Hi! I’m MAtt
International Yoga Instructor &
Founder of Chromatic Yoga
I value deep and profound connection.
Let’s get this out of the way – I am not one for small talk. If you came to this page, you probably are interested in knowing who I am and how I got to where I am today. Let’s dive in… (If you are just looking for my bio, click here)
Passion & Creativity
For as long as I can remember, passion and creativity were driving forces in my heart – and they still are today. It began with martial arts when I was a little boy. I took class 3-5 nights a week, and I watched every martial arts movie ever made. I wanted to be a ninja. If I wasn’t at Tae Kwon Do training, I was in my basement practicing with a punching bag that weighed five times more than I did. My study of martial arts came to an abrupt halt when the studio closed down unexpectedly, just as I was about to take my black belt test.
While I was disappointed, a new chapter of my life began. My passion was quickly funneled to ice hockey and roller hockey. This marked the first time I traveled to pursue the burning desire in my heart. I traveled around New York and the surrounding states to compete. In between tournaments I was playing street hockey with friends, running track, spinning, or swimming to stay in tip-top shape. Truth is I always hated exercising, but in order to play my best, I had to do it.
The Most Important Lesson of My Life
Hockey continued through high school, but let’s skip to what else was going on during my teenage years. Growing up, I couldn’t read very well. As a result, I was placed in a program called Resource Room – a class to support those with learning disabilities. During the second half of 9th grade, I went through rigorous testing and interviews to get out of it. They decided to give me a chance, but I needed to choose a class in its place. Based entirely on the fact that I liked the teacher, I chose art class. Little did I know that “Mrs. Walk” would change my life. For the remainder of high school, I studied with Mrs. Walk and fell in love with art, especially charcoal sketching. My passion and creativity thrived, and I felt more alive than ever. I felt like I had finally “found myself.” The most profound life lesson came from Mrs. Walk. She had one rule in class: Never say “I can’t.” Instead, rephrase and ask “How?” As a yoga teacher today, I have developed my style based entirely on this subtle shift in mindset.
I had developed a profound relationship with my body, rooted in the mindset of “I can” and “How?”, when I came to yoga in my early 20s. After every class, I would ask my teachers every question imaginable. If there was something that seemed impossible, I wanted to know how it might be done. My philosophy for practicing and teaching yoga derived from Mrs. Walk’s life lesson, along with a concept that came from a book from my musician days called Effortless Mastery (we’ll get to the music part later). The concept was simple: Take any seemingly impossible dream or big idea that seems too challenging to attain, and break it down into the smallest attainable pieces. Master each of the small parts one by one, and then put them together. This concept became the foundation of Chromatic Yoga – the school of yoga centered around community and personal evolution.
The Meditation of Music
When I was 15 years old, I picked up my father’s guitar and taught myself to play the blues from an Eric Clapton book. Before I knew it, I was fully consumed by curiosity. I couldn’t put down the guitar unless I was picking up a hockey stick or a paintbrush. I formed a band with some friends as a hobby, which quickly turned into a full-time lifestyle and career. Our band was called Stealing Jane, and we toured the US for 8 years, playing with bands like One Republic, Lifehouse, Hanson, George Clinton, and Bob Marley’s The Wailers. Amid the heavy tour schedule, I attended Berklee College of Music, where I came across the book mentioned above, Effortless Mastery. In this book were conversations about identity, the ego, and how to begin a meditation practice.
My first taste of meditation happened while practicing guitar. I thought I had fallen asleep while practicing when I suddenly “woke up” to realize that my fingers were still moving on the beat of the metronome and 2 hours had passed. This experience – and the taste of pure peace of mind – drove me to self-inquiry and to dig for answers about life.
While life on tour had some of the biggest highs, it also had the lowest of lows. I fell into a depression, along with bouts of insomnia. The worst part was that I was completely aware of everything I was feeling, but I couldn’t pull myself out. I tried to meditate, but without guidance, I struggled with the intensity of my mind. In the search for answers, I eventually came across another book that would change my life, Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior. In the opening pages, it suggested yoga for those struggling with seated meditation.
