Tag Archives: yoga

Yoga, Rosa Parks and Mental Health Awareness

Rosa Parks practicing yoga at an event.” 1973 March. Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Visual Materials from the Rosa Parks Papers, [LC-DIG-ppmsca-58369]. Photo used with permission of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.
In the 2015 Library of Congress exhibit, “Beyond the Bus: Rosa Parks’ Lifelong Struggle for Justice,” photographs include documentation of Parks supporting Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign. This exhibit also reveals that “the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” was an advocate for mental and public health. When I recently discovered the previously unpublished 1973 picture of “Rosa Parks practicing yoga at an event” in the LOC digital archive, I recognized it is a poignant illustration of how Black women’s healing traditions are historical, spiritual, creative, and political. Revealing the Rosa Parks yoga picture publicly for the first time  underscores the ability of Black women’s historians to inform national efforts like Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (July) while also bolstering vital community health work of organizations such as the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance.

At a similar time as the LOC exhibit, twenty of Rosa Parks’ nieces and nephews released a book honoring her life and commemorating what would have been her 100th birthday. In the collection, Our Auntie Rosa: The Family of Rosa Parks Remembers her Life and Lessons, both a niece (Sheila McCauley Keys) and nephew (Asheber Macharia) recount Parks accompanying them to yoga class as well as cultivating her own private practice. They wrote,

I came to realize Auntie Rosa had interests that not too many people knew about. Her receptiveness always left me pleasantly surprised. This was especially true when she decided to join us at yoga classes. She really enjoyed it. … (Macharia)

Well into her senior years she has only recently begun practicing yoga. Splendid silver hair gives her away as the oldest student in most of the classes she occasionally attends with family, but she doesn’t care. She’s reached a point when she considers herself a student of life. … Eventually, she learns the movements and yogic principles well enough to practice alone in her home. She’ll answer the door wearing yoga pants…. (McCauley Keys)

Yoga’s popularity in the United States increased exponentially in the 1970s and ample research links yoga practice to decreased anxiety and depression. African American women, disproportionality impacted by social stressors, also have a long history of yoga awareness and practice.

In her appeal to Congress for mental health support, Henson noted that religious communities often suggest we “pray away” problems. Rosa Parks, a Deaconess at the AME Church in Detroit, personifies the possibility of incorporating a holistic health approach to personal and community health in Black spaces. Yoga was incorporated into programming at the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, founded in 1987, and is still taught there in several forums. Fittingly, yoga is also a routine activity at the Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco, California. As health professionals begin to prioritize restorative and preventative public policy that includes practices like yoga, they can turn to historical examples for support and proof of efficacy.

Mental health-centered practices include and extend beyond self-care routines. Angela Davis, who wrote about her yoga and meditation practice while imprisoned for her political activism the 1970s, is one of many voices that rightly cautions against “individual” conceptions of self-care. Long-time advocates like Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) founder Byllye Avery clearly state the need for community building around self-care discussions as a form of consciousness raising. For over forty years, public health educators like BWHI in Washington, D. C. and Center for Black Women’s Wellness in Atlanta, GA have trumpeted education about self-care practices as crucial tools for mental health and advocacy groups like No More Martyrs and Black Ladies in Public Health continue to push in that direction forward.

Source – Truth.AbwH

Why We Do Yoga 2

In this chapter of Why we do Yoga, I travel to a few new places to find out the reasons and ways people do yoga. Familiar faces and new encounters lead me through a slew of changes plans but graceful adjustments. Watch as one connection leads to another from Martinique all the way back to Atlanta and a few places in between. Luck and coincidence carried me through this one. Look forward to the next soon enough. Peace 

The list of Yogis keeps growing but you can find most of the people seen in this one on Instagram

