Interview conducted by Hannah Boakye

Two yoga enthusiasts have opened a new studio in Heeley, Sheffield, offering Yoga, Reiki and Shiatsu lessons.

Raj had lived in Sheffield for three years before opening the studio with his friend Giovanni about a month ago.

The pair are both from Sicily, in Italy, but moved away from their country hoping to fund their ‘dream-studio’ and to find open-minded people interested in living a healthier life through the practice of Yoga and Reiki.

Raj has been following his yoga path for a long time now. After quitting his job in Italy, he moved to the Netherlands to live in an ashram – a residential school – where he learned, practiced and studied yoga for seven months in complete isolation from the “hyper-connectivity” of the modern world, with no internet and television.

His yoga training was completed when he chose his spiritual name, ‘Raj’, which means control.

At the time, Giovanni Fusto was a Reiki teacher and a Shiatsu masseur back in Italy and had met Raj because of his job. Months later, he decided to join him and open ‘Namaste Ashram’ in Heeley.

They are both working every day to improve the look and accessibility of their studio but they already have a good number of attendees.

Raj said: “Mainly people who come here have trust in our methods. They don’t come here just for fitness reasons and we’re making progress with them in a month’s time.”

Most attendees enjoy having long chats with Raj and Giovanni after their lesson to learn more about their training, which helps to create an important sense of community.

The studio is located at 96 Prospect Rd, Sheffield S2 3EN.


Raj (Emanuele) and Giovanni

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