My name is Marinella Benelli, I'm a bodyworker based in Bristol, (UK) and Tuscany (Italy), offering Women's Yoga Circles and Well-Woman Yoga Therapy, Ayurvedic treatments, Arvigo Therapy®, and Menstruality Mentoring - as well as yoga and minfulness for the little ones.
I am passionate about empowering women through reconnecting with our inner seasons and life cycles, honouring the connection with the maha (great) cycles of Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon. I believe that only when we live in deep harmony with Nature's cycles then we can live a truly balanced and happy life, and this is especially important for the ones, like me, that live in big cities, where it is more difficult to commune with the cycles of nature. And so my whole work draws its foundation from the five elements system, the cycles of the earth, solar and lunar biorhythms and the female inner cycles.
Born and bred in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, in Italy, where I have have lived until my late 20s, I have been blessed being surrounded by abundand nature and loving people, being and feeling deeply connected to the land and her life cycles and respecting the natural ebb and flow of the seasons, eating local and home grown food, foraging, admiring the moon and the stars and really enjoying 'being in the elements'...
As a woman I have been also blessed by a positive entrance to womanhood at my menarche, thanks to my wonderful mum that held me with so much love and care during that very special and vulnerable time. I have had quite a peaceful journey with my menstrual cycle overall although having to cope with an irregular cycle almost all my life - hence the need of exploring it deeper to understand its dynamics and my inner patterns; and also to be able to be fully in charge of my fertility.
In 2009, after several years on the contraceptive pill a book came into my sight 'The Pill: Are you sure it's for you?' by Alexandra Pope and Jane Bennet and that was the beginning of a profound awakening of and reconnection to my creative feminine centre... At the same time I was so fortunate to become a yoga student and apprentice of Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, who totally revolutioned my yoga practice forever with her womb yoga, allowing me to fully embody my inner feminine cycles and to explore them also with other women. During a profound meditation led by Uma I received guidance to 'mother the mothers' and so my work progressively shifted first towards supporting women during their journey to mootherhood, but then realised that women are all mothers: mothers of babies, projects, ideas, dreams... so this is an ongoing evolving project and I am staying open and receptive to all possibilities...
Before this event my personal journey into holistic therapies had started in my early 20s with yoga and was deeply enriched during my travels through India and South East Asia in 2008, once I left my home country and moved to England. And so in 2009 I totally abandoned the dream and career in communication for cinema to embark on my new journey as a holistic therapist - and through the years my practice has grown and evolved naturally...
Yoga first came into my life as a great support during my University years back in Italy, keeping my body, mind and spirit healhty and sane. I have enjoyed exploring different styles over the years and then stepped into teaching from 2011.
Ayurveda came into my life during my travels in India to bring me back to balance, as I was transitioning into my new life in England (having left my home, family, old friends, career, everything...!). I discovered this incredible ancient system of health care that was based on yoga, meditation, delicious food, herbs and daily massage! I was sold...having enjoyed massage since a very early age with friends and family. And so Ayurvedic Massage entered my new work life in 2009, allowing my spirit to communicate through touch for support and healing of others and myself.
Arvigo Therapy®, more widely know as Maya abdominal massage, came in my support during a particularly challenging time when I needed to bring back to balance both my digestive and reproductive health and it was a real blessing. I personally journeyed for a few years with this incredible therapy, passed on generation through generations via a lineage of Mesomamerican healers, shamans and midwives, before finally becoming a certified practitioner in 2015: I am deeply grateful to Rosita Arvigo for sharing this work around the world, and very grateful for the healing opportunity I have received and very honoured to be able to give back to others.
All these therapies are very much connected with the cycles of life and a red thread, the menstrual cycle. After a few years of disconnection from my cycle whilst on the contraceptiove pill, I then came to embrace it again fully thanks to discovering the precious work on menstruation by Alexandra Pope, Jane Hardwicke Collings, Miranda Gray and many other inspiring women. And in 2014 I completed a year apprenticeship with Alexandra Pope's Red School that has really set me off on a mission to spread the menstruality consciouness and work far and wide, whatever form it will take over the years...
The work with children has progressively manifested along the journey as a need to keep supporting mothers and their little ones' health and wellbeing in the early years, as well as a need to support children's own development with mindfulness practices, whilst they grow up into powerful seeds of change for our future as human beings.
I am really passionate about my work and among my other passions are: walking, swimming and communing with Nature, travelling, day-dreaming, storytelling, cooking (and sharing food!) and being in the company of the people I deeply love and respect.
I am fully insured, I hold full first aid certificate for yoga teachers and massage therapists and I am committed to ongoing professional development as a holistic practitioner by attending training workshops and seminars across the UK, Europe and beyond...
can result from an exalted birth,
intense spiritual practice,
or absorbtion into Spirit.
By living in the abundance
you may be transformed
from your perspective
achieved during previous births."
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, IV, 1-2
as interpreted by
In 2017 I was very fortunate to be asked to join an
awesome and inspiring
the meaning of feminism,
You can read
my interview here.
In February 2016
I was blessed
with the birth of my son Dylan Francesco,
who has totally rocked
my inner and outer world!
He is a daily inspiration for everything he does
and a reminder
to keep things simple
and to stay fully present in all I do
and to practice patience and compassion
with myself, the world and the work I offer...
I am totally in love with him and this love grows, as he grows up in a way I had never anticipated
to be possible...!