The next day, I tried my first yoga class with my first teacher, my stepmother Patti. A few months later, I was teaching 5 classes a week and immersed in yoga. I eventually left music to pursue my current path.
The Meditation of Music
When I was 15 years old I picked up my fathers guitar and taught myself to play the blues from an Eric Clapton book. Before I knew it, I was fully consumed by curiosity. I couldn’t put down the guitar unless I was picking up a hockey stick or paint brush. I formed a band with some friends as a hobby, which quickly turned into a full-time lifestyle and career. Our band was called Stealing Jane, and we toured the U.S for eight years playing with bands like One Republic, Lifehouse, Hanson, George Clinton, and Bob Marley’s The Wailers. Among the heavy tour schedule, I attended Berklee College of music where I came across the book mentioned above, “Effortless Mastery”. In this book were conversations about identity and the ego, and how to begin a meditation practice.
My first taste of meditation happened while practicing guitar. I thought I had fallen asleep while practicing, when I suddenly “woke up” to realize that my fingers were still moving on the beat of the metronome and two hours had passed. This experience – and the taste of pure peace of mind – drove me to self inquiry and digging for answers about life.
While the tour life as a musician has some of the biggest highs, it all had the lowest of lows. I fell into a depression along with bouts of insomnia. The worst part was that I was completely aware of everything I was feeling but I couldn’t pull myself out. I tried to meditate but without guidance I struggled with the intensity of my mind. In search for answers, I eventually came across another book that would change my life “Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior”. In the opening pages it suggested Yoga for those struggling with seated meditation.
The next day I tried my first yoga class with my first teacher, my step mother Patti. A few months later I was teaching 5 classes a week and so immersed in yoga. I eventually left music to pursue my current path.
Why I teach
Truthfully? I am selfish. I want to share the practice that has brought me so much joy. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone else move through obstacles, get in touch with their body, or connect to their heart and soul. Teaching yoga gives me purpose, and it’s an outlet for my passion and creativity.
What I teach
I have focused most of my career on teaching physical techniques that provide people with a step-by-step approach to building masterful body awareness. Yoga for me is a practice of becoming more self-aware, and the asana practice is the perfect place to develop physical self-awareness.
Where I teach
In 2014, I left the comforts of teaching full-time in Manhattan and decided to tour around the US, Europe, and Asia. At this time, I do not have a home base studio, but three times a year, I host Chromatic Yoga trainings out of my home in Connecticut. I am fortunate enough to have been able to build a career around the world and to connect with students who are as curious as I am about the practice.
from Sleeping on Benches to Sleeping on airplanes
Eight months after I began my practice, I moved to Manhattan. I did not have a home or the money to afford one. I lived on a budget of $5 a day. I wasn’t making money; instead, I was assisting my mentor for 12 classes a week and teaching community classes for free. I slept on couches, at yoga studios, and sometimes on park benches when I had to.
Eventually, I moved in with my grandfather, who lived at the end of the subway line in Queens. I now had a place to sleep at night, and I began a friendship with my grandfather that I am eternally grateful for. This gave me just enough stability that I could continue to pursue my studies and develop my career.
With a Little Luck
One day I showed up to assist my mentor’s class at Pure Yoga in Manhattan, and through a miscommunication, he didn’t show. I quickly told the front desk that I would be happy to cover. The only other teacher in the building was the manager, who had just finished teaching a hot yoga class. She knew who I was and without any questions, she said “Sure, let him teach.” Up until then, I had only assisted the students physically, with little verbal exchange, so I was excited at the opportunity to verbally share with them. After the class, everyone submitted feedback to the club, requesting that I teach a class. I immediately got hired and was asked the famous question: “Where did you do your teacher training?” How to explain that your stepmom spent the last year training you informally every day? Well, it didn’t fly with the club, but they signed me up for their teacher training so I could officially be a certified teacher.
