by SWETHA MADHAVA
What do you get when you choose nature as your teacher? synergy, connection and respect towards all. We are going to learn about one such remarkable account through the story of Roberto Milletti, world’s renowned leader and one of the 14 Yoga Alliance International Australia masters, as well as Francesca Cassia, an acclaimed international yoga teacher who dedicated her life to the empowering and transformative process of yoga. Together they founded Odaka Yoga, an innovative version of Yoga.
Odaka Yoga is a transformation, a movement in itself. Odaka embodies the rhythm of the ocean, liberally and dynamically re-adapted to the human body. It is an unprecedented form of yoga developed from the union between wave motion of the ocean and martial arts, infused into traditional yoga practice. It is a lifestyle that helps achieve synergy, synchronicity, mindfulness, a deep connection and respect for nature and all living things.
The Odaka methodology reawakens the intelligence of our bodies by nurturing us to adopt rhythmic yogic movements combined with the alertness of the warrior mind. This enables adaptation of the body to the natural flow of the practice and simultaneously reviving our inner strength. Specific progressions are created for targeted areas of the body while keeping in line, postural alignment in order to attain tension and injury free sessions. During the practice, muscles get activated with functional movements, wrenching out all and any indications of tension. The movement further promotes strengthening and elongation. Strength may be defined as the ability to act, balance and adapt to circumstances: this is a precious gift found in Odaka Yoga which comes from martial arts.
The practice becomes a perpetual wave-like motion, uninterrupted between one pose and another. This allows coherence and dissolves any physical, mental and emotional tension by keeping the mind soothingly engaged and alert with immediate action. Odaka reaffirms that the movement and transition are as important as achieving the pose itself. These aspects of Odaka Yoga help break barriers or limiting beliefs because emotional flexibility opens one up to endless possibilities for both body and mind. Once transformation occurs, restraints, habitual patterns of movement, and thoughts dissolve and create space for a new balance and inner strength.
For Roberto and Francesca, yoga is a way of living, energy in motion and their zeal to share and teach this methodology has produced a vast transformation for people worldwide. Odaka’s core belief, applied by both Roberto and Francesca, is yoga practice on and off the mat and so 17 countries (Oman soon to join the community), 70 schools and hundreds of teachers later, Odaka method now has transformed into Odaka movement, captivating teachers and students alike. Odaka today has become a real community owing to the interest it has conjured, transformation it has made possible and the people it has brought together no matter the background, the country or community, creating an international network of events and possibilities.
Every individual Odaka pose is a significant part of the whole dance, flowing with ease as a liquid would, allowing a merge into oneself and becoming one. Throughout the practice, a sense of freedom and emancipation is experienced, opening avenues to discover renewed forms, strength and flexibility within oneself. Odaka truly embraces the rhythm of water in an unceasing flow, never stagnating and taking any and all forms, standing true to its mantra: “Liquify your limits and flow with me”.