Cinzia Rinzivillo came to Pune from Italy in 2006 and from there she began her journey on the path of Yoga. “I never saw it coming. I have always been very open-minded so I decided to give Yoga a try and now it’s my passion,” she explains.
When Rinzivillo settled into the city with her husband, she thought learning Yoga would be a good way for her to pass her time. “I thought well, I’m in India so why not try Yoga!” she laughs. She did not expect it to become a major part of her life and most importantly, she did not expect to start teaching the art to others.
Rinzivillo has learnt Yoga from two different schools of thought. She initially studied at the Iyengar Institute and later on at she learnt the Ashtanga Vinyasa form of Yoga. Both schools teach differently and Rinzivillo does not want to confine herself to one particular style. “I teach my students a variety of exercises and I don’t just stick to a certain way. There are times when I want to just stretch and relax but there are also times when I want to sweat it out and work on building my strength,” she says. She has received the Yoga Alliance certification for having completed 500 hours of training. She has also learnt how to use Yoga as a therapy to comfort joint pains and other physical ailments.
“Yoga has given me so much in life. I am much more confident. It’s such an achievement when I can master a posture that I had been struggling with earlier. It really boosts the self-esteem and I love to hear the sound of breathing while I practice,” she describes.
The 42-year-old has also learnt how to read and write Hindi in order to understand and pronounce the names of all the asanas. “I have studied Latin and Greek, and I love languages so I was very interested in studying Hindi,” she says, adding: “I feel it is better to teach the asanas with the designated name as it helps the students understand it better.”
On the commercialisation of Yoga, Rinzivillo agrees that there are not many places that take a realistic approach while teaching. “I see so many people coming to India and looking for something that only exists in the stereotypical image that is painted of this country,” she states.
It has been more than 10 years since Rinzivillo came to Pune. She has seen it change from a quiet little place to a bustling city where the traffic is ever-increasing. “I love the weather here and I sure do love the people but sometimes it can get overwhelming and the senses can get bombarded,” she narrates. Though, she does credit the city for introducing her to Yoga.
Open-minded and determined to continue her practice, Cinzia Rinzivillo hopes to start her own Yoga centre soon. “I think it’s time. And I hope that in my next life I can still be able to practice yoga but from an earlier age,” she says with a smile as she signs off.
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