Monica Pirani is a yoga teacher who resides in Brooklyn and teaches throughout BK and Manhattan. Trained in vinyasa, classical hatha and tantric meditation she is best known for her personalized approach to teaching, providing an equally challenging practice to each student and making her classes accessible to all levels. Fun, athletic and energizing, Monica’s classes are a breath of fresh air in a busy city, offering a grounding and centering experience that stays with you on and off the mat. Outside of the classroom she mentors teachers looking to further their studies, is an avid plant lady growing her plant collection, and aligns herself with projects that empower and uplift women, POC and the LGBTQ+ community. Join her in class or follow her yoga and plant adventures on Instagram!
What do I do best?
The only thing I can say I do best with 100% certainty is be myself. No one else is me, and that’s my power.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I take life one day at a time. I meditate, listen to a lot of music and accept the love and support of my husband, my family and my friends. I consciously try to be the person I claim to be and that helps me stay grounded.
What are my aspirations?
My personal aspirations are to grow old with my husband. I want to have long curly grey hair, wear lots of flowy clothing and have a greenhouse. And I’d love two mutts and a big backyard for them to run around in.
As for business goals, I aspire to be a yoga teacher whose work empowers, supports and uplifts others. I’m planting seeds this year for those goals to flourish and waiting to see what blooms.
My Biggest Success?
I’m a pretty private person so talking about my successes and challenges is something I don’t do often or easily. I survived a family history of abuse and poverty and I built a better life for myself. As simple as it might seem, I’m grateful for that every morning I wake up and every evening I go to sleep.
Keeping that perspective of success is really important for me because I’m someone who cares and feels deeply and has really high standards, so I invest my time with things that empower people who are marginalized and oppressed. If something doesn’t line up with that mission it’s hard to convince me to get involved.
A big business success I had this year was a fundraising yoga class for LGBTQ+ youth called “Born This Way: Flow For Pride”. Me and my friend Kajuan Douglas organized and led the event and I was a ball of anxiety the whole time leading up to the day, worrying that no one would come or that people wouldn’t enjoy it. But the event wound up being nearly sold out and we raised over $1000. At the end, people were coming up to us like “This was so amazing! Please do this again!” They loved it and we got so much positive feedback. It was a defining moment for me. Seeing people benefit from the community we worked hard to create and cultivate gave me confidence to keep investing my time in projects that empower others.
My Most Challenging Moment?
I’m a very lucky person and I’ve been humbled by my life experiences. I’ve witnessed first hand the ability people have to be both endlessly generous but also cold and hateful. I experienced a lot of challenges in the forms of abuse, violence and poverty because of my family dynamic, social class, sexual orientation and gender identity. But I was also afforded a lot of opportunities to heal from those events and succeed in life not only because of my hard work and determination, but also because I’m abled, I’m white, I had access to health care and I was able to go to college. So it’s hard for me to say that one moment was more challenging than another, in part because there were a lot of rough ones, but also because time and perspective are great teachers and healers.
I know that’s not a common answer, and maybe it’s an answer some people find uncomfortable, but it’s the truest answer I can give. My survival was propelled forward by my determination and my privilege and I think it’s important to recognize our privileges so that we can gain perspective about our challenges. Currently, my challenges are centered around discussions about privilege and systems of oppression - like racism, sexism LGBTQ+phobia and the patriarchy - with friends, family and colleagues. They are tough but important talks to have. I’m an avid believer that if we don’t learn about ourselves or our history, we can never truly move forward and heal.
Do no harm but take no shit.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My husband is freaking amazing and I’m so lucky he’s my partner in life. My friends and family inspire and support me every day, my siblings and my nephew make me laugh and I love them all to pieces.
My professional role models are people who dedicate their life to humanitarian efforts and try to make the world a better place and inspire others to do the same. Whether it’s through music, human rights work, cooking, writing, teaching, acting: no matter the method I think it's important to actively participate in our communities and in the world we live in and try to inspire others to make it better.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Literally anywhere warm with a beach.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I’m not a very material person but my favorite products are things that bring me comfort and joy. Plus, I think if you can support women, POC and LGBTQ+ owned businesses you absolutely should. Where we put our money matters more than we realize.
My current favorite products are Joah Brown shirts, Holstee reclaim frames, Patos yoga flats, my Monday Swimwear bikini, my Thundress underwear that has “Protect Ya Puss” printed on the waistband, briCandles soy candles and a custom bag that my friend Rebecca Arceneaux made for me.
As for objects, I love my plants. I talk to them every day and love watching them grow. I’m definitely aging into an old plant lady and I love it.
My Current Passions?
My passions are activities that help me reset and reconnect. Indoor gardening and music are a major source of joy and therapy for me. I also love to cook and my favorite days are the ones where I’m in the kitchen cooking and dancing with my husband.