When did you discover an interest in yoga?
YOSS: I started my path of inner growth with martial arts in 1989, then two years later, I discovered yoga. I carried on both disciplines for more than 25 years. From martial arts, I found confidence in myself or self-esteem. From Yoga, I received awareness and inner peace. Through the practice of both disciplines for many years, I have reached the conviction that happiness and the realisation of happiness only depends on our attitude and our self awareness in everyday life.
BEATRICE: At the age of three I was already doing gymnastics, and I had always felt that movement is something precious. When I was sixteen years old, I went to India for the first time and there I discovered yoga as a way to unite the world of the body and the philosophy of the heart.
What made you decide to become a yoga teacher?
YOSS: Teaching is sharing. I didn’t decide but it was something that I deeply felt in my heart: the opportunity to share the great joy and beauty of yoga with other people and grow together with them.
BEATRICE: I really do not feel myself to be like a teacher, but instead like a worker who, as a little ant does, wants to build a better world.
Would you say that yoga is a method for healing and is that why you teach “Yoga & Medicine”?
YOSS: Yoga is actually much more. Yoga is an ancient science of physical, mental and spiritual growth. Regarding our mind / body system, yoga provides great techniques for better health. However, a good teacher must know perfectly these techniques and in particular how yoga techniques work on the body of the practitioner, especially if he were to have physical problems. In our Yoga & Medicine Teacher Training we study both yoga techniques and the anatomy and physiology applied to Yoga techniques.
BEATRICE: I obtained a degree in medicine and I have done yoga for many years, so I am just following my personal passion for life ; that is sharing what I feel good for myself with others by studying in depth the movement and reaction of the body, and the floating of the mind.
What are the benefits of yoga?
YOSS: How long do I have to answer this? Countless ways. If we pause to reflect on our very existence, we can safely say we are designed to live in health, serenity, joyfully aware and in constant transformation. Yoga helps us achieve this.
BEATRICE: The benefits of yoga are both physical and mental. I believe that by being aware of your movement and your breathing, you can learn to understand more about your inside world. Which is full of light and shadow at the same time. This awareness can help you to be able to surf the waves of life better.
Why specifically do you do this work?
YOSS: What work? For me it is a great opportunity to be able to live by practicing what I love and to share it with those who want to follow me.
BEATRICE: Firstly, I live life as a unity with nature and animals, which corresponds to our inner instinct. By teaching yoga I would like to communicate this union to others.
How did you develop your abilities and methods?
YOSS: With a deep attention to everything I hear around me, both in the world of yoga and in everyday life. Of course I studied a lot with Italian and international masters. But in recent years my greatest growth occurs through reflection and meditation.
BEATRICE: Through practicing, studying and learning just how little we are, I have evolved. By knowing nothing, but capable of breathing and feeling our breath we can find a new way to face ourselves and the world.
How do you prepare for teaching your courses?
YOSS: I do not really prepare myself that much. Of course I have a rough idea of what I want to do in a classroom or in a seminar, but then I follow what I feel in the class and the responses of my students. Often, at the end of the lessons I receive thanks. I always reply by pointing out that I have not done the class alone but together with them and thanks to their energy too.
BEATRICE: I prepare for teaching by practicing yoga every day. Doing research and trying to live in the present as much as I can.
What is it like to teach together with another and how do you make that work?
YOSS: It is a great experience, support and mutual enrichment. It means to be open and fluid.
BEATRICE: It is a wonderful experience to teach yoga together with another teacher, but it is not always easy to find someone who is on the real wave of sharing.
What transformations have you experienced through doing this work?
YOSS: I love teaching together, it help me lose my reference points, my certainties, giving me fluidity, lightness, flowing together with my partner. In life our greatest certainties can become our biggest influences.
BEATRICE: I have experienced that life is not yesterday nor tomorrow, but it is now.
What transformations have you witnessed in others?
YOSS: Students like to receive a lesson from more than one teacher simultaneously.
BEATRICE: Through yoga I have seen others achieve physical wellness, improvement of flexibility and better alignment of the body. I have also witnessed more ability of people to let themselves dance in the river of life.
What has your greatest realisation or learning been?
YOSS: Lots! Lately, I have felt deeply that I will no longer waste time and energy to change what cannot change, but I do not want to lose a little chance to learn about and change what I can change: myself.
BEATRICE: I have learned that life is a circle with death and that they are not distinguishable. This is the same for all of the opposite forces inside of us.
What is the most powerful type of healing you have personally experienced?
BEATRICE: Yoga practice has been the most powerful for me.
What is your favourite music/artists to listen to?
YOSS: Eddie Vedder, and all the artists who express themselves and deep feelings with music.
BEATRICE: “Spirit Bird” by Xavier Rudd is a song that means so much in my life path, and also”What if God was one of us ?” by Joan Osborne.
Do you have one tip to share for happiness and wellbeing in everyday life?
YOSS: Stop. Breathe. Open your eyes and see if anything has changed in the way of seeing the same old things. It works!
I think we labor to find pleasure, always trying to do new things, we should actually try to find pleasure in doing ever anew the usual things.
BEATRICE: My tip for happiness is to live in the present.
What are your plans for the future evolution of what you do?
YOSS: I’d like to communicate more and more my message and open more than the two yoga studios I already have. The challenge will be to best manage my centres, without losing time for personal practice and teaching.
Together with Beatrice, we will continue to hold Teacher Training for “Yoga and Medicine”, where the teaching of yoga is enriched by the medical scientific component, to ensure future teachers a broad and thorough preparation.
BEATRICE: I do not like to plan, I prefer to grasp the moment in life.
Yoss Giancarlo Miggiano
© Lightening Magazine 2016