One of the things that brings me just as much joy as cooking for others is teaching yoga, but not everyone may know that.
I have been practicing yoga for many years now, trying different styles such as Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram, and Vinyasa to see what feels best for my body and what I enjoy teaching. I first tried yoga when I was 18 in Milan, when there were only a few yoga schools around. I loved the slow and easy pace of the class and continued to practice, though it was harder to be consistent when I started working for Giorgio Armani.
When I moved to Switzerland, yoga became a regular part of my daily life. We had three great teachers come into the office gym, and I found a wonderful studio in Como where I lived for three years. After leaving my retail job and moving to Knoxville, I decided to pursue something I had wanted to do for years: join a yoga teacher training program. I wasn't necessarily interested in teaching, but I wanted to learn more about something that had helped me feel better physically and mentally. After researching different programs, I found one that fit my needs in terms of timing and curriculum, and I am thrilled with the choice I made.
I attended Yoga Shanti in Tribeca, NYC with the amazing Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman. They taught me the pillars of yoga in a way that made my practice feel good. It was a gentle, yet challenging yoga that took me on an emotional journey during a time of uncertainty and change in my life. I recall the moment with compassion and pride, as I was the only non-American in the class and still struggling with the language. Despite this, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and I'm glad I did.
I flew to India for a 300-hour teacher training in Mysore not long after. This experience was completely different from my previous one. It consisted of 1.5 hours of Ashtanga yoga (which is not my favorite), 1.5 hours of intense Hatha yoga, and 1.5 hours of pranayama and meditation every day for a month. If the New York City teacher training was difficult, this was even more challenging, both physically and mentally, with some additional daily practical issues. Despite all the challenges, it was one of the best moments of my life. You can read more about it here: https://www.amamikitchen.com/post/naan-bread.
These two vastly different experiences - one in the loud and chaotic New York City, and the other in a remote part of the world - inspired me to share what I had learned. However, it took me some time to gather the courage to start teaching. I felt vulnerable and scared. Eventually, I started teaching Slow Flow at The Glowing Body https://www.glowingbody.net/, a yoga school here in Knoxville that I really like and that aligns well with my style. During this time, I became good friends with Kim, the owner of the studio. We shared the journey of pregnancy and motherhood having babies 3 months apart and passion for food and yoga.
All of the above brought me here, to create together with Kim something special - Practice+Presence+Puglia, a week-long yoga retreat taking place from 24th to 30th June 2024. It will be held in one of my favorite places, Masseria Mozzone https://www.masseriamozzone.it/, a rustic and authentic masseria nestled among ancient olive trees. During this retreat, we will practice yoga for about 3 hours every day in a peaceful and serene setting. We will share our time and experiences, indulge in the finest cuisine, and savor the Italian way of life.
We are finalizing pricing and details and will provide more information soon. In the meantime, please fill in this form if you are interested in joining us. We hope to see you there!!!