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What has been the most lesson you have learned from following your heart?The most valuable lesson I learned from following my heart is that it may be scary at first but it is absolutely for fulfilling. I can’t take concessions where my passion is concerned. When I lead with an open heart I am certainly aligned with my authentic self.
What can be the hardest aspect to control about your emotions that yoga can help with?
Control. Yoga helps me to let go of trying to control and shape everything. To be in flow and align with my highest self. Pranayam helps me to breathe through any emotions that arise or get stuck.
In which ways can your body communicate with you?
Your body always tells you the truth! Body awareness, embodiment and somatic work is integral to my work. Once we understand the link between emotional events and physical symptoms we will have a better understanding of how to heal. My body tells me everything and I listen.
How are some of the ways you manifest soulful joy?
I manifest soulful joy by not taking myself so seriously! I dance often, go for walks in nature, and do my best to connect with my inner child. She likes swimming naked, laughing and doing cartwheels in the grass. 🙂
Have you had any meditation experiences that have been hard to explain?
Movement meditation is where I communicate with my ancestors. The way I move, breath, speak transforms. It’s so magical. In the early hours just as I slip from sleep state into consciousness, I discovered that this is a great time to meditate. It’s when I listen to Divine consciousness. That’s all I can say about that because it is easier experienced.
Can creativity be used as a way to push pass old memories and trauma?
How have you utilized it? DEFINITELY. Creativity is essential to work through old memories and trauma. I write until my hearts content about any and everything. Movement especially somatic movement is a great way to connect with your individual creative side. I believe it gives you an opportunity to face yourself. In order to heal from trauma, you can’t bury them you have to face them. I was able to begin that journey through creative writing and movement.
What is your favorite myth and what is the lesson you received from it?
Well, I don’t know if I have a favorite. I believe there is some truth and lessons in all myths. Mythology is important for every culture especially Black Americans. Our language, customs, culture and spirituality was suppressed but still lives in our DNA and the stories told by our elders.
How has yoga helped you open space for others especially the divine feminine energy?
When women come to my yoga sessions they most likely come to fulfill some superficial purpose. I help them to dig depose. My intention is to guide them to be more expansive with their energy. To reconnect with their body beyond some physical goal. Yoga has been a gateway for me to reveal how essential it is that women be more loving and accepting of themselves just as they are.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of infocus247?
You are worthy. Just as you are. It is important for me to center my work around creating greater ease in the mind and body. So much of our struggle is because we don’t feel worthy and so we just do more and more to feel valued by others. Do you know who you are? Take time and be present with yourself. Be willing to soften, flow and let go so the you can rediscover your authentic self. You don’t need to become anything or anyone else. You are worthy. Just as you are.
Yoga Alliance Has Received
$7,445,600 in Application Fees + Charges Teachers & Trainers an Additional $7,509,840 Every Year
In September 2019, Yoga Alliance had 7,748 registered yoga schools.
Yoga Alliance has 86,928 registered yoga teachers.
Yoga Alliance has received $7,445,600 in application fees and charges teachers and trainers $7,509,840 every year. This does not includeany other ways the organization may make money off its list of teachers and trainers.
The following screenshots are from the Yoga Alliance web site search results for registered yoga schools and teachers, September 27th, 2019.
Yoga Alliance does not certify yoga teachers nor does it provide accreditation of trainers or training schools.
The YA registry amounts to a digital rubber stamp or paid advertising. – J. Brown
Alternatives to Yoga Alliance registration include:
For more information on Yoga Alliance alternatives, see:
Source – BYTA FB Group
Washington DC … my friend Daisha made note that I’m in Dc quite often these days. It’s a nice in between place before getting to New York! In about a week Daisha will be flying off to Bali for a 6 month yoga teacher training. Im excited for her to start a brand new adventure. Traveling let’s us see life from a different space. We had to link up once more before she goes and it happened to be a drum circle popping off at Malcolm X park. The energy was high and the circle instantly brought back memories of Central Park drum circles I would go to years ago.
It was great to seeing those I rock with the most as usual! It took us 5 minutes to setup the camera for these lil shots so appreciate it! The people walking up the steps watched us fumbling around with iPhone cameras and negro rigged tripods had a laugh. We made plans to link up on that side of the world once our planets align!
I’ve been thinking and getting more encouragement to begin sharing some of the good stories I have in the book of life. Many of them experiences everyone can relate to and some not so relatable one of a kind. I think I will be doing a podcast “Introducing the Cube” and I want to start the first episode talking about that one time my friend Jenny surprised me by bringing me inside a temple in China town that I’ve walked past every day after eating a handful of mushrooms. I like the way the audio sounds on iPhone so I may wing it from the good ol X for now but either way be on the look out for the cubes.
It had been an hour since the plane landed in DC and a hot photoshoot would soon absorb the little energy that I had left. The flight was booked around 3 am it left at 6 am meaning I didn’t sleep all night. Somewhere in between picking up açaí bowls from South Block and finding supplies for an art project we drove pass this wall of greenery. The temperature for the north east is currently set to “hell”. The heat felt like it was giving you a hug and jumping on your back at the same time. We managed to snap a few shots then rush back to the car where the air conditioning was our ticket to heaven!
When I put up the call for Yogi Selects I had a feeling I would get some good feedback! The summer time always opens people up to share a little more about themselves. @Catherine_Dawn_Yoga reached out and after much delay on my end I delivered a questionnaire she sent it back with everything we could ask for!
I have had lucid dreams related to my path and intertwined with people who I have met along my yogic path. I have found lucid dreaming a powerful tool in gaining messages from the subconscious. Yogic meditation is not that far off from lucid dreaming when you tap into different practices.
Does life have a way of putting you in the right place at the right time? If so how can you realize that in the moment versus retrospectively?
So many blessing and good things ! Keep creating godly things!
You can follow Catherine on her journey via Instagram
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
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
@SlyviaDESROSES Yogi / Translator
@MaatPetrova Fitness Wellness Coach
@Allthingscoyia Yogi Mommy
@HadiiyaBarbel Lifestyle Empowerment
@BluetreasurePhotography Yogi / Photo
@KindredSpiritCR Equine Therapist / Yogi
Corrine Aulakh Equine Therapist / Yogi
Cristian Taxi Costa Rica
Let me know what you think
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.