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Teacher Feature: Matt Giordano

We are super excited to welcome Matt Giordano to Lila at the end of this month.  His teaching is playful, insightful, and inspires deep knowing and understanding of your own body, in its entirety.  Originally from Sea Cliff, Long Island, Giordano spent seven years developing his teaching style 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 body 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.  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 Kwan Do), acrobatics, AcroYoga and Thai Yoga Massage.  Matt willingly shared the responses below to be this month’s featured teacher.  Please read and get to know him… and then sign up and join us for his teachings!

1. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOGA?

Yoga is the process of building self awareness physically, emotionally, and energetically/spiritually. The purpose is simple: clear ourselves of anything that limits our ability to connect to the pure state of bliss inside. The practice of yoga is putting forth whatever effort necessary to consistently uncover our state of joy inside regardless of the outside challenges we face on a daily basis.

2. HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR WAY TO YOGA?

For years I struggled with a self taught meditation practice. The struggle to find peace of mind led me to reading several books, one of which was “Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman. The book became a guide for how to live life – to “live in the moment”. Millman mentions Yoga as a form of moving meditation, and explains how it can be an easier way to approach meditation for beginners. After reading that section I called my step mother, who had been teaching yoga for quite some years, and I asked her more about it. She gave me her schedule and said I would know after three times if it’s something I would want to continue. Fifteen minutes into the first session we got into warrior II and held it, I knew right at that moment my life had changed. I went to every class of he​rs for the next year.

3. WHAT IS YOUR PRACTICE LIKE OFF THE MAT? HOW WOULD YOU SAY YOU LIVE YOUR YOGA?

Yoga for me is self awareness. The physical practice is one very important aspect of that but never have I mistook it for the practice itself.  My goal has been and still is peace of mind, and Joy. This includes observing my patterns – how I eat, how I sleep, how I act, how I react, how I move and so on. I am constantly asking myself what I ultimately want in all aspects of my life (family, work, hobbies, friendships, travel, etc.). When I am clear on what I want, and I am awake to my patterns I can then make decisions to step toward what I am wanting to create for myself and everyone around me. If this intrigues you, you might might try it by asking yourself ​these questions:
1. Deep in my heart, beyond all insecurity and doubt what do I want (insert aspect of life- family, relationships, money, purpose, etc.)?
2. How do I want to feel when I get there?
3. What can I do NOW that will propel me to where I want to go?

This is an abbreviated but effective version of setting an intention.

4. WHAT DRAWS YOU TO THE LILA COMMUNITY?

I have had the pleasure to share the practice with Genell, and I have seen how inspired and curious and completely present she is as a teacher, student, and friend. I am excited to connect with the community that she has lovingly surrounded herself with, I can only imagine the power that already exists within it.

5. WHO IS YOUR PRIMARY TEACHER RIGHT NOW?

I would say my brother is my primary teacher right now. While he doesn’t necessarily practice yoga, he has become masterful at seeing himself. He inspires and challenges me to dig deeper into self awareness, become clearer on what I am wanting, and align my actions with my heart.

6. WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO KEEP TEACHING?

1. Curiosity – When students are curious knowledge is pulled out of me and I can’t help but share it.
2. Gratitude – I feel fortunate for all the tools my journey has provided me with, and sharing them with others fulfills me.
3. Passion – Yoga is essentially the practice of living, and life is something I am in love with. The passion I have for living a purposeful life drives me to the rol​e of helping people in their pursuit of Joy.

7. IF YOU WOULD SUGGEST ONE BOOK TO THE COMMUNITY TO READ AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DEEPEN THEIR LEARNING ON LIFE, YOGA, AND ALL THINGS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

One book for various people at different points along their path seems impossible to suggest, but a fun question to ponder. I suppose I would go with the book that changed my life as I mentioned above titled “Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior” (not to be confused with “Way of …” which is a great novel). “Wisdom of” is a guidebook that gives the reader the feeling that Dan Millman is with you as your personal teacher.

www.TheYogiMatt.com
www.facebook.com/theyogimatt

New Year’s Evolution

Sunday marked the transition into the new year.  The calendar year changing provides many an entry way to set new goals, visions, and dreams for the days and months that lay ahead.  Visions of finally picking up that hobby you have been dreaming of for years (insert hobby here… playing guitar, learning another language, sewing,Continue Reading

The Gift of your own presence…

The season of giving is upon us.  Mother Teresa once said, “It is not how much we give, but how much LOVE we put into giving.”  We can easily make mindless purchases and give without much thought and care – gadgets, trinkets, jewels, sweaters, books, or even our time, energy, and donations.  What would theContinue Reading

Teacher Feature: Sea Change Yoga

A deep bow to this new organization that is giving in a big way to our greater community.  This month’s teacher feature highlights the great work of this local non-profit working to bring the healing power of trauma sensitive yoga and meditation to all.  The teachers travel to residential treatment facilities, community recovery centers, and correctionalContinue Reading

Student Highlight: Stephanie Cabot

Stephanie is the owner of Rêve Cycling Studio. Her goal is to provide an urban escape for riders in the middle of Portland. Motivated by the relaxed and refreshed mind/body experience that a good cycling workout provides, she wants all of her riders to experience this with her same enthusiasm. She lives in Portland, MaineContinue Reading

Student Highlight: Campbell Badger

Campbell is an attorney living in Portland, Maine.  He has represented public and private employers in labor law and labor relations for over 15 years.  In particular, Campbell represents school districts and public entities across Maine in labor negotiations, labor arbitrations, and personnel matters.  At the national level, Campbell represents Indian tribal enterprises in addressing unionContinue Reading

Teacher Feature: Heather Murray

1. How would you describe yoga? To me yoga is about connection. It is a means by which we connect (or reconnect) to our truest essence that can easily become hidden or blurred through daily life. Yoga connects us to breath, to body, and to an awareness of our patterns of thought, speech and action.Continue Reading

Homemade Spiced Tea

Have you enjoyed a cup of our chai tea at the studio yet? It warms your belly and helps that centered, connected feeling you get after a great yoga class last just a little bit longer. Want to make some at home? Try this recipe: Homemade Spiced Tea Makes one gallon. Ingredients: 4 quarts waterContinue Reading

BOO Candy Recipe

  How are you transitioning into Fall? It’s important to maintain our health during the changing of the seasons, especially since it can sneak up on us and the next thing we know we’ve got low energy and a runny nose. Around my house we make something called Boo Candy. Take several spoonfuls daily whenContinue Reading

Student Highlight: Martha Vrana-Bossart

How would you describe yoga? My professional training is nursing, and as a nurse and educator of future nurses, I emphasize the holistic aspect of the profession which emphasizes patient response to something. The word “something” could be in the category of wellness, illness, movement, environment, society, medication, diet, etc.  Yoga mirrors (for me) thatContinue Reading