@EyeFocus
@SlyviaDESROSES Yogi / Translator 
@TheMartinicianWayOfLife
@PintsizeNurse Yogi
@NakeeshaSmith Yogi 
@MaatPetrova Fitness Wellness Coach 
@Allthingscoyia Yogi Mommy
@ReignGlobal Artist 
@HadiiyaBarbel Lifestyle Empowerment
@Theiridescentgoddess Yogi 
@LittleMsDaisha Yogi 
@Yirser Yogi 
@Quoom Drummer
@Doomzday_1 Drummer 
@Raine.Supreme Yogi 
@BluetreasurePhotography Yogi / Photo
@Yoga_Bay Yogi 
@KindredSpiritCR Equine Therapist / Yogi
Corrine Aulakh Equine Therapist / Yogi
@MovingArtExperience
@TheOmBrunch
@LifeisArt_Films Yogi 

@Aminabina
@By_Elr Yogi
@IamReneeWatkins Yogi  
@YogaPlayground Yogi 
@Dade2Shelby Yogi 
@Bri.Simpson Artist 
Cristian Taxi Costa Rica 

Let me know what you think

Yogi Selects w. Tierra Denae

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.

Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of infocus247.com?

Allow time for your mind to be still and your heart to be open. The possibilities become endless and your legend to be built.

Where does compassion live?

I believe it is in us to be compassionate. We have an innate ability for compassion. I think it is linked to the same sense that tells us right from wrong. It is a felt sense of awareness about what is needed in a particular situation, such as when a family member or pet dies. We have the instinctive response to feel sad for the person who lost a loved one (empathy) and the desire to perform some action that will help the other person feel better.

Compassion is part of our nature. It might be buried deep under some other emotion such as anger or fear, making it difficult to fully express your compassion. If compassion is built into our human nature, what does it take to nurture this quality? Can our innate compassion be further developed at all stages of our life? I think this is possible. I have read that the practices of yoga and meditation help many people open their hearts and allow their nature of compassion to grow. Once your heart opens, you may begin to feel somewhat vulnerable to the ebb and flow of life. But it is our ability to connect with our own internal struggle for self-compassion that is the gateway towards directing our compassion towards others.

Instead of giving ourselves over to the struggles (obstacles) of life and feelings of defeat or hopelessness, our practice of yoga and meditation guides us gradually to see the struggles of life with clearer vision and bring forth from within the strength and wisdom to overcome our obstacles. In learning the art of yoga and meditation, we find the intuitive wisdom that reveals compassion as one of the many qualities built into our human nature. During those moments of quiet contemplation, we can find the needed nurturing of compassion for ourselves that inspires and enables us to extend our compassion to others.

Written by Dee Williams of SeattleYogaNews.com

Founder, Kanjin Yoga

FOCUS: MS DAISHA

 

The last time I was graced with presence of Ms Daisha was about a month or two ago. I hopped on a bus to Baltimore to run around and grab some photos/videos with her for an hour or two. The bus schedules are weird. Either way it was fun to be able to have more time to explore together in New York and it seemed like we found our way over to the bridge!

Focus

I know we have been on hiatus for a week or so. Due to travels and things of that nature the focused faded but we are back and have returned to bring you more information everyday! Travel, Yoga, Meditation, Eating tips, Recipes, Photography, videos and useful knowledge as always!

Yogi Selects up next with LittleYogiJay & Black3Dahlia … creating the featured images riiiight now.

Introducing the cube is still in progress, working on getting all the elements ( workshops, classes, gatherings) in order before we being recording!

Videography and Photography services are available. We have updated our rates and guidelines and look forward to bringing your ideas to life.

Why we do Yoga II ? I think its time we reach out to different Yogis and get a different perspective on why they do yoga. This time around I want to focus on the business side of why people do yoga. Its often taboo to talk about business so I think the challenge of getting people to reveal their authentic truth in a world of namaste, love bubbles and open heart chakras. CURRENTLY IN NEW YORK   looking for trill yogis living life!

