Aprils Yogi of the Month is one of the sweetest, kindest, most gentle ladies I have ever met, but take her class and you see her tough side. Bianca d’Errico is loved for her high intensity teaching and classes. She is humble beyond words, yet has a gift and practice to be shared with the world. If you haven’t taken a class with Bianca it is really time you do. Here is a little about her and her journey.
To me yoga means transformation. In so many ways that is what happens to a person when they embark on a journey of the mind, body, spirit. You are able to realize things that you may never have known or considered before about yourself, others and the world around you. Its an introspective adventure every time you make a move and there is always so much to learn.
2 When did you start yoga and how did that come to be?
I started doing yoga about 3 years ago. My best friend begged me to try hot yoga with her because she thought it would help my body feel better from injuries sustained in a car accident. The rest is history 🙂
3 Where and with whom did you study with?
I took my teacher training in Costa Rica through Frog Lotus International. Vidya Jacqueline Heisel was my teacher. What an amazing experience with such an incredible woman! She has only missed 2 days of yoga in over 40 years.
4 What kept you coming back to the mat and has that changed over time?
I continued with yoga after I realized I could find movement without being more sore afterwards. I began my journey because of the physical benefits, but it wasn’t until my teacher training that I realized yoga had come to my life awhile before I ever began the asanas. I continued to go back because society removes us from reality, and I find that yoga brings everything back into perspective – we are all one.
What yoga brings to my life is freedom. Its just me, my body and my breath in those moments life becomes perfect – imperfections and all. Yoga brings life into balance and it is only through that balance that love and understanding can be nurtured towards any and all things. Its not easy, but it is possible.
6 How has your practice evolved?
My practice evolves through moments. Feeling my body, adjusting, moving, settling in, breathing. I’ve tuned in with muscles I didn’t know I had. My body awareness has increased to keep me safe and its through this (and studying) that I’m able to share knowledge with students. I’ve also become absolutely ok with not being able to handstands or some arm balances! I’m proud for all that I do accomplish on my mat and I don’t even think about the things I can’t do because yoga is more than just physical movement. Practicing yoga is every single day whether I’m on the mat or not. So my real yoga practice has evolved to find kindness and compassion for all things, not just people, not just the nice things that are welcome in life – its acceptance for all things because everything is part of the ride!
7 How might you and/or your life be different if you hadn’t found Yoga?
My life would be different in that physically I would still be immobile. I was permanently disabled for many years before yoga. I still have limitations, but yoga saved my life. I wasn’t going to die, but I wasn’t living. Through movement, breath, awareness and perspective I’m able to manage my pain, have compassion for myself and be ok with my disabilities. Without yoga, I would never have accepted the only body I will ever have.
8 What is your “can’t do without” favorite pose?
My favourite yoga pose is Wild Thing! Woo! It feels so freeing and I love having my heart exposed to the universe! It just feels like a total surrender and its exciting to think what my heart is putting out there that the universe will reflect back! 🙂
9 Tell us about an asana you struggle with!!
I struggle with Warrior 1! It just takes modifications for some bodies and mine is one of them! lol
10 You inspire so many, who inspires you?
Who inspires me? Well, everyone and everything does: my friends, family, students (big time!), nasty people, breath, emotions, senses, science, philosophy, animals!, time, earth, the elements, the universe! All of it! Its all amazing and spectacular because everything, even the unwelcome things are part of life. It doesn’t take much to be happy or inspired, you just have to open up and let it all in.
For beginners to stay safe, I believe is fairly simple: honour your body. If something hurts, ease back. You don’t have to look like the person turning into a pretzel next to you, you just have to be you and happy in that place because its all you’ve got so let that be enough. Yoga is a journey through much more than asanas so give yourself time and grace…one day that pretzel might just be you, or not! And either way, that is perfectly ok 🙂
For new instructors, let it be ok when you don’t know what your elbow is called or when you tell your students to bring their feet at heart’s centre! I still do it and frankly, it’s pretty funny so if you laugh it also gives your students the opportunity to share in it! And also, teach from your heart and soul and not the words someone told you to speak. Nobody teaches like you, so do you all the time and you’ll always be genuine and unique, people know honesty so just let it flow.
13 What few steps do you think a yogi can take today to tremendously improve their practice?
To improve your yoga practice, practice yoga but deeper than that to improve on your practice, take yoga off the mat. Asanas are just one of the limbs. Let your body be your muse and wherever you struggle or excel, give yourself kindness, compassion, time and honour your body. When you find the same in your life, give yourself the like. When you live that, you’ll give others the ability to do the same. Remember that yoga isn’t just physical and transferring yoga into your life will change the world around you, maybe it’ll just be your world but isn’t that something already? Transform your practice, by transforming yourself and changing your perspective. Be open, you never know what you’ll end up receiving in any capacity!
14 Where are you teaching now and how can we find out more about you?
I currently teach at NEU Movement, Karma Yoga and Fitness and Complete Core Pilates. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I don’t have facebook, twitter or instagram so email, call ir text anytime! 🙂