An Unexpected Opportunity
Directly after my first official teacher training, I was given a scholarship to a training that I had no idea I wanted, but it was a game-changer. I had a real enthusiasm for technique and anatomy, but I had very little formal training. I walked into Day 1 of Yoga TuneUp training and quickly realized I was exactly where I needed to be. We studied the muscles, bones, and joints and how they all relate to the yoga practice. Right after the training, I began teaching a YTU class at the studio, and it opened the doors to private yoga. All of a sudden, people were asking me questions about their knees, back, neck, and shoulders. I didn’t have the answers of course, but I was more than willing to do the research and get back to anyone who approached me.
“I Have Degenerating Discs”
said a woman to me after class one day. I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t know how to work with you on this.” She insisted that I work with her, and she told me that she had begged her doctors to let her try a holistic approach for 9 months before surgery. I agreed, under the condition that she see a physical therapist and a chiropractor and that they communicate with me each week. We began our sessions, and shortly in, she was convinced this would work, but I was not. I had to learn, and learn fast, in order to keep up with the anatomical jargon of the professionals. We developed routines to help her build integrity around her spine, and I was forced to find ways to explain the exact sensation I was looking for her to feel. I became articulate with my words, and we became communicative about the experience. This formed the style of yoga that I teach today.
From Success to Burnout
I worked with my client’s doctors, and after 9 months, they said she was no longer a candidate for surgery. My private client base grew exponentially, and I was also grinding away teaching 20+ public classes a week. I eventually burnt out and had to rethink what I was doing and why. I tried teaching a workshop, but only a few students showed, and it proved to be a lot of effort for very little return. Though I had gained success with public classes and private clients, I was so energetically burnt that I was ready to give up and search for a new career path. I decided to go back to learning. I began the long path of studying to become a teacher of Anusara, which was the style I first began learning with my stepmom. I found my meditation and philosophy teacher, Rudrani Farbman, who reinvigorated my passion for the yoga practice. This was a huge turn for me. My teaching became more effective, powerful, and empowering for my students, but I was still stuck teaching too much and not able to live a peaceful life.
As fate would have it, my AcroYoga teacher, Jason Nemer, said to me in 2012, “Why don’t you teach a handstand workshop?” I took his advice, and much to my surprise, I had a great turnout of 30 students. I did it again the next month and had 50, then 65, and the workshop continued to sell out the room monthly for the next year and a half.
Time for Change
As my touring schedule picked up on the weekends, I was still holding down full-time classes in Manhattan. For whatever reason, the areas I was invited to teach in were always in beautiful nature-rich areas, which created a stark contrast when I would return to the city. The lights, the sounds, the pace became increasingly more challenging for me. It was time for a change. Long story short, I picked up and left Manhattan for the countryside of Connecticut. I bought my first home and now had a mortgage and car to pay for with no steady job, but I knew somehow I would make it work. I decided to have a go at being a full-time touring yoga instructor. Within 6 months, my weekends were packed and then, thanks to circumstances, opportunity, and the courage to say yes to new things, I found myself spending many of my tours in Europe.
Thanks to the generosity and trust of my now best friend, Young Ho Kim, I was presented with the chance to teach around Germany and Austria. Each conference exposed me to new students, many of which were studio owners and leaders of yoga festivals and conferences. This led me to where I am today.
Where I Am Today
Today I travel to teach yoga internationally throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. I share what I consider to be a unique style of yoga that places a huge emphasis on technique and sensation-based physical awareness. All of my workshops have a target sensation based on one or more muscle activations. While I often sequence to a peak posture, the emphasis is more on what I call a “peak action.” My goal is that students walk out understanding something new about their body. The other focus of my teaching is on awareness of the mind, and most often I provide students with teachings derived from the elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space) as a basis for self-reflection. Rather than providing a right and wrong way of doing something, I do my best to open up options for students to experience and then reflect, to make decisions about what is appropriate for them at that time.