 

Moment of Reflection – Jodi Smith

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“On September 19th, 2017 after my extensive yoga teacher training and five months of teaching community classes, I became a part of the yoga one teaching team. Today, I taught my 50th class as an official YogaOne Studios teacher( on the schedule)! I’m so happy to reach this milestone. I’m so grateful to be a part of this community and share this gift with others. I have so much to learn and I’m excited to see what awaits me in the future.”jj1

Jodi Smith

___________________________ 

I’d say about a year or so ago when we first did this shoot, Jodi was afraid of teaching and actually nervous to book the shoot. I could deeply related and assured her all will be well. The hard part is just doing it. Once we over come our fears, we realized just how simple it was to do so. We may make mistakes in the process yet that is part of our journey, It Makes Us Better! Now Look at you Jodi Smith, your doing IT!!! I’m so proud of you and how far you have come. Love you and look forward to doing another shoot soon !!!!!

Stay Bless, Stay Beautiful!!!!

Written by Maati Ra

jj2 jj4 jj3

Yogi Selects x Flexx_Inkyjaja

The first time I witnessed Flexx_Inkyjaja doing yoga was during the movingart show! I was definitely impressed to see her doing yoga moves I wouldn’t expect! Read below to learn more about Flexx!

Yoga can take time to see results… How does having patience help your practice? 

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-40-46-amWhen I first started yoga I had NO patience! I rushed into poses, forgot to breathe, and was a hot head when the poses in my mind did not play out how I wanted on the mat. Through time and consistency in my personal practice I have gained patience. Now I understand that certain postures may take me longer, I’m not going to have perfect balance and that Eka Pada Sirsasana is just not in my practice; and I’m ok with that. By staying patient and giving myself realistic goals is my practice prospers.

What are 3 things you must have before bringing out the mat to practice? screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-45-01-am

•Sweet Jasmine incense 

•Silence

•Infinity Strap

Pranayama or breathing consciously is a essential aspect of yoga.. What has the power or breathing taught you? 

Through my yoga journey I had the pleasure of meeting a Haitian yoga teacher in Ruskin, FL who had been teaching for over 20 years. In her classes she taught of letting your breath move through you which was much needed for me because in more advance bends and postures I had a Bad habit of holding my breath. With her help and adjustments I was able to learn the proper way to deepen and lengthen my poses through the power of breathing.

Have you had any yoga related dreams or hard to explain meditation experiences? Feel free to share 

I guess a hard to explain experience is that I meditate and dream complete nothingness. screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-2-25-09-am I always hear about how people come across a super profound moment through meditation or can seem to recall a dream so vividly that they describe it as something that can or will manifest in real life but I’m not like that. I have personally come to the conclusion that I don’t dream but when I meditate I clear all thoughts. Everything. Black. Blank Slate.

If time is life how much of your life would you like to dedicate to connecting within through yoga?

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-1-44-11-amIf time was life I would like to dedicate 100% of my time connecting with the person I am and my practice, deepening and learning each and everyday while exploring the world and creating new experiences.

How beneficial to your yoga practice is it to have a healthy diet?

My diet is a constant struggle but I truly will stand by the statement that your yoga practice consists of 80% healthy eating and 20% practice. This is always a work in progress for me.  

Being flexible can be useful on the mat but how has being flexible in your mindset help you off of the mat

A flexible mindset has led me to be more open minded and to listen before I speak, even in unsavory situations where the latter would be expected. A flexible mindset has brought me balance.

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What would you like to see yogis expressing more of on Instagram/social media? 

Over the past year I’ve actually seen so many things that made me happy on social media related to yoga from the the shy introverts making their IG debut showcasing the beginning of their practice, women and men of color breaking the mold of what a “yogi” looks like and my absolute favorite hashtag #yogaisforeveryone. With that screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-2-23-25-ambeing said, even with IG Yogis smashing stereotypes and turning into legit yoga teachers I still feel that big name yoga companies need to start being more diverse with advertising. I feel like with out the visual representation of an individual that looks like you it can cause a divide between those WANTING to learn and those with knowledge through practice that can SHARE, simply because someone could get over whelmed by what they  think a yogi should look like. 

