60 second look into 24 hours. Flight to NY to freestyle with the God and photograph the Goddess @ReignGlobal! I’ll be capturing more in this style since I can edit from ze phone with quite ease plus this phone quality is not bad at all. London in the jungle.Look forward to visual magic from ReignGlobal very soon
In an attempt to find some random yogis I put out a IG story requesting anyone that views it to tag a yogi …. one & only one person came through @alana_not_graceful and tagged a super dope yogi that goes by @Tierra.Denae I briefly scrolled through her page and caught a few ideas! I’m definitely looking forward to attending a disconnect retreat! check out what she shared about yoga and life!
What has yoga helped you open yourself up to receiving that you may have been having trouble with before?
Vibrations of the earth around me. I believe I was stuck with the falsities of “reality.” Especially in the United States, our idea of what is right or wrong, what being rich means, and how we treat one another. I wasn’t receiving the truth of the world, and my internal light.
How do you incorporate your photography practice in with your yoga regime and vice versa?
Yoga to me is life. Bringing everything together and making it delicious, and fluid. I try to discover something new everyday. With my photography, and modeling for others, I hope to bring to do that as well. Also capturing the moments that don’t always look “pretty.”
Why Is the disconnect-retreat necessary in a technology dominant time and can you tell us more about it?
We are addicted to “likes” and opinion sharing. Even myself. The Disconnect came about after going to a yoga retreat and seeing so many people still very connected to everything outside of their current experience with one another. I thought to myself if I ever had a retreat, no one would be able to use electronic devices (outside of the photographer) so that we could truly get back to human connection. Every retreat since that time has been increasingly better and deeper.
Can you recall your first memory if so describe the experience.
Yes, I was 2 or 3 maybe, my mother was driving us back to our small apartment and it was dark. A storm had just ended but the lightening still glowing within the clouds. I remember seeing faces and people in the clouds, colors of black, red, and purple.
While meditating have you had any experiences/sensations that are hard to explain?
Yes, I attempt to, but sometimes I just keep the sensations to myself and honor that it was had.
Are there lessons you have learned from the ocean?Absolutely. What we need more than anything is support. We can’t do everything alone. Pollution is hard to get rid of, in the oceans, the mind, the body, one another, but it can be done with time and patience.
I noticed you practice with a community, is it more fun or benefit to do yoga with others or alone? I’ve always practiced by myself so I find the group gatherings fascinating…I like it both ways, my community allows me to find connection through a lot of the sensations I feel when I practice. They keep me accountable and in check when I am in doubt. My personal practice is something a bit more sacred. I speak with my ancestors and tap into my goddess energy.
Sometimes what’s hard is your head, Not your heart….. How does yoga help you ease the mind and open your heart?
Compassion. I’ve learned compassion through yoga. If nothing else, it creates a space for me to love better, be kinder in thought and action with others. And that space allows for an open mind.
What is meditating/practicing in a pyramid like? and Are you familiar the book Shape power?
I could try to explain it, but you’ll have to come see for yourself. Some people cry immediately upon entry and even before practice. The space sits on a vortex of energy so each experience is different. I have personally felt an array of emotions and vibrations. I have not heard of it, but I’m putting it on my list now!
How can fear be beneficial?
Fear is beneficial in that its a guide to what you are capable of. Your dreams are often right on the other side waiting for you to work through it all.
Allow time for your mind to be still and your heart to be open. The possibilities become endless and your legend to be built.
On this run through of Yogi Selects I took a scroll on Instagram to discover The.Brotha.That.Cooks. Being a brother that cooks myself, I knew I would get some home cooked quality answers. Check out the light dive below!
How do you stay rooted in your yoga practice to ensure lifelong progress?
I stay rooted in my yoga practice by staying realistic with myself and my expectations. I set goals in my head of certain poses that I want to have down, knowing full well that it will take me years to develop the strength and body awareness. My decision to get into yoga was mindful at its roots. I was a Division 1, Olympic Level swimmer before my transition, and even when it came as the choice to swim and not play football or basketball, I wanted to choose something that I could do throughout my lifetime and not destroy my body in the process. When it comes to the practice of yoga, I keep it first and foremost as an internal practice. The Asanas are secondary. I also follow the advice of more advanced yogis when it comes to what they say about the asanas. Listening to your body, not letting your ego get in the way when it comes to wanting to do a pose. On days that it doesn’t want to bend as far, or the handstands just aren’t being hit, it’s okay… just stay mindful of the breath
Did yoga effect your choice of what you decide to consume as food, if so why?
