Tommy Sguanci is from Italy originally and now lives full time and teaches yoga and meditation in Ireland.
He was initially drawn to meditation and the spiritual life. He spent 7 years as a monk in Florence with a religious community Ricostruttori nella Preghiera.
Tommy found that the daily meditation helped the restless mind to calm down and relax. Over time this actually changed his approach to life and he found that he was better able to ‘let go’ and simply ‘be’ in the present moment.
When one meets Tommy one can feel his inner calm and love for all. He is in the present moment and he invites us into this space of calmness and simply “being”, and allows our external cares and preoccupations to drift away.
He began his own self-practice of hatha yoga in 2003 and felt that it encompassed a complete way of life which included yoga postures, relaxation, mind focussing and cleansing techniques, diet, moral rules, approach to life and meditation.
He felt that “meditation is the key to disclose the inner powers hidden in our souls” and this inspired his regular self-practice of yoga and meditation.
As the years of self-practice progressed, through stretching the limbs and spine with awareness and connecting it with the breath, gave Tommy the ability to tune inwards more deeply and to get in touch with the effects of the practice on the nervous system and the endocrine system and also to get in touch with the meridians (energy lines) and chakras.
This led Tommy to undertake study and practice in Shiatsu and to go to Japan to study directly with Susumu Kimura Sensei who is one of the disciples of Shizuto Masunaga. He specialised in many areas such as back pain, emotional diseases and IOKAI techniques.
Tommy also trained in Thai Massage where the therapist moves and manipulates the body of the person and produces similar stretches and pressures to those brought about through yoga practice. He continues to practice Thai Massage as well as Shiatsu as well as teaching yoga and meditation.
His first yoga teacher training course in Florence with Ilaria D’Urbano and saw this simply as another stepping stone in his path towards self-realization. He continued to go to other yoga workshops and as well as practicing Hatha yoga which he feels most drawn to, he also explored Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, Iyengar and Yin yoga as well as pranayama, meditation and Kriyas.
He did a second yoga teacher training course in Rishikesh in India led by Scarlett Dee Mehigan.
Tommy taught meditation as well as yoga over the years and attended a one week retreat every year for 8 years. These week long retreats were important for him to immerse himself in practice for himself, rather than teaching to others.
His classes are a combination of breath-work (Pranayama), Hatha yoga, relaxation and meditation. He uses the breath to help you to go deeper into the poses and also gives some guidance about the benefits of the posture as well as which chakras and glands are being affected by the postures. He also uses his Iyengar yoga experience to give guidance on the alignment in the posture.
He keeps the mood of the class quite light and uses humour so that one can feel more joyful instead of being too serious.
Tommy sees the benefits of yoga to gain and improve awareness of the body, balance the endocrine and nervous system, remove energy blocks and to improve the healthy functioning of the body including digestion, blood pressure and many other benefits including flexibility , strength, losing weight and also to –self-cure small to medium injuries or imbalances in the body. The benefits also affect the mind and brain waves, helping it to let go of anxiety and stress and to improve one’s concentration, improve one’s mood and emotions and to help develop a Zen like approach to life.
He believes that yoga and meditation are for everybody… no matter what your age, your level of fitness, and he welcomes everybody to his classes and adapts the postures to each person’s own ability and needs.