Antonella Sterle, yoga instructor and director of the Shakti Yoga Center in Genoa.
Yoga is The Holistic Discipline and I had the honor and pleasure to practice under Antonella’s caring and bright guidance. I remember very well her lessons and the feeling of well-being that followed.
Your yoga center is called Shakti. What does this word mean?
Shakti is a Sanskrit term which essentially means: feminine aspect of creation, active energy of the feminine, the power to react. Shakti is energy: magnetism, light, heat .
In the tantric tradition every woman is pervaded by Shakti, which possessed divine that makes possible the transformation of the cosmo.
Shakti is the primordial sacred energy that pulses throughout the universe and brightly illuminates all beings.
What is Hatha Yoga and what activities do you do at your yoga center in the heart of Genoa?
Hatha yoga is the most known yoga in the Western countries. Founded on the balance of the main polarity that is HA (masculine, solar) and THA (feminine, lunar).
Its goal is the mastery of the physical body, the control of vital energy and the perfect health.
Yoga was born thousands of years ago, it is a very much alive and constantly evolving discipline.
My yoga center Shakti was born on the idea of promoting the physical and mental wellbeing and accompanying people on a journey toward self-knowledge and joy.
Rediscover the beauty of the heart to live in harmony with the world around us, this is the intention behind my yoga center. We offer in-depth meetings on meditation, pranayama, healing food natural techniques for purification of the mind and the body, yoga on the water in the spa, specific yoga for women et cetera.
When I used to practice yoga with you, since after the first lesson, I have noticed a greater fluency of my spine and a sweet calm of my mind. My muscles were powerful but very relaxed as well. What are the main benefits of a regular yoga practice for our health?
Here are the main benefits of a regular practice of yoga:
1. strengthen all muscles of the body, making it strong and flexible
2. strengthen the immune system
3. improves the quality of sleep
4. induces a state of calm and inner peace
5. amplifies the memory capacity and concentration
6. improves all body functions such as eating, digesting, working and sleeping
7. increases the pleasure and happiness of life until you feel the “joy of life”
What is yogic breathing? Can you give us some practical advice to start breathing correctly at home?
The yogic breathing or pranayama is a key component of yoga theory and practice. Pranayama is, along with the asanas (postures), an accessible method to start with yoga practice and take the path that leads to be wisely self-centred.
“Pranayama” is the union of “prana” and “ayama”.
The term prana means vital energy and ayama is strectching, widening.
Prana is the human being vital energy, it comes to the origin of the human beings and leaves us at the time of death.
The breath is the expression of prana, the expression of life, so anything that affects the breathing also affects prana, as between the two there is a direct connection.
Pranayama is considered the most effective of all the methods of purification and if practiced
correctly can have really positive results that profoundly affect man on various levels.
In yoga you can experience the breath in different ways, whether it is perceived as spontaneous activity or whether you manipulate it using the accessory muscles and of inspiration and expiration.
Without going in deepth of pranayama, I suggest anyone to start under the guidance of an experienced and patient teacher. Here are some simple tips to improve your breathing.
First of all I would like to point out that where there is tension breathing tends not to expand with fluidity and continuity, so the first step is to listen to your body and then make deep breaths, exhaling deeply and consciously,
In this way we can relieve a lot of tension. I would recommend to a neo-practitioner to take a lying comfortable position, feeling your interior space, which is filled up and then becomes empty. This is an important exercise to become aware of the breathing energy in a certain space. After a little time maintaining this comfortable,relaxed position you can add some opening movements with the arms, relaxing the shoulders and using muscles to slowly get to a broader and free breathing. At this
point something changes, moves and flows!
We can learn so much by observing carefully while a baby is sleeping peacefully. His whole body participates in breathing, expanding during inhalation, as
there are no muscle contractions at all!
Tell us about yoga as a way of more natural life hygiene?
The first step may just be the sincere intention of taking care of yourself with joy. Taking care of yourself helps to feel closer to our inner nature, becoming capable to participate with less attachment to everything that surrounds us. A regular practice helps to remove impurities that would prevent from getting the clear perception of life.
“Sitting in silence” is a form of self-education, through which we can improve our vision of life, making it distortion-free.Our mind usually evaluates, compares and judges. This is a bad habit .
“Sitting in silence” is a space to meet ourselves, listen to our body, calm the mind, develop an awareness of ourselves, of our physical and mental mechanisms .
At this point for a healthy lifestyle would recommend a regular training, starting from SURYA Namaskara, or sun salutation, one of the most successful exercise among the practitioners of yoga.
In sun salutation there are twelve dynamic passages that give rise to twelve different positions of elongation with a consequential practice that promotes a harmonious and natural feeling of well being. Ten minutes every morning will change you in a couple of months, you will feel a great vitality, energy and beauty.
You often arrange seminars for practice and relaxation in the quiet of nature. What are your next projects?
The next events to practice will be held in a special place, a stone cottage, isolated in the countryside of beautiful Portofino area. Here, in the house of Shakti women of any age will meet in order to rebalance their psycho-physical energy through a practice of breathing and movement that enhances their natural intelligence and beauty.
Each meeting will be a unique opportunity to discover the art of being fully you through yoga, movement, breath, harmony with the elements and self-care.
To deepen the topics or start your practice, please contact:
Shakti Yoga Center in Genoa
Via San Lorenzo 25 – 23/int
Tel. +39 010 593414