It was more so the other way around, I was becoming more mindful of what I was eating and then it led me towards yoga intuitively. I believe that when it comes to eating a plant-based diet as I follow it clears up the mind and naturally one will start to look for practices that are more holistic in nature and more about the relationship that you develop with you holistic self, not like most others that the relationship is carnal, how fast you go, how high you jump, how much you lift, what place you got in a competition. From being an athlete for most of my life, often you will find that the motivations behind great success come from the fear of being inadequate…based on a number.
What is the most logical thought you can think of pertaining to yoga as well as the most illogical?
Where do you find balance between the two?The most logical: Yoga is all about the connection between the mind, breath and body. The most illogical: The best yogis can do handstands and the most spiritual sit in full lotus I find balance between the two by staying in check with myself by listening to my body. I follow the advice of my yoga teachers and reflect on how I look to them for advice…to others my natural strength may lead some to think I’m a “better” yogi than them because of the asanas I can perform. I then look at myself and set goals towards having a practice where I stay aware of my breath for the entire hour and not pushing myself to advance an asana every class. It has led me to gleam more understanding of self and reality from my practices.
What was your perception of yourself before yoga and after?
I’ll take this question to be what my perception is before I practice yoga and then myself afterwards.Before I practice, I am often very busy in my mind, somewhat like a bees nest, focusing too much on the trivial matters of life jumping from one task to the next. Very shallow breathing.After I practice, I am more in the moment. Focused on the task at hand and not as worried about the artificial construct of time, but rather the quality of the work that I am performing
If the food you eat effects your mind state, how did you come to this observation?
I became most aware of this in August 2018 when I first ate raw vegan for 30 days. During that period, my skin was clearing up, I was forced to deal with some traumas of my past in my dream realities and I had more energy than ever before. I was eating as plant-based as I could before but eating Raw made me take a second look at the ingredients in my food. Also, during the holiday season I consciously chose to eat animal protein again with my family, so I could take note of the difference first-hand when I reverted. I noticed that I would often fall asleep right away, I was very groggy and lazy for about 48-72 hours after eating the animal protein. It makes me appreciate eating plant-based that much more because I have an accurate mental and physical record of the effects. I know by first-hand reflection that I am doing the best for my mind, body and by eating plant-based. Not just following an emotional trigger from an online post. Do best for yourself by trial and self-reflection.
Share your perspective/experience on conscious breathing.
The breath is the first thing that you do when you get here and the last thing you do when you leave. It plugs you into this reality. The nature of the thoughts is directly connected to the speed and the depth of the breath. Breath is everything. Think of it as your pulsating and changing the charge of the neurons in the air and space around and inside of you. Your breath is a step into programming your reality.
Do you think the expectations you have now will hold the same value toward the conclusion of your life time?
The aspects of me that are deeply programmed and more “hard wired” still have the ability to change through time, so for the most part I believe I will continue to grow and learn through my existence in this avatar.
Have you experienced any yoga related dreams or hard to explain meditation experiences?
For my meditations, I often get visuals of mandalas in a rhythmic pattern, feels like some signs of communication, but more feeling than hearing and navigating through the “music” or “bells”. I’m a, HBI student and I am thankful for the accurate knowledge and fluid format that they provide me along my path of spiritual development
When did you realize you would continue your yoga practice after starting?
I first learn of yoga when I was a child, I did it as a supplement to swimming because it helps open up the hips and maintain shoulder stability and strength. Besides that, I like the incorporation of the mind, body and breath. Swimming is very much the same way, because you breath opposite of when you are running, In through your mouth and out your nose. When you are pacing for distance the breathing rhythm is a large part of staying consistent. I also enjoy how you can simply do yoga by yourself and it takes up a small amount of space, you can do it anywhere and you can do it until the body dies. I consciously made a choice to chose habits that I could still do in my 100s (years of age)
More content seems to be the goal these days with that being said we’re back on that mission! More YouTube videos mainly, subscribers seem to build up faster than I can upload so I’m looking forward to interacting more on that platform!
