Teacher Spotlight: Clotilde Pisapia

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Teacher Spotlight: Clotilde Pisapia
photo credits: @itsbeckys_


This month we introduce you to Rocket Yoga teacher Clotilde Pisapia from Rome, Italy. Her teaching philosophy is to inspire perseverance and individuality, incorporating elements from various disciplines while always using the power of music in classes. Rocket Yoga's unique, energetic sequences promote strength, flexibility, and community, and make it a transformative practice both on and off the mat.


Meet Clotilde

My name is Clotilde Pisapia, I practice with the Manduka PRO and PROlite yoga mats the most but I love also the eKO yoga mat. Manduka was the first mat I bought when I started practicing, but over time I tried many different yoga mats and I still come back to my first love. Now I have several of them because it’s the only one I suggest and use for my personal practice. 

Before graduating I wanted to be a racecar driver… I participated in races and won some awards but my father made me stop to focus on graduating. I pursued a career as an architect and meanwhile had two children, when I felt the need for change I discovered cake design and designed cakes for 10 years. Afterwards, I dusted off my passion for photography and became a photographer working as a still photographer on film sets. During this time, I fell in love with yoga and now specialize in Rocket Yoga. Putting both passions together, I now specialize in Yoga Photography because to have the right shoots you need a photographer who also knows about Yoga! 

How did you find yoga and what was your path from student to teacher?

I love sport since I was a child but I discovered yoga when I “grew up”. I already tried many years ago but I didn’t like it because I thought it was boring and I struggled to stretch, maybe because It wasn’t the right lesson for me… Then, finally convinced by a friend, I tried a dynamic class again and it was love! After practicing for about two years I realized that I wanted to know more and from there I started my path that continues even now. I completed my first teacher training, then I continued with specializations by attending training courses as soon as I could, both of Vinyasa and Rocket, and lately I have also been passionate about the Awakening of Patrick Beach.

Do you have any tips for balancing your personal practice and teaching?

The first rock you encounter when you start teaching is to understand when to practice for yourself. Teaching and demonstrating is possible but especially those who teach physically challenging dynamic practices, often have no more strength to do anything else especially when you do more lessons during the day and consequently during the week! That’s why while I teach I try as much as possible to give verbal indications not to show every single movement. At the beginning it is difficult not to be crushed by fatigue but with the passage of time everyone finds his own size.

What initially intrigued you about Rocket Yoga, and how did you come to specialize in it?

I discovered Rocket Yoga while I was doing my first training course. In Italy, especially in Rome, almost no one taught it but it was love at first sight! Even though I didn’t know the yogic philosophy yet, I knew immediately that it would be my way. I fell in love with the energy that was transmitted to me, the perfect marriage between madness and rigor, between dynamism and introspection in the breath. So, as soon as it was possible I took my first training course, followed by many others, like a few months ago with David Kyle where I became a mentor. 

What’s your approach/philosophy to your teaching?

I try to convey to my students the love for the practice by putting all of myself into teaching. Once I read a phrase that said, "don't be a yoga teacher be yourself and teach yoga". That’s what I try to do every day! I try to bring my experience to help others and lead as an example. We are all different, each is special in its own way and we must never feel inferior to someone else! Not everyone is born flexible or physically capable. Everything comes with perseverance and dedication. As for me, I had to work a lot but in the end many things that seemed impossible before now are within my reach. Many still seem unattainable to me, but the beauty is this: it is the path that will not necessarily lead to what we dream... It may never come, but this is also yoga, acceptance and letting go. That’s why in my yoga classes I like to include elements that are not really typical to yoga but that derive from other sports and from other disciplines. For example, I can’t teach without music. Music is part of me, it helps me not to be ashamed of my voice when I explain, it keeps me company and supports me.

How would you describe the essence or philosophy of Rocket Yoga to someone who's new to the practice?

Rocket Yoga is a dynamic, powerful and creative Vinyasa. A perfect mix between experimentation and tradition. For me, Rocket Yoga is experimentation, sweat, madness, happiness for what you can do, frustration for what you can’t do, strength and lightness, freedom and alignment at the same time. Thanks to Rocket I met people from all over the world, I made new friends and established existing relationships. We at Rocket are a family destined to expand.

What sets Rocket Yoga apart from other yoga styles, in your opinion?

Rocket Yoga is characterized by an energetic sequence of Asanas of strength, flexibility and balance designed to awaken the nervous system and promote experimentation. The great thing is that even if you have a fixed sequence you can change it depending on the type of class we have and the impression we want to give to the lesson. For example, if we have a class of beginners we can make a slower lesson and change each asana with its simplest variant. This way in the same class will coexist beginners and experts.

How has your own experience with Rocket Yoga influenced your teaching style?

The rocket training that I had greatly influenced the way I teach. Even when I teach other styles of yoga I can not help but insert things typical to Rocket Yoga. Remember that Rocket comes from Ashtanga, so it’s nice to be able to reinterpret the tradition giving it a personal and creative signature.

Could you walk us through a typical Rocket Yoga sequence, highlighting key postures and transitions?

The class begins with some series of breaths and Sun Salutations. Larry Schulz the creator of Rocket yoga, created fixed sequences. What Larry wanted to do was make ashtanga accessible to everyone. There are many transitions fun and challenging even handstands, but remember that it is not said that to participate in a rocket class you have to know how to do the handstand! As I said before each student will adapt the practice to their level of experience while having fun too.

From your perspective, what are the most significant physical, mental, and emotional benefits of a consistent Rocket Yoga practice?

Larry Shultz said “Rocket, because it gets you there faster”…practice rocket constantly will transform the body a lot. The Rocket invigorates both physically and mentally, strengthens and stretches us at the same time, calms the mind through breathing but at the same time is stimulating. Day after day, practice after practice, we will see how many things we will be able to do. Larry said, “you’re stronger than you think”.

In what ways have you personally found Rocket Yoga philosophy applicable beyond the yoga studio?

Rocket and Yoga in absolute taught me how to deal with many aspects of life: do not give up but accept even where you can not get, try because maybe we are not ready at that time but we will then! And yoga is a continuous journey.

For readers interested in exploring Rocket Yoga further, what advice or resources would you recommend to them? Are there any particular workshops, books, or online resources you suggest for deepening one's understanding of Rocket Yoga?

The advice I would give to those interested in trying a rocket class is to try different teachers to learn from each of them. Each of them has something to give, each has his own approach, his own style. Also now around the world there are many masterclass and work shops to start learning! And if you want to read something about it you will find the book that David Kyle wrote recently: Rocket® Yoga: Your Guide to Progressive Ashtanga Vinyasa.

What final thoughts or messages would you like to share with readers who are curious about Rocket Yoga or considering incorporating it into their practice?

What are you waiting for?

Connect with Clotilde 

Follow Clotilde on Instagram here or via her website. Take a Rocket Yoga class with her at RYOGA in Rome, Italy here



Sharing good vibes + the best mats, apparel and yoga gear since 1997.

Sharing good vibes + the best mats, apparel and yoga gear since 1997. #inspirethepractice