Everyone is at different levels in their yoga practice how essential is it that you do not compare yourself to anyone else?

Being comfortable in any stage of your personal practice is vital. Not only to your physical person but your mindset. If your constantly comparing yourself to some one else your are losing focus on why you started in the first place. Plus, I figure that you never know what hurdles, tears, and  hours of meditation that yogi had to go through to be able to craft their art to gain your comments, likes, and follows.

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Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of infocus247.com  

Stay in your light.

Yogi Selects: Lauren_NoHill

We took the time out to develop some questions for a interesting Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 10.55.26 AMperson/yogi that I have come to encounter!  Holding nothing back she let us in on what fuels her mystic flame for yoga and life!

What was your first memory?

I was reading on Facebook recently and someone shared a very vivid memory from when they were like 3 or 4 years old. I sat there for a second and tried to see if I could recall my first or earliest memory. I have so many moments when I remember the most random things from my past and it is usually triggered by something from my external environment. It is not a question that I had the immediate answer to. After thinking for a while, I would have to say it was from a family reunion trip to Florida. My sister was not born so I had to be about 2 or 3 years old. My parents and I, along with my brother (from my dad’s first marriage) Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 10.59.32 AMdrove from Chicago all the way down to Jacksonville Florida. I don’t remember much of the weekend. I mean I have seen pictures, but I was a toddler. None of the faces, other than immediate family register any type of connection. Except one seemingly small incident. My brother had been arguing with my father about being responsible for his toys. My brother was hard headed, left his game console in the window of the car. In the Florida heat mind you. When we returned to the car, the whole thing had started to melt. My brother had a whole fit. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

How did you discover yoga and why did you continue practicing?

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 11.07.07 AMIt was for very superficial reasons that I started yoga or rather because I had specific physical goals in mind. I had just started a new job, started a new vision board and I started to get back on track in regards to being healthy again. I saw this forearm, wheel poseand the girl had one leg in the air. And I just remember seeing this picture, and thinking I HAVE TO DO THIS. I screen shot it, sent it to my sister and then put it on my vision board. I did gymnastics when I was younger, so a version of wheel was already accessible. But when I tried to do it, I soon realized my flexibility was pure trash.

Since I saw the picture on IG, that’s what I used to get my yoga practice started. Doing IG challenges. At the time I was also working for the YMCA and we had access to all kinds of free classes, and I saw one for this public yoga event. “Believe in Cleveland” Never went to an actual yoga class before that, but I went anyway.

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I continued going because of everything I have learned since that first class. I have learned so much about myself and it is because of yoga. Even after that first public class, and it was very public at that. It was about 3000 people with mats rolled out at the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Even after the first class, the energy that I felt was amazing. I wanted to keep up this feeling. I wanted to learn as much as I could about how to keep up a yoga practice, and how to integrate into my life. So I did everything I could to learn more about yoga, and not just the poses I was seeing on IG. I borrowed books from the library, started reading, started moving beyond the physical practice. I noticed a difference in how I moved, how I acted, the habits that I had. I was enjoying learning more and more about myself and I know it was because of my decision to practice yoga. I felt free. Like 31 years old, free for the first time. It was crazy and amazing and a bunch of other words that are difficult to verbalize right now. Self-development keeps on my mat to this day.

Have you ever had any yoga related dreams?

Of the ones I recall, there are a few. The most vivid one occurred shortly after I went to the public yoga event. I remember being back in front of the rock and roll hall of fame. Mats all rolled out, ready to go. But this time it was a little different. (the first time i went there were maybe 15 WOC, and I brought 3 of them with me). Right in the inner circle there were about 100 hyped individuals. Black men and women and children, ready to practice yoga. I started a yoga movement in Cleveland, encouraging members of my community to get into yoga. The organizer of the event even had me on stage, helping to lead the opening breath work for our practice. I woke up knowing that I was meant to teach yoga. Not ready…:

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What would you tell anyone that feels they are not physically ready for yoga or lack the self esteem to begin transitioning into who they would like to become?

