Francesca, Chiara, Nina, Maria Elena, Christine, Elisa, Milena, Antoine
The teachers at the Ashtanga Space Shala Brussels are all qualified, have been practicing Aṣṭāṅga daily for a number of years and are committed to teach this method in the traditional way, without changing the order or modifying the sequence of āsanas (postures).
Francesca Di Rosso
Founder of the Ashtanga Space Brussels, senior student of Nancy Gilgoff (House of Yoga and Zen, Maui, Hawaii), authorised by Manju Jois to teach primary, intermediate and third series (advanced A).
Francesca started studying yoga in 2003 in Brussels, then deepened her practice in Ireland (Clare Island) with Ciara Cullen and Christophe Mouze. She is a senior student of Nancy Gilgoff (http://www.ashtangamaui.com/ ), one of the first Western women who studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore (South India) in the Seventies (1972/73) and who was part of the first group of yoga students that brought Ashtanga to the West. Francesca has been studying extensively with Nancy in Goa (India), in several locations in Europe and on Maui (Hawaii) where Nancy lives. She took part in many of Nancy's workshops, followed two Primary Series Adjustment Clinics and one Second Series Adjustment Clinic in Okinawa (Japan) acquiring thousands of direct contact teaching hours from Nancy. Francesca assisted Nancy when she came to teach in Brussels in June 2013 and 2014 and has received Nancy's blessing to teach. Francesca has also completed two Third Series workshops with Nancy, one at The House of Yoga and Zen on Maui (Hawaii) in February 2016 and the other at the Ashtanga Studio of Andrea Lutz in Berlin in September 2017.
Francesca believes in the importance of paramparā (परम्परा), where knowledge is passed on from teacher to student and she teaches the way Nancy taught her. Francesca is a dedicated Ashtanga practitioner, passionate about her own practice and proud to be able to share this living tradition with her students.
Francesca has also completed Manju Jois'teacher trainings (primary and intermediate) in 2014 and 2015 and keeps studying with Manju when he comes to Europe. Francesca also assisted Manju when he came to teach in Brussels in 2016. In 2019, Manju authorised Francesca to teach primary and intermediate series and advanced A (third series).
She also had the privilege of assisting David Swenson when he taught at the Ashtanga Space Brussels in 2016 and 2018.
Francesca is currently studying Vedic chanting with Veda studies www.vedastudies.com/
Moreover, she has successfully completed the 'Yoga philosophy', the 'Bhagavad Gita' and the 'Samkhya and Vedanta' courses, the 'Hindu temples' art history course, the 'History of yoga' course and has also successfully completed the whole Sanskrit course (11 levels, advanced) with prof. Zoë Slatoff at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is now continuing her Sankrit studies with Prof. Zoë Slatoff.
Francesca is also studying Vedanta with Neema Majmudar and Surya Tahora www.discovervedanta.com
Francesca is a qualified cranio sacral therapist (Upledger Institute) for adults, children, babies, conception, pregnancy and birth (CST-T , SER1, PED1 and 2, CCPB), for more info on this, please visit the cranio sacral page on this website or the dedicated website www.craniosacraltherapyforyou.com.
Francesca is Italian, has an MA in applied languages and conference interpreting from the University of Trieste, Italy (SLIMIT, Faculty for interpreters and translators) speaks Italian, English, French, Dutch, German and is currently learning Slovene.
Chiara discovered Ashtanga yoga in 2016 at the Ashtanga Space while searching for balance in her hectic life as a lawyer. From that moment on, she understood that Ashtanga was exactly what she had been looking for for a while. The feeling of energy and peace emerging from the practice was a turning point.
Chiara is a dedicated and passionate practitioner and Francesca is her main teacher. She has also had several opportunities to deepen her practice with other great teachers such as Nancy Gilgoff, Manju Jois, David Swenson and Kristina Karitinou-Ireland. She completed Nancy Gilgoff's Primary Series Adjustment Clinic in September 2018 in Vienna and also successfully completed her teacher training (RYT200) in the Netherlands in June 2019. Ayurveda is also among her main interests.
Chiara started assisting Francesca in the Shala in 2018. “Yoga started as something for the body and, eventually, transformed my entire lifestyle and the world around me. I would like to spread this around me, so that others can enjoy it too.”
Nina started practicing Aṣṭāṅga Yoga in 2014. The practice became a priority in her daily life and has had a huge impact on handling her emotions and on feeling healthy and self-conscious.
Since her encounter with Francesca, who became her main teacher in 2016, she started focusing more deeply on the eight limbs of yoga as an entire life philosophy.
