Mentoring a Superior Approach to Education
by Gian Girardi, BOHI Founder

My beginning in yoga is a dear memory that left permanent lessons which I still value. I hope that sharing here my experience, and the conclusions resulting from it, will be helpful to you.

I am Gian Girardi, founder of the Brain Optimization™ Holistic Institute (BOHI). In the last nine years, the institute has been certifying students interested in
life-transforming knowledge and growth.

Before founding the Brain Optimizatio™n Holistic Institute, I practiced counseling for fifteen years. Eventually I renounced the psychotherapy license to devote my time to education, and also as a statement of personal independence
from the mainstream with its adherent traps and regulations.

Thirty three years ago, I was living in Santiago Chile; I was 23. I had recently read a book on yoga and was deeply interested in progressing from reading to practicing. The relative that introduced me to the yoga book also
referred me to her yoga teacher.

The home of this teacher was located in a modest, middle class neighborhood in Santiago. Her big old house felt magical and mysterious. Maruja Gonzalez was a small, dynamic, affectionate lady, who was not only an excellent Hatha Yoga teacher, but also a psychologist. In relation to this “dual profession” one day she said to me: “I’m first a healer, and second a yoga teacher. My students come here to relax and heal from the stress in their lives.”

She deeply believed in the value of healing and her relaxed easy-going approach to yoga was undeniably healing...

Before I began practicing yoga, doctors had recommended me to undergo two separate surgeries. I was young, and when making decisions did not always have the best common sense, but in this case, I immediately refused both surgeries. It was an excellent decission!
I began practicing yoga and in a few months both physical issues that had bothered me for years, were resolved. Because of this experience, I am convinced that Hatha Yoga is potentially very healing; provided, it is pacticed in an easy going environment, devoid of competition with oneself or others; even free of the desire to improve the practice itself. 

Even a subtle competitive attitude breeds straining, and in Yoga straining leads to injuries.  As I see it, Hatha Yoga should be primarily
an exercise in relaxation and surrender.
I visited my teacher three times a week after school. I was studying engineering at that time. I was always looking forward to my classes -- how much more interesting than engineering!
From the beginning our group was small, and this provided a highly distinctive quality to Maruja’s classes. However, after a few months, all the students
that had been attending left, but Maruja did not hesitate
to continue training me one-on-one.

Later, she invited a teacher-in-training, Carlos Thomas, into our class. Quite often, Carlos would teach the class as Maruja observed, and eventually there were two teachers in the room, for only one student -- "me." I should have become a great hatha yogi, right?  Oh, well … 

However, after the class, Maruja took plenty of time to chat and drink coffee with Carlos and me; such delightful, and healing moments! Gradually, she and Carlos introduced me to the mysteries of a deeper yoga, and to their love for healing and enlightenment. Her Hatha Yoga was helpful and healing, but the coffee after class, proved to be more valuable and transformative! This close interaction with my teachers had a profound impact in my life.

This experience has remained indelible in my memory for thirty years, and now is shaping the destiny of the Brain Optimization Institute. I can see how my wife and I, to the degree possible in this fast paced 21st century, have been replicating this one-on-one mentoring approach to teaching. Fortunately, my wife Viviana, co-founder of BOI, is a born hostess, as well as an excellent Hatha Yoga teacher who also loves to teach one on one.
Nowadays, although obviously convenient for the schools, the mainstream model of education with dozens and sometimes hundreds of students in one classroom, is not for the benefit of the student.

The format of a classroom with many students and one instructor is, despite being hundreds of years old, relatively recent. We find that in both, ancient India and ancient Greece, education was offered by one teacher
to very few, or even a single student.

From the beginnings we worked with small groups or one on one. Comparing both, it is clear that teaching a single student, is superior to working with a group – even a small group. Similarly, in psychotherapy, I concluded many years ago, that working one-on-one with a client is usually
superior to group therapy.

Individual therapy offers the opportunity to address intricate and personal issues affecting the client, similarly, one-on-one teaching is the best setting to help the student overcome their unique professional and personal challenges. Although this type of teaching/mentoring is extremely effective, it is unfortunately quite difficult to find these days.
Those of a practical bent might argue that, in this one-on-one model, a single teacher can just reach so many students. I disagree. Technology now has given birth to video-classes and to the flip-learning format. This new
approach is allowing cutting edge schools to provide
one-on-one instruction again.

Gian Girardi, MS, MA
Brain Optimization™ Holistic Institute, founder






Mentoring; a Superior Approach to Education

All BOHI Certifications are available in the fLip-learning, one-on-one, mentoring format. The student enjoys live, one on one personal sessions with the teacher via two ways videophone interaction online, or on the telephone.

One-on-one interaction with the teacher provides the best setting to help the student with the unique professional and personal challenges that could interfere with the achievement of his or her goals.

Mentoring also provides the student with the maximum flexibility in scheduling classes. There is no need to wait for a predetermined date to begin a course, nor to commit to a rigid class schedule. The teacher and student simply meet on a weekly basis at a time and date that is suitable for both.




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The Brain Optimization™ Holistic Institute offers classes, information and courses with certifications on drug free solutions to ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, substance abuse and other forms of brain / mental suffering and disorders. Certifications include Brain Optimization™ with Emphasis in Nutrition, Life/Wellness Coaching with Emphasis in Cognitive Psychology and Psychology of Consciousness with Emphasis in Non-Duality. The Brain Optimization™ Holistic Institute also offers a Certification in Holistic Life Coaching for those who complete the three certifications mentioned above.

Brain Optimization™ Holistic Institute's broadcasting and recording studio for online classes and coaching sessions is presently located in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California. Students from adjacent cities and locations like Pasadena, Studio City, San Fernando Valley, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, West Los Angeles, Brentwood, Bel Air, Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, Irvine and Orange County can take the Coaching Sessions in person, on Skype or on the phone. Students living in cities and locations further away in the States or abroad like San Francisco, San Diego, New York, North and South Carolina, Miami, London England, Paris France, Rome and Milan Italy, Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, Santiago Chile, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ecuador, Quito, Montreal, Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, New Zealand, Hawaií, Kauai, Maui, Kenya, Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta in India, Hong Kong and Shanghai in China, Taipei in Taiwan, can take the one-on-one coaching sessions on Skype or phone.

All classes are presently presented by the
Brain Optimization™ Holistic Institute's founder Gian Girardi, MS, MA.