women

When Yoga and I met the first time.

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This is an interesting post to me because I am still learning lots about Yoga, but I find the practice one of the most life changing experiences I had. Its not something I would not have got into on my own, until the opportunities to practice the discipline frequently hits me. It was a rainy day when I first tried Yoga for the first time at Modo Yoga in NYC and I love trying out new things so to speak. I was two months into my personal training in Circuit Training and I figured why not try Yoga. I mean, I have a clue that I need flexibility and balance, but never was the kind of person who remembers to breathe when I go into my workouts. I walked inside the hot room with my towel and black whitebeater shirt and lied down. I haven’t experienced hot indoors since the summer heatwave in 2008 and there was no electricity. I waited for my instructor to teach the class.Shit, I am sort of sweating here.

Surrounded by a sea of attractive bodies of people lying on the mats and doing their own thing, the instructor gave us some drills I am no where familiar with. To me, that is stretching. I can’t remember the name of the poses, but I know I was nowhere near the level of flexibility, as I suspected. I struggled to maintain my balance, no, to even catch up with the class as I continue to sweat out alot more. However, despite the fact I am new, I learn one thing from this experience, the stress and muscle aches I felt from my circuit training class were relieved. Knowing me, I done an array of sports that are bound to get you sore, especially cross country, track, karate, and rugby. For the first time, I am not competing to achieve a goal, I am pushing myself for me. Of course, I would get in a world of hurt if I try all the poses in haste and inexperience. I thanked the instructor for his time and asked for last minute advice. Something about patience, change, and growth was something I got out of him. This is not the last experience I have in Yoga. Next post is actually a followup. 

Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”  Caroline Adams

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Mankofit’s Inspirational Journey

Mankofit

Mankofit

I originally started this blog with the intention of giving more spotlight to personal trainers that not only have just amazing bodies but can tell motivational stories to inspire you, and help you put down those French Fries in a heartbeat. A lot of people with the most glamorous looks and lifestyle aren’t really born into it. They work hard for it, as we all know. Confidence is not something you are automatically built with, it’s often something you have to build up each and every day. Sometimes being bullied takes in more than just insults. It humiliates you, devalue your worth and your reason why you are here today. Circumstances also take a heavy toll on your mind, body, and spirit. So how does one get rid of all that negative energy? Sure, there are focus groups and recreation centers to help you, but I find that exercise is really one of the most effective ways in reversing all of those shitty things. I had days I felt not good enough to wear really cool clothes or dress sexy, but you know what; I am as fit now as I was back in high school, maybe more.

If it wasn’t for my personal trainer, I wouldn’t be able to push myself as hard as anything I could imagine. The more times I pass through the pain to finish a set or hit a certain number in a rep, the more I can understand myself for me to transform as a person. I admire personal trainers because of how dedicated they are to their bodies and can manage to help others achieve their goals. To lead a better life, one should be physically active and are willing to expand their horizons. Personal trainers are people I respect; they are their own celebrities. Today, I bring you a woman that I’m truly inspired by (besides my personal trainer) .Her quirky fitness Instagram posts and her moving story pushes me to do something groundbreaking in the time I have here, hence this blog. Massy “Mankofit” Arias is one of the most celebrated personal trainers in the business and she deserves every bit of recognition. You might recognize her from outlets including VIBE and INKED, was featured in the Trey Songz music video “Na Na” and a lot more. From her killer 6 pack abs and body decorated in cool tattoos, her seamless performances in pistol pushups and 200+lbs leg squats, and killer smile, Mankofit isn’t just some pretty face with a godlike body. She is someone I can truly relate to as if she is one of my friends that overcame the challenges and wanted me to do the same.

Born in the Dominican Republic, she moved to the United States at the age of thirteen, without speaking English fluently. She had a very draining relationship with her ex-boyfriend on top of taking care of her family members all at once. Depression was constantly beating her up left and right and worse lived a life that seemed all the more unbearable. And her name, in case you were wondering what does Mankofit means, you’ll be surprised to learn that the word “Manko” is a Japanese derogatory term for women’s genitalia after some foolish Japanese woman often called her Manko in insult. Her mom suggested for her to join a gym, which eventually became her dose of medicine to overcome depression and beyond. She went on doing swimsuit competitions and everything else fell in place. She turned those name callings and depression into fuel and exercise transformed her into an activist for women’s rights and motivational speaker as well.

You can watch the link to her mini documentary here, directed by Eliu Cornielle of EC Media Studio (Link: https://vimeo.com/93605497). The moral of the story is that anyone can be anything, but with great determination, dedication, and appreciation for what you have, you deserve what you earn.

 

“I am not a body builder, I am not an athlete.  I am not the strongest, nor the fastest. What I am, is dedicated. I am passionate. I am committed. I want to show the world that ordinary can become extraordinary.”

– Massy Arias (AKA MANKOFIT)