Yoga in Rome {Ryoga}

Yoga in Rome

It might be hard to imagine if you watch my Instagram stories which can make it seem like all I do it drink coffee and eat plates of pasta, but before I moved to Rome I was a pretty serious yogini. I had a regular ashtanga-ish practice with a community of women from around the world. My day started at first light in the international school gym that we were granted access to for the first class period of the day. Zimbabwe in the early 2000's was not always the most fun place to be. My husband traveled all. the. time. My household staff was ravaged by HIV, those being the days before access to ARVs. Security dwindled, currency crashed and staple supplies vanished. My yoga practice and those women were my foundation and solace.

and then I moved to Rome.

My daily life improved by at least a thousand degrees, but I struggled to find a yoga community and a practice that I enjoyed. Bikram made me feel fantastic, but the studio was cramped and the environment harsh. There were brief periods with passionate teachers and delicious tea drinking sessions, but for the most part the other studios I tried were in dank basements and were gentle practices that involved a lot of people in white sitting quietly and breathing. They were also usually late in the afternoon or early evening which were terrible, inconvenient times for the Mama of a middle schooler.

So I gave in, like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love, and rolled up my mat and took to pounding the cobblestones and soaking in Rome for my exercise and practice.

It is now 2014. The middle schooler is a teenager who is about to leave home and certainly does not need Mama waiting to pick him up from the school bus anymore and there is finally a real yoga studio in Rome. Ryoga is that real yoga studio. No mirrors. Soft lighting. Beautifully designed space. Friendly and knowledgeable teachers. And classes that kick my butt without making me cry.

There are classes seven days a week and there are plenty of styles to chose from. There are intense flow classes and a deceiving gentle (it's really not) pilates mat class. The hot yoga room uses infared heat which is lifechangingly different from an oppressive Bikram class.

So I am back on the mat. Ready to take on 2014 and all the changes it will bring.

via Servio Truilio 20


  1. Oooh yay for you Gillian. It takes courage to get back on the mat after an absence--even if we know that it is good for us! My problem(s) here in Arles is that there are yoga classes but a) I am still too in my head to take classes in French and b) from what I understand they are of the "meditation and relaxation" genre. I grew up (my Mom was a teacher) with Iyengar so I am on my own. I have been using My Yoga Online for awhile now (and YogaToday before that) but of course it isn't the same as being in a live class--especially as I keep taking classes that are only 20 minutes long--d'oh! :)

    1. Thank you for your supportive words Heather. I feels good to be back. I totally hear you about the language thing. I know just enough Italian to get the gist but not enough that I can't tune it out :) I'll check out my Yoga Online. My pal Elizabeth loves for online classes.

  2. Great post, Gillian and thanks for the recommendation!

  3. What a great way to start your day. I love yoga and do it my home..

    Learn Reiki


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