On my travels, I noticed a necessity in the yoga world: community. As the practice has expanded, the community has diluted, especially among yoga teachers. I wanted to create something – a school, a community, a way for yoga teachers to celebrate their unique individuality while belonging to something larger than just themselves. I craved it, and I knew others did as well. I developed Chromatic Yoga in 2014, but it took 2 years until it was ready to be shared. In 2016, the first Chromatic Yoga training was held at my home in Connecticut, where I shared my vision with 10 of my closest students, each with their own unique teaching style. I told them, “I want to create a school of yoga that is centered around community, growth, and authenticity.” Today, there are 26 Chromatic Yoga instructors worldwide and 3 levels of Chromatic trainings that each happen once a year in Connecticut.
In addition to my touring schedule and Chromatic Yoga, the third piece of the puzzle is this website. The obvious craving for knowledge amongst students and teachers has led me to redevelop theyogimatt.com to be more than just a website that tells you where and when I am teaching. My intention for this website is for it to be your #1 resource for yoga, mind and body. I am working hard to provide you with both FREE and paid content that will support you in your growth as a practitioner and/or teacher. I truly hope this serves you well.
Yoga instructor Matt Giordano gives credit to an influential figure from his teenage years – his high school art teacher – for sparking within him the curiosity and tenacity that eventually led him to yoga. It was Eileen Walk who told Giordano, “You are not allowed to say ‘I can’t.’ You must rephrase to a question: ‘How?'”
That inquisitive and unrelenting spirit laid the foundation for Matt to begin a devoted yoga practice. When coupled with his passion to understand the physics and subtle alignment of the body, Matt’s dharma as a teacher came into focus.
Originally from Sea Cliff, Long Island, Giordano spent 7 years developing his teaching style while living in Manhattan, where he taught at local studios (Pure NYC, Equinox). Matt now travels internationally to teach his signature technique-based style of yoga, educating yoga students on how to use their bodies in a profound and life-changing way. Well known for his ability to guide students deeply into postures with his refined attention to detail and precise action cues, Giordano is an adept guide for students of all levels at festivals, workshops, and in his weekly studio classes. His study of biomechanics and integrative mind-body techniques informs his teaching, as he draws upon wisdom from traditions of yoga, martial arts (Aikido and Tae Kwon Do), acrobatics, AcroYoga, and Thai Yoga Massage. Matt is known to inspire humble confidence, allowing students to find ease while expanding the edge of their comfort zones.
In 2016, Matt created and founded an international school of yoga that focuses on community, growth and authentic teaching, and he hosts trainings each year out of his home in northwest Connecticut.
He has also been featured on local and national television, Austrian TV, Aspen Local, and LIVE! With Kelly and Michael
He has taught at festivals and conferences around the world, including Wanderlust, Yoga Games, Yolo Festival Korea, The German Yoga Conference, Swiss Yoga Conference, Austrian Yoga Conference, Inside Yoga Conference, Yoga on The Mountain, Yoga Journal Conference, and many more.
Matt has taught for multiple online platforms, including Gaiam, Gaia TV, My Yoga Online, and Tint Yoga, where he has his largest selection of online content today.
Book Matt Giordano
Hi, I am Sara. I manage Matt’s bookings, and I am here to assist you in bringing Matt to your event, studio, or training. Use the contact button below to contact me directly. I look forward to hearing from you!
Workshops, Trainings, Immersions
Matt has a list of over 12 public workshops, 6 Teacher Training modules, and 3 immersions to choose from. In addition, we are able to alter or add workshops according to your needs and to best suit your student base.
Matt is available for public and private events at your
- retreat center
- education center
Matt teaches around the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. You will have the opportunity to bring Matt to you, wherever you are located.
Contact Matt Giordano
Have a Question?
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