Hello everyone! Today I am introducing you to Monica Piacenza, a yogi traveller that I have discovered on Instagram.
I am interviewing her today because I think that her journey is really inspiring and I have always been wondering since getting my Yoga Teacher Training how it was possible to travel, teach yoga and be paid while doing so! I have learned a lot with Monica’s journey and I hope you will find value in it too! Enjoy!
What does yoga mean for you after few years of practice?
Yoga for me goes beyond what we can do on the mat, yoga is a philosophy, a way to behave and act in which we find harmony with the rest of the living beings, it’s a practice that help us become our better selves everyday not only in the physical aspect but as well as the moral and intellectual. It makes us connect with our higher self,brining the divine on to humans doing so by strengthening the connection between the body mind and soul trough the daily practice of Asanas, pranayama and meditation. Yoga is to put at ease the restless mind, but at the same time always keeping it active and never lethargic mode. It’s my cure, it’s my reset when I become overwhelmed, it’s my way to be present. Yoga has become my everyday companion. Always keeping me humble, connected and thankful.
Although, some of us follow you daily on Instagram, can you describe us your overall yogi journey?
I First started practicing yoga because I knew it’s benefits for the body but I could never imagine how much deeper inside of me it will reach one day.
The first time I thought I was going to a stretching class after surfing, but then I realized it was much more than that, I was practicing an ancient method to reconnect with my true self and finally bring harmony and peace to my mind and therefore my life.
Now yoga follows where I go it’s always there weather I’m on the mat or not , the way I behave and interact with this world it’s ruled by Yoga.
What’s your focus at the moment?
For others my main focus right now is to teach and help people connect with themselves again, to make them feel as good as possible and for them to see more on yoga than the Asanas and pranayama. I want to help people be present.
But for myself my main focus is to keep learning the vast world of yoga I want to increase my knowledge on how to better my practice and become a higher ationa being.
Always keep rising and growing.
How long have you been teaching and what about your yoga teacher journey?
I started teaching Hatha Yoga on March of 2019 after taking My YTTC of 200hrs in Sthira Chitta Yoga in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.
Before that I was practicing yoga for 5 years.
Do you have some tips for the yoga teachers out there starting?
Please don’t sell yourself on things like beer yoga or western ideas like that just to sell more spots on the class. For me yoga is an ancient practice that has to be practice with responsibility and respect. Please keep it real and be genuine, practice what you preach, be kind and compassionate.
Share the love.
Who inspires you?
Many people inspire me my two teachers Bhakti and Seba who truly introduced me into the real world of yoga, all my yoga instructor friends that have been next to me giving me advice and helping me grow since the beginning.
Im not the type of person that will idealize someone from social media without meeting them first but there is one person that looks super genuine to me, inspires me to be a better human and I always leave their feed with a good feeling inside is Allie Michelle, she is a poet a yogi and a beautiful soul I believe is worth it to go check her out.
( fav poem from her : LOVE IS )
Which yoga teacher trainings have you done that you would recommend?
For now I’ve only done the Sthira Chitta Yoga of 200hrs in Cabarete which was amazing but I’m looking forward to go spend some time in India and take some more there.
I’m a huge reader and I’d love to know what is or what are the books that helped you grow on your yogi journey?
I’m a big reader too and I just bought so many Yoga books from a friend that was leaving the Dominican Republic but to be completely honest I’ve been moving lately , now I’m in Italy and most of my books stayed in DR, I can’t wait to get my hands and eyes on them tho! I read the Light on life – B.K.S Iyengar before doing my YTTC and absolutely loved it so much information and so valuable best book to understand some concepts before the course, Highly recommend it.
Also I have some self growth titles I absolutely recommend to you:
1. Mastery of love – Don Miguel Ruiz
2. The four agreements- Don Miguel Ruiz
3. Spirit Junkie – Gabrielle Bernstein
Although these are not titles directly related to the yoga practices on the mat they have a huge relationship with the moral realms of yoga, they teach and explain the harmony of living a life ruled by love instead of fear and to stay truthful to your real self.
How often do you travel and what are your favorite things to do when you travel?
I could say I travel quite often, spending usually the summer in Italy and the winter somewhere tropical with good waves and fresh coconuts. It all started for the ache of finding better waves and see new landscapes but I came to understand the true essence of traveling, The growth.
Becoming comfortable in the uncomfortable, mastering adaptation and before of all the change that makes you come out of your comfort zone. This is where the true growth happens, the secret lays within a never ending stimulating process in which we must constantly adapt and learn.
One of the things I love to do the most when I travel is definitely surf, actually to be completely honest I pretty much base all my travels on the waves.
But the ultimate experience of when I travel is by far the exchange of culture, to learn new languages and ways of living , taste new foods, smell new species it makes me feel a kid again when everything is new, I find that te most amusing part of traveling.
As yourself, I’m a huuuuge love of the sea and beautiful beaches, can you tell me what are your favorite places in the world?
Well as a surfer I’ve always felt at home near the sea, I need it in my life and even some days away from the ocean make me crave it.
I can’t think of a destination I’ve gone that is not on the coast line or an island.
From the first moment think it was written somewhere as I was born in an island named Los Roques in Venezuela. From there, I moved a lot but I’ve always find my way back to the sea.
My favorite place of all is and I think it will always be my home island
Los Roques, a beautiful turquoise water paradise, perfect for water sports and observing the wild nature.
Among my favorite places there is also my present home Cabarete in Dominican Republic, a great spot for water sports and enjoy the Caribbean beaches.
Do you find it hard to find spots to teach when you go abroad?
I was teaching in my home town Cabarete for about a month and now just came to Italy, I will be giving my first class here tomorrow and I’m so exited to see what the rest of this adventure of teaching yoga around the world will be!
Can you tell us more about your Gypsea jewelry?
I’m so glad you asked! Thank you! Gypsea it’s a dream that came true.
I created my jewelry line when I came out from high school and honestly it started just for fun, I would take walks on the beach after surf and pick up some shells and then I would make myself some pieces with them, People started to like the idea of sea inspired body jewelry and leg jewelry, so I kept creating and designing new pieces to add to the collection as well.
Now the line has something from the ocean for every sea soul out there, we have more traditional jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, some pieces in silver as bangles and rings but still make custom body jewelry for those occasions that require something more eccentric.
And finally, what’s next in your projects?
Well at the moment I’m in Italy for the summer teaching yoga, but next is for sure somewhere wavy and warm with my boyfriend, we were thinking Bali.
then who knows from there where we will go.