Without making people feel bad for having an apprehensive attitude, I tell them to throw out whatever misconceptions/thoughts they had about yoga out the window. If people are really caught up in the notion that they are not the ‘right size” I might show them a few pics of some awesome body positive yogis, but I don’t want them to get caught up in the idea of comparison either.

I actually hear that a lot when I am introducing my class (TRAPyoga) to them and I will usually ask what would they hope to get out of a yoga practice. Or rather, what interests them about yoga. I think it is important to remind people that, while social mediaScreen Shot 2016-08-04 at 11.29.02 AM is a great way to connect, don’t get caught up in the potential superficiality. No matter what you see, yoga is going to be different for other people, but if you go into it with an open mind, you will find what you need from yoga. Sometimes what you find is that you didn’t like that particular style or teacher, but that does not mean that yoga as a whole is not for you. I mean there are so many different types of yoga, so if the one didn’t fit, try something else. To those whose apprehension has them questioning their self esteem, fearing going out on that ledge, sometimes you just have to take the leap. It will be scary at times. You will never have all the answers and the process will not be a magical fix that solidifies over night. My advice is GO FOR IT. You might actually surprise yourself. I think also it is important for those who do not have the apprehension, who have a story to share to keep being honest about their processes. Not that we have to reveal every detail, but continue to be genuine in our self development, share our stories and our thoughts so that people see that the journey to self will take time and effort.

In which ways has your practice revealed vulnerabilities in yourself… If any?

Since my practice was primarily self-taught through IG, a lot of them surfaced because of the spirit of comparison. I did not realize at first how that was Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 1.06.16 PMgoing to manifest itself. I actually do not think I was really aware that it might happen. Every time I went to post a new picture, I found myself comparing it to the host or other participants in the challenges. Like I’m not looking like her, or ugh look at this roll over here, everyone will see this, I cant post this picture. Forcing myself to find these great quotes because your yoga post has to seem “yogic” because you know that is what you do. This led to understanding and addressing how I bring this mess into my life off of the mat. Now that I am deeper into my practice on a mental-spiritual level, and my reliance on the IG community for knowledge as it relates to yoga has diminished greatly, I don’t find myself having as many issues with the need to compare my practice to others. I have even noticed that my need to compare even outside of yoga has diminished greatly. Not to say it does not happen, but by understanding it in my practice, has helped me work on this part of myself off of the mat.

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I still work on my vulnerable moments in my practice, especially as it relates to fear and trusting myself. I have been working through the balance of success and failure and navigating those concepts with less fear. I like yoga because my mind will have an association in the physical body for these ideas. I think once your practice becomes more than a one dimensional concept, more an more of the places where you feel vulnerable will reveal themselves. It is supposed to work that way if you let it. How you address them will always be in your hands, but the practice will bring them to the surface every time.

Some people associate freedom with physicality how would you recommend someone free their mentality?

As cliche as it might sound, but it really does begin in the mind. Whether you practice yoga or not, to be really free, you will have to start knowing yourself, understanding yourself, loving yourself. We get so caught up in trying to make someone else’s life/truth/feelings our own, that we don’t even know ourselves. Like we dont even realize that those thoughts originate in a place outside of our own desires and feelings. Walking around like zombies and dont even know it. Some of us realize it and are not ready to start peeling back those layers to get to know self. And others are not even aware of it to even begin self evaluating.

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But no seriously, outside of the fluffy Hallmark card words, you really have stop giving a fuck about what other people are going to say, think or feel. Some people use that concept to excuse whatever negative, toxic behavior they have embraced and that is unfortunate. But that does not mean that it is not a healthy attitude to have(not giving a fuck). I know that it is easier said than done, especially depending on the concepts that you have to free your mind of. A lot of people have a lot of negative, limiting external stimuli that has been reinforced by countless people, including family. Sometimes to be free, we may have to let go of thoughts and ideas that were placed in our minds by people who claim to love us. And some aren’t ready for that. Sometimes that kind of freedom (mentally) will have you feeling physically alone. Scary place for some. Does not seem like a place of freedom, so some run away and right to conformity.

