Today I am finally checking something off my list of “must-share-with-the-interwebz,” which is my immense gratitude for the joy I’ve experienced as a result of joining Pure Yoga on the Upper West Side. I’ve been percolating this post around in my brain for some time now, but after an exquisite memorial class this afternoon for someone who was deeply cherished by the studio, I feel it is time that when I need to make my feelings known, I am going to do it sooner rather than later. It’s actually been a few months since I became a member, which I felt was a really great decision during a time of emotional upheaval. I’ve taken classes with a handful of teachers at the studio, but for our purposes today, I’ll be discussing the wonderful adventure I’ve experienced in my hours spent each week practicing with Matt Giordano.
On any given day of the work week, I can be found in Matt’s Pure West classes, which are Chakra Slow Flow on Monday and Wednesday, Vinyasa on Tuesday, Yoga TuneUp on Thursday, and Slow Flow on Friday. Regardless of anything else that is going on in my day, I know that when I show up to Matt’s class, I will leave knowing that I am cared for and that the question marks that hang out over my head and in my heart are disappearing. Sometimes the clarity makes me feel lighter, happier, and sometimes there are tears. Whatever the realization is that occurs to me, big or small, I also know that being part of the great energy I experience Monday through Friday will support me along the way.
Aside from all the amazing internal benefits, in my short time with Matt, I feel that my understanding of alignment has increased exponentially. There are certain actions that Matt kindly reminds us to perform in just about every pose, which have given me a considerable gain of strength, stability, and flexibility. It’s quite refreshing practicing yoga that makes you feel like you and your body are a team, rather than feeling that your body is a hindrance.
At the end of each class, Matt serenades us all during Savasana, accompanying himself with acoustic guitar. This final part of the class has empowered me to have some cathartic experiences from the time I walk out the door until the time I step back in the next day. There’s nothing quite like being at peace and finally discovering that you can have that feeling anytime at all, not just in yoga class.
If you are able to attend one of Matt’s classes at Pure or elsewhere in the city, do yourself a huge favor and just show up!
In conclusion, it’s no secret that I think health, mental and physical, is the greatest rock to have, despite anything else that may be going on our life situations- breakdowns, breakups, new jobs, most changes of any kind can be stressful. The whole point of this blog is to share with you anything I’ve found that has inspired me to make discoveries and push boundaries within my own body and mind. When it seems that we are unable to accept the unpleasant factors of our reality, or even if pursuing our dreams has turned into a nightmare, I don’t think there is anything more beneficial than recognizing that our physical being is one gift that we should never take for granted. If we can truly feel safe and secure within the walls of our cells, then how much more simply can we live, avoiding the suffering that can be inflicted on us by society, life circumstances, or even ourselves?
This isn’t just about exercising or eating well because we “should,” or because it’s what others expect of us. I’ll be the first to admit that I have spent the majority of my existence “should-ing” the living daylights out of everything that could have been a source of pleasure for me. For a long time, doing what was expected of me worked really well! I had all the trappings of a successful life on the outside, but none of that mattered anymore when it came to the point that I was too mentally exhausted to function. At some point along the way, I had learned to sense that my heart had something to say about the blindfolded sprinting and flailing, but I didn’t really listen until I opened my eyes and I saw that I was a human being in machine’s clothing.
Therefore, this journey isn’t for rushing into bettering ourselves. What’s the point of the journey if we don’t enjoy the ride? The only way we can relish the process is if we are able to be truly present and connected to our physical bodies. With that understanding, I think the world is a beautiful place, ripe for the picking, in spite of anything that tries to throw us off course. Finally, we aren’t alone! Everyone you’ve met, anywhere and ever is also capable of waking up from the mechanized thing we’re sometimes taught to believe is living.
Finally, I encourage you to surround yourself with people who inspire you and who enable you to see that good that’s already inside you. Sometimes from our own point of view, it can be hard accept that we are worthy of being loved, and therefore worthy of loving others and enjoying their presence in the hours we have to spend on earth.
So, thank you for reading what I’ve had to share, and thank you to Matt for being an incredible teacher.