by Jeramy C. Pritchett
As a youth, Nicholas Giacomini was like most youths, troubled and looking for his place. Due to family situations he was forced to spend most of his high school years in a group home for at risk youths. Hip-hop music and graffiti became his escapes and influenced him to begin writing rhymes and spraying walls.
At 18, with his father back in his life, he decided to take a yoga class. The experience completely changed the game for him. He poured all of his extra time into learning about this powerful meditative practice. During this exploration at a training class in San Francisco he met the love of his life, Amanda.
When I met with both of them in an art district of Miami called Wynwood, it was an overcast day and unknown to them I was suffering a terrible migraine headache. They were in Miami for the Grassroots Festival, where MC Yogi had performed on stage and Amanda had led a yoga class. This is something that they now do around the world, as well as teaching yoga at their studio “Yoga Toes” in Point Reyes, California.
Wynwood, Miami is known for graffiti. Artists come from all over the world to display their work, while admirers come to experience it. As we walked around and talked casually about life and past experiences my headache began to go away; there is a calming effect from being in their presence. Nick told me how Yoga has played a huge roll in his life and has brought him closer to family, to friends and to understanding himself.
Nick and Amanda spoke of their three month experience in India and how training with Yoga masters helped to expand their knowledge and grow the unbreakable bond between the two of them. It also opened their minds to the ways of others. They snapped pictures on their iPhones and apologized for being photo happy, which to a photographer is never a problem. Then I became the photographer once again, as they played around with Yoga poses and I snapped away. The colors on the walls seemed to enhance the beauty of both of their souls.
We spoke about the misconceptions with Yoga, such as… people that do yoga are all hippies, soft talkers and that you really can’t get in athletic shape doing it. These ideas are changing, but not fast enough for Nick and Amanda. They want to make real change by getting the younger generation involved. According to Nick, yoga literally saved his life at eighteen. He feels it could do the same for an entire generation of kids that feel lost and out of place, just as he did when he was their age.
We proceeded to talk about mutual friends, places we had traveled, musical influences and the power of social media. Nick had just joined Instagram and was already posting photos from our walk. Nick wore a Gandhi pin on his jacket and talked about the song he wrote about him. I didn’t tell him how at eight years old Gandhi had changed my life. I knew we would have time to talk about it in the future, as our paths are sure to cross again.
For more information on MC Yogi and Amanda Giacomini please visit www.mcyogi.com