"True happiness comes from inside."
67 years, born in Italy, grew up in Zimbabwe, now lives in Athens and is Greek master of Tai Chi
How would you define beauty?
It´s definitely not something like nice clothes. When I was younger I thought more on the external. I was more focused on appearance. But as the years passed by I realized that it comes from inside. It´s something that comes from inside, a sort of peace, serenity and a stressfree face because of the ability to deal with all the things in life.
Can you remember the moment or the situation that made you change your mind?
It wasn´t one specific thing but over the years through my own personal growth it changed. I started doing Tai Chi 22 years ago and it´s a whole philosophy of life. I train three to four times a week now. And it has changed me a lot and there is still space for improvement. It´s about health, feeling fit, accepting yourself, feeling happy and calmer.
What is Tai Chi?
For me it is finding the balance in your life. It´s a self-cultivation and you work with your mind and it gives me strength to persevere. It´s about becoming patient and being in touch with your body. The mental relaxation of a person starts with the relaxation of the body. This is not always a pleasant thing, but you have to keep going. This is what the whole idea is about: going through difficulties to find personal growth.
Does Tai Chi make you feel more connected to your body?
Absolutely! In stressful situations you feel a tightening or tension in the muscles especially around the solar plexus. Over the years I have become very much aware of this.
Have you ever experienced the strong feeling of self hate like a lot women do before you started training Tai Chi?
I have never thought about having too much weight because I have always been lucky not to have serious weight problems. I have always done sport and enjoyed moving my body.There have been times where I hated myself for making wrong choices in my life but I never hated my body as such.
What do you really like about your body?
The fact that I get up in the morning and am able to walk without having any pain. I had a few accidents and I like the fact that I was able to recover fast for my age. I broke my arm, shoulder and my hip, when a car crashed into me.
What would you tell young girls that seems to be superficial and only caring about their outer appearance?
I tell my own students that they have to find out what really makes them happy. You are not always going to be beautiful and young. True happiness comes from inside.