YouTube – 3 videos a week on the tube! Could be more but quality over quantity is the key over here. From short doc style videos to abstract cinematic captures!
Plenty of Yogi Selects. Yogis tend to move on cp time so I’ll create 7 questionnaires but receive a couple within normal time periods.
Book Selects – More books with mystical and fascinating information will be postedRecipe selects, cannabis selects. Travel selects + more….
Blogging – Sharing more of the day to day behind the scenes of our photoshoots videoshoots or daily workout progress.
Workshops – We are now offering basic photography and videography workshops for those that would like an introduction to content creation. For more info go to Infocus247.com/workshop
Merchandise – Cubensis T – Shirts are still available, I will be hitting up ByrdEyeView for another batch of Grey print ups!
Introducing The Cube – Feels like I’m going to be more vocal about raising awareness of Cubensis mushrooms. There is a transition period going on right now and I would like to be ahead of the wave. Writing a book up will be a great way to organize all these experiences and ideas to be shared!
Yes, The fiber of hemp, a non-intoxicating derivative of the cannabis plant, is used to make a variety of products, such as cardboard, carpets, clothes, paper and more.
Hemp production and sales have historically been illegal under the same federal prohibition against marijuana. The farm bill only deals with industrial hemp and does not address recreational or medical marijuana.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) worked with Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to introduce a bill to legalize hemp, which was ultimately included in the farm bill.
The farm bill helps removes obstacles farmers face in growing hemp, including restricted access to banking, water rights and crop insurance. Hemp is easier to grow than cotton, corn or soybeans as it requires little water and can be viable in lower-quality soil that is not practical for other crops.
Also called “Lamb’s Breath,” Lamb’s Bread is a bright green and sticky sativa strain. The effects have been known to give mass amounts of energy and positive introspection. Stress subsides quickly from the Lamb’s Bread buzz, which can help ease depression. The origins of this plant comes from Jamaica and it has been reported that even Bob Marley himself has encountered this wonderful slice of cannabis genealogy. – Leafly
Try some if you get a chance!
It has been thought about long enough. Some ideas pop out and before you know it your in it. I’m glad to say Infocus247 and Bluetreasurephotography is now offering classes teaching basic videography and photography techniques to capture an image and tell a story. There are times where some concepts and buttons may be hard to grasp. With hands on in the field practice we can help you gain a better understanding on how to capture the shot you are looking for. We completed our first group class over the weekend in Houston.
Here’s an example of a student learning the technique of rack focusing.
The class/session is 2 hours long with 2 teachers at 100.00
What will you require. – A camera ( No iPhones… that’s a different class)
We provide a print out overview of the basics we will be covering.Shutter speed, F – Stop, white balance and ISO
A PDF file for the videography half that details shot structure, being prepared and techniques for cinematic shots.
Go to Infocus247.com/workshop for more info . Use the contact form below to reach out
Today we have a chance to be blessed as always! The yogi select that was nice enough to share a little more about their practice this week is Leah or known as on instagram @Blessed2Empress. I noticed there were plenty of beautiful photos with intriguing captions but I was curious to know more! Have a read below and see yoga from a different perspective!
What was your perception of yoga before you began and what led you to the practice?
While I attained my undergraduate degree in Anthropology at New York University I worked the front desk at the Jivamukti Yoga School. To be honest I found many of the people there to be kinda weird and over the top (with vegan-ism etc) so that turned me off some. Also, as a woman of color it was hard for me to sit through the spiritual talks at the start of the classes. When I was younger and angrier (this is ceca 2004-2007) I wasn’t really feelin a white person telling me how to liberate myself through my yoga practice! But after a while I realized that the teachings themselves regardless of the delivery, or of the cultural appropriation were truly a gift.
I realized that I was there for a reason and that I should be open to receiving the knowledge for liberation. Rather than focusing on the others around me that were I needed to focus inward. Jivamukti in Sanskrit literally means freedom of the soul. I did my first teacher training there and am grateful for it.
