractions!) and into an environment where you have total permission to engage all day long with practices that bring you closer to your Self. It feels like taking a giant leaping out of time and space, in a very short amount of conventional time. It's time dedicated to enhancing relationships - to the Self, nature and others around you. Participating in retreats, either as a student or as a teacher, gives me an opportunity to connect more openly to the other people there and to spend more time in nature, to nourish the body and to give the mind the space to relax. In retreats, I also get an opportunity to share more of the teachings I received from different traditions and to help people individually in their practices."