I remember before I started yoga I was reading a book and it was talking about this concept of looking at the world differently-training your mind to see things from a different perspective can illuminate life in an exciting way. It seemed like bullshit, hokey, and fake. I thought, “the way I see things is REAListic, and this idea is ignorance”. The comical part is that I was the one who was ignorant. The book wasn’t saying dont look at all aspects of life, it was just suggesting to train my mind to good first. the fact of the matter is that I was simply ignoring or refusing to look at the good and using practicality as my excuse, as if only negativity can be practical and real. None the less I took on the challenges, and fought with my ego about it, read more books suggesting similar ideas, and in the yoga world came across teachers and students practicing these concepts, until one day I started realizing that celebration of others, myself and other things started coming first before judgement. I still have my triggers here and there where I will turn to judgement but I can see myself doing it…its no longer REAL, and its obvious to me that it is my own insecurities, and ego that brings out that point of view. So at the risk of sounding hokey, fake, and impractical, if you dont already practice it try seeing something good in someone or something before the judgement comes in. Just the effort alone will be powerful. Some days require more practice then others, and some days its just a state of living in non-judgement, and I am so grateful to have the practice, and even more grateful when its not a practice and just who I am.
In addition I think I should mention that I dont think looking at life this way negates challenges, in fact I think it brings them on. but it definitely changes your relationship with challenge because you start to identify a challenge with something that is going to help your grow, change and bring you a deeper sense of happiness.
I dont remember the book I was reading at the time- I didnt finish it, and probably didnt read much past those lines, but the lesson was all I needed that is for sure. Here are a couple of books I recommend.
A great book that a friend once lent me is called The Noticer by Andy Andrews – it is a quick fascinating novel about perpective-how we see the world. Highly recommend it.
The Book that changed my life: Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman – His approach was less about changing how you think and more about changing how you act regardless of your thoughts. As a result your thoughts begin to follow suit. This was a much more practical way to start because it changed my patterns and started getting me to act in the way that I knew inside represented the person I wanted to be.
Here is a one of my favorite tips to offer both beginner and advanced arm balancers…it is often not thought about, either you do it or you dont, either way the awareness of it can change your arm balance, handstand, chaturanga practice. I am also excited to announce two opportunities to catch me in the North East: NEW YORK: Sunday Oct 5th, 2-4pm Handstand @ Pure Yoga Sign up here: http://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ws.asp?studioid=11160&stype=-8&sView=day&sLoc=2&sTrn=68 BOSTON: Fri Oct. 17th-19th Three workshops one awesome studio – South Boston Yoga – Sign up here: southbostonyoga.net/events.html#mattGiordano
After studying the body, and Yoga for many years, I have come to the conclusion that this is one of the most useful poses to work on to help with posture. I have explored it inside and out, and realize that there are so many ways to strengthen within the pose and do to the structure of it, it tends to be very therapeutic for most people. While it is challenging, after practicing the techniques I offer in this video, you may too come to love this pose and feel its benefits! Enjoy
While Hiking the other day we stopped for a little yoga to open the hips and release our low backs. I decided to create a short video of how you can do a hip opener without having to get on the ground! if you find the video informative please help share what you have learned with your friends!
I recently created a new FB page, Please “like” facebook.com/theyogimatt if you would like to follow me, and get more videos and info on when I will be in your city.
Now, Get outside and enjoy Summer!
Over my time studying my body, as well as all my students’ bodies, I have noticed two main parts of pigeon pose that will create the majority of knee pain, and/or lack of increased flexibility in the hips for routine practitioners. This video highlights the importance of learning to articulate your foot in order to properly align the shin at the knee joint. with proper alignment at the knee joint, the hip stretch will deepen and the knee stability will increase! enjoy the video, please share, spread the word, pass it along! email me with any questions you have, if you have knee pain please be as specific as possible , and always find a teacher that you can get to in person that knows anatomy and therapeutics of asana.
Home for a few days in between the Wanderlust festivals. Decided I would do some yoga at sunset since I have a 6am flight. Tito came along to watch but he gets board, he has seen too many handstands.
This class was one of the most special experiences for me. You just never know who is going to step into the class room, and what kind of attitude they will have. Far too often the ones who suffer the most are the ones that have all four limbs, a decent job, food on the table, and so on. The reality is that one aspect of suffering is simply a lack of appreciation and gratitude for all that we DO have. Focusing on what we do not have brings us down, and makes disable’s us. Here is a man that doesnt allow himself to be brought down by life’s circumstances, but yet lifts himself up, empowers himself to live fully with what he does have. He is living in Gratitude. So Beautiful!!
Much of my recent Yoga practice has been focused on developing a more personal relationship of the two sides of my body. I have been less “even” with my yoga practice in order to find a greater sense of balance in my body, and to really enjoy and appreciate my whole body in a deeper way. My fascination with One Arm poses has revealed wild imbalances not just from right to left but in muscle groups. I have been spending much of my time on a pull up bar to help balance what seems to be so challenging to get in the yoga practice. There is just a different relationship to gravity when you hang that brings out a whole different understanding in my body. Not long ago I couldnt do a sing pull up. Then I spent a day climbing on scaffolding and it lit up a curiosity. So I am excited to now be exploring all of this one arm Acrobatic poses that are helping me train my one arm handstand. it feels like I am learning my body at a rapid pace, which I havent felt since the early days of practicing yoga. I am inspired!
Bringing balance into the body is not an easy task. The very idea of it implies that something is out of balance, and therefor will require change. Change as we know is challenging mentally more than anything else, but in any case it means setting up new patters of movement and repeating them until they happen like a reflex-without thought. Importantly enough though is the fact that I recognize that just because something isnt strong, or flexible doesnt make it bad, just out of balance. I know it can be daunting to see imbalances in our body, or life and so we would rather not look. but the faster you see it, the faster you can work with it. That in itself is a wonderful pattern to build: look for room to grow, and take action in the direction of growth. While it sounds simple this is more challenging in practice.
I look forward to sharing newer videos soon as I am getting stronger faster, but for now I wanted to share my progress so far. The photo above is my left side that I have primarily been training, and the photo below is the right side that I have not practiced much because the muscles that are required for my body to form this shape on the right are already developed and at ease, so my work is on the left for now. If you are a teacher- working on the side that doesn’t make as much sense will help you develop the tools in order to break down the poses for your students, as it will require your attention, focus and study. (Which happens to be one of the upsides to injury-you really learn if you decide to)
Below are some super quick recent videos of my practice recently:
I just realized I never posted this hilarious and amazing experience. Such great fun that kicked off an absolutely amazing amazing amazing year