Does living in a big city like New York effect the type of yoga you do? If so how
Yes Absolutely! NYC is a faced paced city, it is full of fast paced people. It is very Vata energetically . Yet despite this, most New York Yogi prefer a fast paced Vinyasa type practice which Ayurvedically creates Vata imbalance. Especially if you also do a lot of cardio based workouts in your fitness routine like running and cycling. Since I am also a personal trainer who is into board sports I try and use my yoga practice to provide balance. Physically I use my yoga practice to help correct muscular imbalances and over exertion. Energetically I use my yoga Practice for doshic balance. My dosha is already very Vata and I live in a Vata city, thus my yoga practice has to be more Kapha if I want to achieve harmony. My life is fast, my city is fast and my workouts are usually strength endurance based, so my yoga practice has now become slow. Not easy, not boring, but slower for sure.
Do you feel yoga has helped your workout routine?
I often do yoga prior to or after my workout as a warm up or cool down. I consider yoga to be a part of my fitness regimen so I often tailor my yoga practice to help me prepare for sports and strength training or, as a recovery technique. These sessions are shorter than a traditional vinyasa practice but very effective.
How did you come across sup yoga and what are some of the differences in your experience on the water vs land.
I tried paddle-boarding in Miami for the first time in 2013. I had already been surfing on and off a few years and thought SUP Yoga would be right up my ally. I found SUP school and signed up for a class, but when the teacher arrived he wasn’t the Yoga teacher, just a person teaching paddle technique. Paddle-boarding was challenging yet relaxing and I found myself naturally trying poses on my own while the instructor worked with other students. Then when I came back to NY I found a SUP yoga teacher training in the Hampton’s and signed up! Yoga on the paddle board is awesome because it challenges you in a whole new way. Poses that are “easy” on the mat are not so easy on the water. You really have to engage mula bandha and uddiyana bandha in order to stay on the board. Plus even if you fall off that’s fun too! The most interesting thing about teaching on the board though is that most traditional yoga sequencing just doesn’t work so you have to re-learn how to sequence a yoga class. It is also very peaceful to practice outside and to be on the water in general. One of the main reasons I got into board sports in the first place is for that city escape. You need water to surf and paddle-board. You need snow for snowboarding, you need nature.
What was one thing you learned about yourself during your practice that may have been hard to see previously?
As I continue to practice I’ve realized that the strength portion of yoga for me, is way more important than flexibility. I’ve always been very flexible and training in dance and gymnastics as a child increased that ability. As I have gotten older my practice has changed. I’ve learned that hyper mobility promotes injury so my personal practice has become very different than the type of practice I teach to those who sit at a desk all day and aren’t as flexible.
What was your first memory ever?
My first clear memory is being on my fathers shoulders walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. I remember we walked for a really long time and there were people everywhere crowding around us. I didn’t know them and I didn’t know why we had to keep walking. I was scared and crying by the end. Finally my mom came and picked us up in the car and drove us home. When I was older I asked my dad about it and he told me we were marching in protest to the Howard Beach race attacks. This was in 1986 so I was 4 years old. 23 year old Michael Griffith, an immigrant from Trinidad had been killed when white teens chased him onto the highway. His his car had broken down in “the wrong neighborhood” and he and three other young black males were severely beaten. The teens chased Michael onto the highway where he was hit by a car and left in the road to die. The driver was another white, local teen who was incidentally the son of a police officer.
What do you find most beneficial about meditating?
For the past six months I’ve been working with a meditation teacher trained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Its all about loving kindness. Giving that to yourself and giving it to others. I think selflessness can be overrated sometimes. How can one care for others if not for for oneself? Giving loving kindness to yourself is really powerful. Empowerment of self enables you to be stronger for others, open to others, compassionate to others.
Do you think you learn more as a teacher teaching yoga or as a student?
I am certainly most grateful to all of my yoga teachers and have learned so much from them! You cannot be a teacher without first being a student. Likewise, you also learn allot being a teacher. You learn about different bodies, different injuries, different moods. You develop different types of flows and sequencing. However interestingly my participation in other forms of sports and training has inadvertently taught me the most about how to be a good yoga instructor. When you work with different kinds of athletes and study the body mechanics of what they do and how they do it, it enables you to be able to teach to a wider student body. Also since yoga has such a large spiritual component, I find the anatomy portion in the study of yoga to be lacking. Most of what I have learned about body mechanics and its applicability in yoga was through personal training and Pilate’s coursework.
