photo © ottavia poli
Michèle Anne Barocchi, MPH PhD
Teacher and Founder of It’s Yoga Firenze
Certified Vedic Chant Teacher
Certified Transformational Breath Facilitator & Group Leader
Michèle Anne Barocchi has, in her own words, ‘been on quite a journey’. A journey very much dedicated to working with the human body and its ability to heal itself, it began when she was a doctorate student specializing in Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the University of California in Berkeley. Being a grad student was a stressful life, and when she found a regular Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice at a small studio in the Haight District of San Francisco,
She also found that she had gained a simple but powerful tool to connect. The year 2003 marked both her PhD graduation and her introduction to the It’s Yoga community, when she made the life changing decision to attend the It’s Yoga 200hr Teacher Training program with Larry Schultz, in San Francisco. The simplicity and effectiveness of his philosophy inspired her to share the love by opening It’s Yoga Firenze upon her move to Florence, Italy, in 2004, out of which a local and international community has since flourished. Yoga saved her life on more than one occasion, and as such she is passionate about supporting others in seeking union and connection to all things through the practice.
Trained in Ashtanga, Yin and Restorative Yoga, she holds a Yoga Alliance 500hr certification (E-RYT500) and is actively involved in supporting the vision of It’sYoga International through her work as a contact facilitator, supporting current and future IY schools and affiliates in Europe.
It was in August of 2015 that Michèle first experienced just how powerful this training - and her breath - was, when she was in a nearly fatal accident - caused by an oncoming car - which ended with her left leg having to be amputated. Knowing how to breathe was what saved her life - and the consequences of the event, leaving her bed-bound for 8 months, led her to exploring other ways to connect and heal, this time without moving her physical body.
She began to chant, eventually training with Menaka Desikachar - Krishnamacharya’s first woman student - through the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation, becoming a Certified Vedic Chant Teacher. The practice allowed her to keep tuning into a Higher Source at a time when a yoga asana practice was unthinkable; and even though she has since returned to her yoga mat (still standing on her hands!), she continues to chant with her teacher every week.
A year after the event, Transformational Breath® came into her life, supporting her on her journey towards self-empowerment; away from an unhealthy relationship and any remaining victim consciousness, and in this way, the breath saved her life once again. She soon completed the Professional training program to become a Transformational Breath® Facilitator - she has also studied healing practices with Amazonian tribes and the Paqo Andinos (Despacho Rituals) of Holy Mountain Traditions in Peru. It is her mission as a facilitator of these practices to support others in having the tools to heal - tools we can learn and understand for ourselves, so that we may be independent in our own journey of transformation.
It’s not what happens to you, but what you do with it that is important.