My recommendation is get to know you. Get to know what makes you laugh, what makes you sad, what makes you feel amazing, what makes you have toxic/heavy thoughts. Unplug yourself from people sometimes, even family. Freedom and liberation are not easy tasks and I know for certain that there are days when I feel more free than others. But I keep going. I keep putting forth the effort it takes to understand myself a little more, appreciate what life has given me.

Have you had any metaphysical or hard to explain experiences during meditation? If so feel free to share

Yes, Often. Well, now I do. Before it was so hard for me to focus during meditation. So just getting my mind to quiet down was hard enough, noticing anything else was not availableScreen Shot 2016-08-04 at 1.02.24 PM for me at the time. Once I started to understand myself more, developing the breath control that is necessary for meditation, it became easier to notice, feel and accept the “hard to explain things”. I think one of the most interesting experiences has been with involuntary muscle contractions. Once after a few minutes of breath work, I began gazing (with my eyes closed) with the region that contains my third eye. I like to picture a physical “eye” and sort of look through it during my meditations. After what may have been 5 minutes ( I tend to loose track of time fairly quickly), my body was totally relaxed into my couch, and out of no where it was like I was being jerked around. My limbs moved like they would in a reflex test in a doctors office. I had been working on connecting with my ancestors earlier that week as well, so I am thinking that may have something to do with it. The overall feeling that I had was positive. It was not fearful or negative in any way. In fact it almost felt like someone was communicating with me. There were no real visions associated with it, but of course a lot of this awareness is new for me. I am sure with more work and more knowledge gathering, something else will be revealed when my mind is ready.

How important is teaching the children how to remain grounded and finding balance through practices such as yoga m, meditation and creative practices like art?

I think it is the most important thing that parents should teach their children. I feel that any and every opportunity that exists for children to practice and develop and maintain emotional intelligence and creative expression should be explored. We have let Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 11.42.03 AMconsumption take over. All of the energy is put into producing just for the sake of consuming, instant gratification and consumption. So much energy is put into these concepts, starting from when our babies are so young. But then when they are adults and can function just as the system has trained them to do, we are upset when it manifests as destructive, trapped mental processing. It is confusing. Like how can we want these things for ourselves as adult members of society but have yet to teach them to our children.

The desire grows exponentially when it comes to black and brown babies. The hurt and trauma that is in our communities needs those healing spaces, especially if we want to finally get over the issues of our past. We have to teach them now, so that they do not have to spend years trying to unlearn unhealthy, toxic ways of dealing with being on this planet, or dealing with other people on this planet. Their brains can absorb so much information and they retain it so much better than we do as adults. This is not to say that our children wont make mistakes or have hard times in their lives, but how we navigate those storms and accepting what we look like when the storm is over is necessary.

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What crystal do you find yourself attracted to currently and why do you feel the reason is ?

Currently attracted black obsidian and amethyst. I have been carrying those around for about 3 weeks. I also have two above my head when I sleep. The amethyst I have been using to help with balancing my third eye, been a piece that I am drawn to off an on. I actually made a request to acquire that piece from my little plug. I lost the one I had last year and was able to receive a few good, raw pieces. It has helped with the work I have been doing as it relates to understanding the 3rd eye chakra. The black obsidian has been a recent interest. I think it has been related to the ancestor work that I have been diving into lately. I think it is a mix between making sure that we are protected from the negative energy/spirits that will inevitably try to use my work for their own gain but also understanding how to “use the darkness” for good. That phrase popped up recently that the last full moon phase. Without going too deep into the reading, it was highlighting that darkness does not always mean negative or “bad”. Sometimes it is because it is unknown to us, so out of fear we reject that knowledge and lessons that might be learned there.

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Thank you for sharing a little bit of your practice with us!  We appreciate it! Keep shining!  Lauren_NoHill