I’ve never been surfing so how can a yoga session prepare you physically and mentally before you paddle out?
Surfing uses very specific joint actions when paddling out. It requires shoulder mobility as you paddle, spinal extension to keep the head and chest lifted off the board, and lateral flexion of the trunk as your torso moves from side to side while paddling. Once you have gotten past the break and are trying to catch a wave you also need a good amount of cervical rotation to look back at the wave you are trying to catch. All of these joint actions are a part of any standard yoga practice. Sun salutations, reverse prayer, cow pose and other binds promote shoulder mobility, while upward facing dog, bow pose, wheel and other back bends utilize spinal extension. Lateral flexion of the trunk is performed in triangle pose, extended angle, and other standing poses, while cervical rotation occurs each time you look up towards your lifted hand or down towards your mat in those poses. Once you have caught and are riding a wave, surfing necessitates a lot of internal rotation of the femur. This is one of the major ways that enables you to turn the board in reaction to the wave. In yoga, internal rotation of the femur occurs when you turn your feet inward from a turned out (90 degree) position. For example, coming into a straddle from warrior two, or rotating both feet from one side to the other so that the front of you mat becomes the back and vice versa. This is why I recommend an Ashtanga based standing practice in preparation for surfing. In the Ashtanga primary series you rotate the feet from one side to the other in-order to switch to the other side, rather than stepping the opposite foot forward from downward facing dog. Another major factor in turning the board once you are actually surfing is trunk rotation. So a presurf yoga series should also incorporate a LOT of twisting poses. But surfing isn’t just about joint actions. It is about a neuromuscular connection as well. This is because you are exercising in the ocean which is a reactive setting. The practice of yoga prior to surfing allows your body to reinforce those neurological connections while you’re in a stable environment.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of infocus247
I am just happy to be included in a social media project featuring yogi’s of color. We are so marginally represented and our views, practice, knowledge and history is so important! I thank you for your interest and look forward to reading future featured yogi’s.
It’s brick cold in New York but somehow some way I managed to make it to the end of the 4 line in BX to meet with Librada.Yoga. From time to time the opportunity to meet with the Yogi Selects yogis presents itself! I missed her on the first orbit but was able to make time the second trip to NY. Running late (not usual) but I made it around 5 and the sun was down and the cold was effecting AsiaSol more than me. After a quick plan to explore and find a decent spot we hopped on the bus. An insightful conversation ranging from traveling to the willingness to sacrifice to achieve a goal laid the undertone for our subtle search. Hopped off the wrong right bus sparked a spliff to keep warm and wallllaaaa on the last toke we arrived at the best lit spot the cold could offer! This is the first half of our shoot the next half requires a trip to Puerto Rico!
Yogi Selects: Librada.Yoga How can tradition/ritual be beneficial for a consistent yoga practice? There is such beauty in the stillness of a ritual, just as in yoga. In creating daily and/or weekly rituals, we build consistency. Through the rhythm of repetition I believe we can cultivate peace within. In Ashtanga, we visit the same poses everyday, and this practice allows me unveil the obstacles I often hide from myself. So just like some traditions, there is an information exchange. My practice is often a part of a ritual.Sometimes I begin a dance offering with breath and free movement; this moving meditation definitely feels like yoga to me even if its more informal. When I can feel life getting away from me or I’m burdened, a cleansing ritual or a detoxing yoga flow can always help me get back on track. So if you are already are armed with a spiritual ritual practice, some yoga can strengthen and ground your spirit.Was there a specific point or experience in life that led you to forming a stronger connection with yourself through practice?I definitely acknowledged at a young age the fact that there were/are forces guiding my life. So with that self-awareness, i know that I did not fall into yoga. I was guided over the course of a few years, or maybe like Patanjali said in the Sutras this journey has lasted a few lifetimes. So during high school, my mom met her father and found him sick and living in shambles. She took him in and began to care for him, the financial and emotional burden was overwhelming. I couldn’t find money for university so I dropped out of George Washington University during midterms and went home to find my mom in the hospital at her last rope. She retired early, and we took our little family to St Croix, USVI where I helped take care of my estranged