ELEONORA RACHELE ZAMPATTI AND ALLISON LAROCHELLE
“The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”
I remember the first time I read this quote by Tahereh Mafi, from a poem called Shatter Me. I felt my soul tremble and my heart shake; Mafi’s poem gave my scars a voice – a voice that I desperately tried to shut down – to avoid the brutality of the reality that trapped me. I was living in Manhattan; my neighborhood was amazing but my apartment was in terrible condition, with an extremely high rent attached to it. My daily commute was long and exhausting. I was broke. I wasn’t sleeping. I did the bare minimum to take care of my body. But you wouldn’t have seen that. To the world, my life was picture perfect. I looked young, healthy, fit and happy; always smiling and rarely uttering even one complaint. I was living in NYC, working as a personal trainer and a yoga teacher. My boyfriend was a “great guy.”Internally, I was slowly dying, consumed by demons that I did not even have the courage to name. I pretended for so long that everything was fine, but it was not.
I was abused.
I was living in a toxic relationship and it was not the first time I found myself in that situation and unfortunately not the lat one either. Because I’d experienced it before, I couldn’t admit that it was happening again. How could I have let it happen again? Didn’t I know better?
Aren’t those the questions women are supposed to be able to easily answer?
Years of abuses convinced me that I was sick, vulnerable and weak. My heart and my spirit were broken with constant reminders that I didn’t truly belong. That I could never be anything more than what I was. I cried every night in my apartment, consumed with fear. Then I discovered yoga and everything changed. It took a long time, but the practice taught me to connect. It taught me that being vulnerable is a gift, not a sin. It taught me that I could heal. My transformation didn’t happen overnight. It took me 5 years to understand that NYC was not for me. To say goodbye and leave him. The end was painful but it was the beginning of something beautiful. When I finally broke ties with the life that trapped me, my soul began to heal. Today, I’m stronger than ever before.
My mission as a yogi, woman, survivor, friend, daughter, sister and human being is to help those who live under the oppression of violence through yoga and art. Inspired by the cycles of the moon, I am creating a safe, supportive and soul -soothing environment; a place where we can raise our voices against violence, to sing our song and say no to it. Ode to the Moon mission is to break the silence and stigma of domestic violence, to inspire people to practice compassion and love for others, but more importantly, practice love and compassion for yourself. Do not fear your past. Make fear the core of your strength, and live your life with an open heart. Trust in love.
Violence is never the answer.
Eleonora Rachele Zampatti is a native of Milan, Italy.
Body movement specialist, author and fitness model, her wide range of teaching abilities include Pilates, yogalates, staby * personal one-on-one fitness training, and yoga. Her career began with varsity synchronized swimming, which later led her to becoming a fitness trainer, a Pilates instructor and then a yoga teacher. At the age of 27 she left her career as an assistant professor at the New Academy of arts in Milan and moved in NYC. There she pursued her dreams and enrolled in a 5 years full time dance program at Peridance International School of Dance where she studied ballet, modern dance and flexibility. Now a full time international yoga teacher based in New Jersey, Eleonora has been featured in many publications like Yoga International, Yoga Magazine, Om Yoga and Lifestyle Magazine, Draze, Yoga Digest, and Mantra Yoga and Health. A survivor of domestic violence, using her passion for yoga and music she created the Ode to the Moon Project: a unique yoga practice that combines art, yoga and music to heal the soul and bring awareness to the topic of domestic violence
Ode to the Moon has been one of my favorite projects to take on.
When I met Eleonora Zampatti and heard her story, I couldn’t believe that she and so many others were not safe in their own homes with someone they should be able to love and trust. It’s become a passion of mine to help people understand they are very loved and always have someone to turn to. At Ode to the Moon, we provide a space where people feel safe to share and fall apart. The response to my musical contribution for these yoga classes has been overwhelming. The combination of movement and live sound brings so much up to the surface for the students, and it creates a magical, vulnerable experience full of beauty.
Allison LaRochelle always struggled with communication and connecting with her peers when she was younger. A very quiet, reserved girl, she still loved going around the house singing. At 7 years old, when she performed on stage for the first time, she felt she finally understood how to connect with others and how important it was.
Bruce Gallipani of the Rockit Live Foundation recognized this passion in her, and so she began her Rockit journey as part of the first group of children to participate in the program.
She was the only student to be in the first session and never miss a single one all the way up until 9 years later at her graduation. It was here she fostered her love for rock, blues, soul, and everything vintage in between. Her main influences include Janis Joplin, Shemekia Copeland, Susan Tedeschi, Joss Stone, and many others. LaRochelle was also educated as a Vocal Major at Red Bank Regional High School and is a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music, where completed her degree in Contemporary Writing and Production in 3 years.
Music gave LaRochelle a voice, and she hopes her music helps others to find theirs.