Q & A with Margherita Tisato

Posted on April 23rd, 2015



We chatted with Yoga Sukhavati graduate Margherita Tisato about yoga, teaching, and how the Yoga Sukhavati 300 YTT transformed her life and practice. 

When did you start practicing yoga? How did you find yoga?

I started practicing yoga officially back in 2000, in Milan Italy, where I’m from. I say “officially” because I was studying dance at the time and my dance teacher was a yogini and incorporated a lot of breath work, seasonal practice and energy work in her teaching. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been practicing yoga for all my life!

How has the practice changed your life? 

Once I started practicing consciously, meaning once I started to differentiate my dance-art practice from my yoga practice, the more subtle benefits really started to kick in: non-competitiveness, acceptance, surrender, compassion, self-care...

What were you doing before you took your training?

Before my first training I was working as a dancer and a make-up artist: the dancer part I loved but didn’t pay. The make-up artist paid well, but was extremely taxing because of schedule and politics involved. The more I practice yoga (especially incorporating the Yamas and Niyamas, or code of conducts), and the idea of yogic ethics, the more the entertainment industry became hard to digest.

Why did you decide to take a 200-hr teacher training?

It took me a few years of dedicated practice before I decided I was ready to take a training. Even though I had been teaching dance for years at the time, the idea of leading others in such a transformative practice with all its many layers and facets was still daunting. To this date, I find teaching yoga much more intense than teaching dance or Butoh, due to the therapeutic value that these practices have.

What stands out the most about your experience from your teacher training?

My training was deeply experiential and unsettling in some ways. Lea Kraemer, my first teacher is a true seeker and opened the doors for me to explore without fear of judgment.

How has the Yoga Sukhavati training transformed your life? What are you doing now?

I became more aware of my responsibilities towards myself. More aware of the importance of finding a voice that comes from direct experience, while honoring and respecting traditions. I found the drive toward constant learning and acceptance toward constant transformation. There is no one way of doing anything, nor one fixed thing we can “sit” on and lay back, if we really walk this path. I learned to be fearless in my teaching because I learned how to teach from the heart. 

How was it to work with Leigh?

Inspiring. Humbling. Fun!

What advice would you give to someone who was on the fence about doing a 200-hour teacher training?

Be open to the experience. The mind guides us most of our lives. We can learn and memorize so much and so many books in a lifetime, but this learning will not replace the embodied experience. Frightening as it is, the sacred space Leigh creates will hold you safely to allow you to surrender to the experience.

What stood out to you about the Yoga Sukhavati 300-hour Advanced training? 

The most challenging and rewarding part of this training was the high value given to self-care and truthfulness. In a very innovative yet classical way, Yoga Sukhavati brings to light the true voice of each of its trainees in a unique and powerful way. And self-discovery is never easy!

What do you like most about teaching yoga?

I believe teaching is my mission. I don’t necessarily “like” teaching yoga. I find it challenging and inspiring, and rewarding and terrifying all at the same time, everyday. But it’s what I do, and where I feel at my fullest, most of the time.

You can find Marghertia at Loom Yoga Center in Bushwick.

Balance Vata Dosha in the palm of your hands

Posted on December 3rd, 2014


Are you feeling a bit scattered, overwhelmed, fragmented this Fall. Is it difficult to focus and complete projects? If you are harvesting your living space, did you run into some difficulties? Suddenly you wanted to clear everything out all at the same time and there were piles everywhere and you flitted from one pile to the next and nothing got organized and it all became too much?You might be feeling the effect of Vata dosha out of balance. According to Ayurveda, Vata dosha, the air element, tends to gets out of balance in the Fall. The qualities of vata are dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, clear, and erratic.Is your skin suddenly super dry? Just last week my skin started getting really chapped and I started reaching for the lotion constantly. We’re feeling dry at the same time as these leaves are turning their beautiful colors, drying up, and falling off. We feel these same effects as nature because we are made up of the same elements.Other vata qualities we experience in the Fall is the erratic weather. One minute it’s warm and the next cold and rainy. With the windy Fall days, we feel the mobile quality. You may experience this increased erratic and constant movement reflected in your thoughts. Are your thoughts spinning all over the place making you feel fragmented and overwhelmed? Have you been experiencing insomnia from racing thoughts?

Mudra to Balance Vata Dosha

Here’s my favorite mudra to do to help calm down my spinning thoughts and awaken my inner listening. I learned it from my Ayurveda teacher, Dr. Vasant Lad. I am always amazed at how effective it is in helping me and my students focus. It helps the spinning thoughts quiet down. As the excess mind chatter dissolves, we begin to listen inside and hear our inner wisdom and intuition. Clarity emerges as we connect to our deep innermost Self.

Mudras, are sacred hand gestures that redirect prana and enhance vitality. They assist us in connecting with cosmic consciousness and shifting negative energy to positive energy.

Ankush Mudra


Sit in a comfortable position.

Place your middle finger on your thumb and put all the rest of your fingers at the base of your thumb. It looks like a hook.

Rest your hands on your lap.

 Close your eyes.

Relax and breathe deeply.

 Stay here for 5-8 minutes.

Fall Tune in Tips

Posted on December 3rd, 2014

house-Luang Prabang

detail Wat Xieng Thong, Laos, 2014

Fall is my favorite season. In Chinese Medicine, Fall is the season of the Metal element. It offers us the opportunity to lighten up and let go, open the door to clarity, and distill and refine our beings to their essence.I particularly love the the light which seems to be more exquisitely clear and magical than any other time of year. When I look into the clear blue sky through the almost now bare and beautifully sculptural trees, the vastness above inspires my inner being to expand and wonder and delight spreads through me.

There is a particular type of clarity that emerges through witnessing this Fall light through the trees’ shedding of their leaves. As the sap of the tree draws into the interior of the tree and sinks back to the roots, we also begin to slow down, retracting, and draw back to the interior root aspect of our beings. There is a refinement that comes from letting go, releasing that which is no longer beneficial and nourishing that which is essential.Fall is Harvest time, the time to distinguish between what is nutritional and should be kept and what can be released and left for compost. This environmental distillation is mirrored in our bodies, minds, and lives. Fall is the time to release that which is not needed or desired, as we prepare for our inward journey into the deep interior yin of Winter stillness.

ORGANIZE the chaos in you houseSYSTEMATIZE areas of congestion

Pick one of these areas in your home to clear out and organize this week
filing cabinet, closet, computer, desk, bookshelves, music library, kitchen

By releasing the excess and organizing our living space, we acknowledge what we want, recognize who we are, and invite space into our homes and minds.