grandfather and took as many classes as I could at a local studio.My grandfathers health deteriorated and we moved to Puerto Rico for better health care where I immediately took a YTT at Ashtanga Yoga Puerto Rico and never looked back. Are there lessons you learn while teaching others? If so what do you find useful from teaching others? Teaching always reminds me how sublime the complexity of life really is; that our bodies have a lot to show us. All the people it took to birth you, their lifetimes live in your skin, your muscles, your bones, down to the synapse of your neurons. There are lots of shitty situations that can leave you feeling broken and purposeless. One thing I believe is we are all God experiencing themself through the wilderness of life in this universe; in moments we spend with each other we can find another face of God meandering through this journey we are all a part of. Only I could have been born, with this skin, soul and body. Whatever I am, I am the energy God decided should be here right now.What was your first memory ever? I think it was singing The Boy is Mine with my Titi Nancy in her car. Whenever I was with her, the space we were in always felt like love & I could feel it in the air. She taught me how to have a good time. I learned to stay true to myself by watching myself die? How can you relate to this quote?I try to not be afraid of failure or destruction. I think there can be beauty in obliteration. For the sake of balance, I can’t be afraid of the ugliness. Sometimes we need to strip ourselves of the things that make our lives “prettier.” On my mat, I bring myself down to the gritty, bare version of myself to see what’s at my core. What’s left when all the bullshit is destroyed? I’m bare-assed and exposed. Alone with myself, I deconstruct what I’ve built to see what truly is. Shit happens and sometimes I’m crushed. I have lost direction and had to start from scratch. I’ve failed, fucked up and had to watch bits of myself die. Like a dead limb threatening to poison me, I’ve cut off bad habits, thoughts, ideas or even goals I’ve set for myself. I’m still young and try to practice courage, so I can be my own true self. I know that more destruction is in my future because I want to create; and the two go hand in hand. In my evolution, there will be several versions of me. Through my practice, I shed, renew and find my truth. Have you had any mystical and metaphysical experiences practicing yoga/meditation? My yoga practice helps me manage my sensitivity. My dedication clears out the excess. If I’m not conscious and present I will carry a lot of things that don’t serve me. With a consistent practice, I see/hear the guidance I need much clearer. I can walk closer to my divine path. So in a sense, yoga helps me handle the metaphysical and mystical parts of my life that otherwise overwhelm me.I noticed you like quotes, reflect on what this one could mean to you? “The moment we realize our imagination is as tangible as our memory experience becomes limitless.” We live in a world of possibilities. Even with the privilege of western living, I forget how much influence I have on my own path. My imagination & past experiences can help shape my present. Whatever future I see for myself, I can bring it to fruition through discipline, dedication and faith. But through non-attachment, I believe we can find even more success. So often life will offer you a path radically different from what we intended; and its probably wilder than our imagination can fathom.How can yoga be a good tool for recovering from the aches and pains that come with skating? While it is obviously great for recovery, I think yoga & maybe more specifically Ashtanga, is the perfect tool for skaters. It offers us muscular and skeletal alignment, to keep the body safe. Skating asks a lot of the body, but there is no limit to your progress if you pair your training with some primary series. The mind/body connection will maximize your potential in the street, on a ramp or in a derby bout. In which ways has your practice taken your mind off of your self and how does that help those around you? In class the discussions are often about “me” “i” “the self”, and while this is really fucking important ( I realize all mental, spiritual or even physical work begins from within), it’s so vital we address our communal responsibilities. A good grounding practice can harness a deeply rooted connection. And when I ground myself, I release my individuality and accept more of the infinite. I realize the inescapable relation between me & everyone/thing. When I’m grounded, I more readily see the beauty & strength in the people around me & try to remind them of it. When my root energy flows I give compliments, I share good energy, I dance, I can love more thoroughly. What has been the most important question you can ask yourself at this point in life? This is tricky. I often ask myself, “What’s next?” But I don’t think its the most important question. Maybe its: “Am I living my truth?”Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of infocus247.com Something I try to tell myself on the regular: Live fiercely & humbly. Be radically at peace with yourself.