Karl Notargiovanni is a Modo Yoga teacher.

Modo Voices: Karl learns to love all his colours

 

No matter your sexual identity — or how you define or see yourself in general — just know that there is a place for you at Modo Yoga.

“I knew I was different when I was five. I had this feeling on the inside, but had no words to express it.

Growing up in the 80s, there was no example of homosexuality in the media or in my surroundings.

So, when I started realizing that I liked boys, I knew it had to be hidden. As I grew, the level of shame within me grew too. It stayed with me for a really long time. I always felt inferior to everybody else.

I remember crying my eyes out as I came out to my friend at 14. I didn’t want to be gay. I felt so alone.

And then, ‘My So Called Life’ came out on TV and there was the first-ever gay character and it gave me a glimpse of hope. I thought, ‘finally, something I can relate to.’

I think shame diminishes who we are and so, we find other ways of creating value in ourselves, of filling our void, and those ways aren’t always healthy — sexual behaviours, drug abuse and addictions.

These quick fixes turn into destructive habits and they don’t work.

But we can nourish those vulnerable parts of ourselves through yoga, meditation, being in nature, connecting to good people and doing what we love.

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“I knew I was different when I was 5. I had this feeling on the inside but had no words to express it. Growing up in the 80s, there was no example of homosexuality in the media or in my surroundings. So when I started realizing that I liked boys, I knew it had to be hidden. As I grew, the level of shame within me grew too. It stayed with me for a really long time. I always felt inferior to everybody else. I remember crying my eyes out as I came out to my friend at 14. I didn’t want to be gay. I felt so alone. And then ‘My So Called Life’ came out on TV and there was the 1st ever gay character and it gave me a glimpse of hope. I thought, “finally, something I can relate to!” I think shame diminishes who we are and so we find other ways of creating value in our selves, of filling our voids… and those ways aren’t always healthy––sexual behaviours, drug abuse, addictions. These quick fixes turn into destructive habits. And they don’t work. But we can nourish those vulnerable parts of our selves through yoga, meditation, being in nature, connecting to good people, and doing what we love. When I started dancing in college, it was a way for me to express myself in a way I was never able to in words. Dance was the first thing that made me feel the most accepted and free. Yoga and meditation allowed me to liberate my body and my mind from the shame. The more I practiced, the more I was able to own my voice and find my truest self. Being in an open and accepting environment like Modo Yoga made me feel more comfortable in my own being. It really is #APlaceForAll and it’s something that I’m so proud to be a part of today. What I know for sure is that it’s so important to have pride in who you are. Sexuality is only a small part of who you are––it’s not everything. Keep reaching for the stars!” —@mrkarlitolove, @modoyogagriffintown #ModoVoices

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When I started dancing in college, it was a way for me to express myself in a way I was never able to in words.

Dance was the first thing that made me feel the most accepted and free. Yoga and meditation allowed me to liberate my body and my mind from the shame.

The more I practiced, the more I was able to own my voice and find my truest self.

Being in an open and accepting environment like Modo Yoga made me feel more comfortable in my own being. It really is a place fo all and it’s something that I’m so proud to be part of today.

What I know for sure is that it’s so important to have pride in who you are. Sexuality is only a small part of who you are — it’s not everything. Keep reaching for the stars.”

Modo Voices shares the stories of students and teachers across the Modo community.  Some came to Modo through friends, others took the road less travelled as they searched for answers to enliven their life, connect deeper with themselves and their community or bravely face battles with depression, anxiety, injury or prejudice. No matter how they got here, we are Modo Yoga.