She reinforced her dedication to the practice by attending many workshops with well known teachers like Manju Jois, David Swenson, Peter Sanson, Sharmila Desai and Vijay Kumar.
In 2019 she practiced in Mysore, India, with Saraswathi Jois and studied the Yoga Sutras with Arvind Pare.
She also completed a 15-hours Anatomy Teacher Training Course with Melanie Cooper at The Shala in London in 2022.
In 2020 Nina started to assist at the Shala and to teach beginners' and Mysore classes.
After meeting Petri Räisänen in 2021, he became her second main teacher and she has been following him throughout Europe since then. Nina has assisted Petri in several workshops and retreats since 2023.
Maria-Elena was first introduced to yoga in 2002, while living abroad as a humanitarian worker. She discovered ashtanga yoga two years later and it was a revelation: never before had she felt so energised after physical practice. It was however only in 2016, when returning to Brussels and joining Francesca’s Shala, that she progressively started practicing daily; ashtanga yoga quickly became a central feature in her life.
Since then, to deepen her practice, Maria-Elena has attended several workshops by internationally renowned teachers. She has started studying the Yoga Sutras and mantra chanting. In 2021, she completed a 200-hour-teacher training with Gregor Maehle and Monica Gauci.
In 2022, Maria-Elena has started assisting Francesca at the Shala and is now teaching Mysore classes.
Christine started Ashtanga Yoga back in 2010 with Francesca at the Ashtanga Space. From that moment on, Ashtanga Yoga has been an entire part of her live, giving her profound joy and inner peace. While Francesca is and remains her main teacher, Christine has had the opportunity to train and deepen her practice with international renowned teachers such as Petri Räisänen, Nancy Gilgoff, Saraswati Jois, Manju Jois and Peter Swenson. She has also followed a clinical course in Ayurveda and several meditation trainings, the latest one being a week of Vipassana. In 2023, Christine started assisting Francesca with beginners' classes and Mysore.
I started practicing Haṭha yoga in 2000 in Udine (Italy), my home town. I remember vividly the name of my first teacher, Gigliola, and the sense of peace that her classes gave me. Through Gigliola, I went on to study the teachings of Ram Prakash Sharma Yogi on non-attachment. I then moved to Brussels and went on to study drama, which I did for several years and this allowed me to enquire deeply into body and movement, especially through organic movement classes held by Béatrice Godenir at the Kleine Academie in Brussels (2008-2011). I also followed an in-depth study on how to use my voice with the Maestro Marco Toller (Lichtenberger method, or Functional Voice training). In 2009 I met Francesca and I started practicing Aṣṭāṅga Yoga on a daily basis. I started studying with Nancy Gilgoff, Francesca’s teacher, in 2011 and began assisting in the Shala in 2012. Slowly but steadily, the practice became a real passion for me and an integral part of my life. After having two daughters in 2014 and 2017, I took a small break from the teaching, in order to be able to look after them full time. As my daughters are now growing, I have now more time for my practice, which gives me huge happiness, and I am also going back to teach in the Shala with great joy.
Milena's journey with yoga began in an Iyengar's yoga studio in her hometown of Warsaw, where she searched for a solution for a persistent back pain caused by years of piano playing. Over the years, yoga intermittently weaved in and out of her life. In 2021, she came across Ashtanga Yoga and was immediately captivated by its approach. Since then, she has regularly practiced at the Yoga Republic studio in Warsaw, with Przemek Nadolny as her primary teacher. She started exploring the eight limbs of yoga, discovering that they closely resonated with her core values and beliefs. In 2022 she relocated from Poland to Belgium, where she continued her yoga journey at The Ashtanga Space under the guidance of Francesca, Nina and Chiara. To complement her practice, she embarked on a Yoga Alliance registered Teacher Training in Brussels (RYS 200) and immersed herself in a Yin Yoga Teacher Training Course, which completed in October 2023. These pursuits have deepened her understanding of yoga philosophy and anatomy. Ashtanga Yoga has now become an integral part of her life, helping her to maintain a healthy relationship with her body and mind. Milena is now teaching the beginners'courses at the Shala.
Antoine started practicing Ashtanga Yoga in 2021 at The Ashtanga Space.
From scratch he developed the discipline for self practice and started attending Mysore classes with Francesca, Nina and Chiara.
While discovering how yoga can have a calming impact on his everyday life, he also developed an interest in pranayama and vedic chanting.
In 2023 he attended his first yoga workshop with Petri Räisänen.
Antoine is starting teaching beginners classes at The Ashtanga Space this year, 2024.
Picture 'Mahatma Gandhi' taken by Francesca in Ahmedabad, Gujarat (India) in August 2018