“I believe that pain, weakness, and limited mobility can be defeated by working with, instead of against, the body. My personal experience and my yoga practice are proof of this.”
Originally from Italy, Donatella Santoro moved to Chicago in 2002. Former athlete with a professional background in medicine, Donatella turned to yoga in 2003 to avoid a second neurosurgery for a painful and debilitating condition caused by the fusion of two cervical vertebrae.
After her very first therapeutic session with Gabriel Halpern, Donatella was convinced that yoga practice was the self-healing tool she had been searching for, and this experience triggered her deep interest in learning and practicing more.
Donatella is Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT, 200 hour and 500 hour) and Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer.
The core of her teaching style is to awaken postural awareness, improve joint alignment, and increase flexibility and muscle strength. Her classes incorporate dynamic sequences of poses to increase energy and strength, and gentle – restorative asanas to lead students into a deeper state of relaxation and safe practice.
Donatella is endlessly amazed by the power of yoga props as a self-learning tool. Borrowing from the Iyengar method, she teaches how to perform simple and more challenging poses using chairs, blocks, straps, wall ropes, blankets, etc., guiding students into a safe, stimulating and relaxing practice.
Her journey into yoga is deeply influenced by Gabriel Halpern’s vision and inspired teaching.
Donatella continues to study and apprentice at the Yoga Circle in Gabriel’s regular and gentle classes, and with Nancy DL Heraty in her Yoga for Scoliosis and Back Care classes. She also teaches Fascinating Fascia and Golden Years Yoga at the Yoga Circle.