Yoga Podcast Episode 46: MC YOGI & Amanda Giacomini

Watering the Roots

Today’s guests are hip-hop artist MC Yogi and the creator of the 10000 Buddhas project, Amanda Giacomini. MC and Amanda met at a teacher training at It’s Yoga in San Francisco back in 2000 and have been spent the past 20 years, spreading their love of yoga to the masses through their music and art, but also more intimately, in their Point Reyes studio they began as a young couple and still regularly teach today.

In this episode, MC and Amanda talk about their relationship with the practice, their teachers (Larry Schultz and Dorothy Divack), and especially – each other. Because while MC may claim – love at first sight – their story is no mythical fairy tale. It’s intentional. A conscious choice to align their lives – together.

 I like to start at the finish line. I like to say, let’s start where you want to end up … Start where you want to be.

MC YOGI


PODCAST EXCERPTS

The Dance of Hanuman

MC: I always say stay close to the roots … if you start to branch out too far – you start to lose sight of the vision, of why you got into this practice in the first place. Me personally, I got into the practice in the first place to heal. So going out and being super big and everything is like the opposite of healing because I think healing is close and small and intimate connected to nature.

Now when it comes to music, I go big. I think that’s the hanuman dance of being able to be really small when you need to be small, navigate and move through the terrain, and go really big when its time to give service. Because sometimes you can play small and it could be a disservice. And sometimes you can go really big and it could be a disservice.

So I think of it like the inhale and the exhales of fluctuation – and being able to dance between what it is that the moment calling for right now.

5 Stages of Relationship

AMANDA: We made an effort to set our lives up to be together a lot. And travel together. That was a conscious choice. And we have an amazing woman who came into our life early on. Her name is Dorothy Divack.

We went to Dorothy after a while being together … We wanted to experience a new paradigm of relationship. (Dorothy) had this concept of the healthy flow of relationship and it was 5 stages:

The first stage is Attraction. The second stage she called Playmate, which is when you start doing activities together and start sharing your friends with their friends and you’re doing things more socially, like in groups. The third phase is Friendship and that’s when you start sharing your dreams and your fears, like more personal, going to that level of trust and friendship.

The fourth phase is Intimacy, like sexual intimacy, physically intimacy. That happens 4 phases down the line! I’m just going to repeat that because she said, in her experience, most people jump from attraction to physical intimacy. And they don’t build the building blocks of being playmates, of having fun together, of doing social things, and being friends. 

And then then the fifth phase she called Deep Intimacy, union, marriage, like when you really merge your lives. You go on a path together. You decide to walk together. 

An Artwork in Progress

I feel like when people say that relationship is work, it sounds awful. It’s like a job. This is not a job. It’s like a joy. – Amanda Giacomini

AMANDA: (Dorothy) was also very clear that she felt it’s easy for relationships to become work. To become transactional business arrangements. You do this for me, I do this for you. And she didn’t believe that that was the highest expressionf of relationship. So she taught us that too. Be aware of when you’re thinking about a relationship in a transactional way. 

And that’s not artwork – that’s work. Artwork is I’m doing this our of love… I’m doing this for the joy.

I think of it like a painting though. And if Im going down the path of a painting and suddenly I’m doing a bunch of stuff on the painting and I look back and I’m like, That’s not working … I think the same thing can happen in a ou gotta be willing to like make changes and edit and I think it’s a fun process. You can get in a pattern where things aren’t working and they don’t feel good and you just have to edit it out. You have to go back — backtrack — you go back and you reset a new thing and I think maybe being …

MC: Well you’ve had paintings where you just straight up like changed the color.  Like the whole color. You’ve had pieces that were like blue and they weren’t working and you went like and I was just like, Sweetie, try going a darker color…

AMANDA: Yeah. You’ve gotta do something different. You gotta be willing to like make changes and edit. And I think it’s a fun process.

MC: It’s a creative process.

The Path of a Jedi

It’s sort of like the Jedi, you know? You go from Obi Wan to Yoda until you realize – you are the force. But it is a process. – MC YOGI

MC: I’m grateful for the generation of my teachers and my grandparents because I think they did toughen me up. Like my grandparents worked really really hard they were the product of the depression. My mom is immigrated to America. She didn’t own a pair of shoes before she came to this country. And my whole family worked really hard to make a life. And that was modeled to me from an early age – that if you really want to be successful, you have to sweat and you have to work and you can’t just wait for someone else to come along to do it for you.


Blast from the Past

An old (now unlisted) video from 2012: A Rocket Yoga sequence with music from MC YOGI’s first album, featuring a bunch of today’s Instagrammers – before Instagram! See how many yoga nerds YOU recognize.

And please don’t let me regret posting this!


 

This episode of Ashtanga Dispatch Podcast was written, edited, and produced by Peg Mulqueen.. Music by MC YOGI.

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