What does your name represent and how did it come to you?
My Instagram name goddess_indigenous, represents my path back to nature and the god-source within or higher self. Since my childhood, I have been on a journey to connect with my Native American, African and Scottish roots and to have a deeper understanding and relationship with the earth and this universe.
Is yoga be poetic and how can it help inspire your writing to be sensitive to reality and imagination?
Yoga means union. For me it means embracing both the light and the dark, masculine and feminine within each of us. My practice teaches me to embrace it all and to explore. My reality from deep within is also influenced from my perspective and imagination is allowed to shine when I have more ease in my body and spirit. Yoga allows me to tap into my inner space where all things exists and to express what I experience through art/writing without fear.
“Starting my day with yoga means the world to me” How did the world look before you discovered yoga and how has your perspective on life shifted?
Yoga taught me meditation. Since the entire practice is a meditation, I really learned that the more I check in with my body, mind and spirit, the more balance I find in my life. Before yoga, I would try and force balance through control. My perspective now is based in ease and flow, being open to life and to how I am feeling and understanding that all blockages can be released.
What was your first memory in life?
I have a memory of being small child, looking out of a large window at trees.
Have you had any hard to explain experiences during meditation/yoga? Feel free to share
I have had kundalini awakenings where I remember that I am one with the universe and allow that union to take place fully without resistance. The experience is the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had, to feel completely free of fear, clear and at peace. There is also a limitless feeling of love and joy. During these alignments I remember myself as the creator and abundant energy. I am able to release any perceived worries or concerns.
If there was another world of human like beings beneath the ocean what do you think some of the principals of their life would be based on what water has to teach?
I think the principles would be based on flow and release, due to floating. I also think that the sand (earth), sun, moon and wind would play big roles in the weather of the ocean. What I find the most fascinating about water is that it responds to our emotions and sound so I’m sure it would be amazing to hone in to those connections on a larger scale!
How can setting and location effect your practice and what are some of the elements you require before you begin?
I open myself to the energy around me when I practice, I’ve been in very sterile environments that feel a little stiff and it takes me a bit to loosen up but in other indoor environments that feel warm and open the energy allows me to have a deeper practice. Practicing by the ocean really opens my heart chakra and practicing in the mountains helps me to feel fearless and free. As far as equipment goes, its nice to have a mat but even that isn’t always needed, other than that…. stretchy pants!! lol
What are some of the benefits of consciously breathing deep on your own?
Breathing deep keeps our prana(life force energy) flowing freely and energized, it means that our vital organs get more oxygenated blood which leads to better health. Energized prana also means faster spinning chakras which allows us a more powerful union with ease, flow of life and alignment with our higher selves.
In which ways do you incorporate fresh food into your lifestyle and how does it help with self care?
I eat fresh fruit and vegetable daily and from morning to night. I usually eat fruit for breakfast (sometimes as smoothies) and vegetables throughout the day. I often drink young coconut and eat the coconut meat first things in the morning. Eating like this gives me energy and the nutrients my body needs to thrive. Eating live/fresh/raw, due to photosynthesis, also allows for more electricity to enter the body which increases the alkaline state of the body and that’s good for overall health and wellbeing!!
Is there anything you would like to share with the readers of Infocus247.com
Kundalini Yoga! Join the upcoming online session this Friday!! Sept 18th the first 10 people to follow @lookwithin.kundalini.yoga will get free pass this week and your love donations are always welcomed!
I’ll also be giving a discount on Kundalini Cube Shirts for anyone that joins the class! Get your yoga mats ready!
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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.
- At $400 per school, Yoga Alliance has charged teacher trainers $3,099,200 for paper processing.
- At $240 per year, Yoga Alliance receives $1,859,520 annually from teacher trainers.
Yoga Alliance has 86,928 registered yoga teachers.
- Yoga Alliance charges teachers $50 in application fees and $50 in “upgrade” fees. Therefore, many teachers will have paid more than $50 in paper processing fees over their lifetime. But at only one charge of $50 each, that’s $4,346,400 paid by teachers for paper processing.
- Yoga Alliance charges teachers $65 annual dues resulting in an additinal $5,650,320 in annual revenue from 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. Yoga Alliance does not assess or certify teaching competency. It provides a registry, which is a list.
- Neither teachers nor trainers are required to be registered with Yoga Alliance or any other organization.
- Teaching and studio insurance may be obtained without Yoga Alliance (or any other) registration.
Registration is Not Accreditation or Certification
- Accreditation = the action of officially recognizing someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity, or the acknowledgement of a person’s responsibility for or achievement of something
- Certified = officially recognized as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards
- Registered = entered or recorded on an official list or directory
Yoga Alliance is a Registry
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
- Yoga Alliance is a registration service.
- A registration is an “official list or directory.” Registration does not mean “approved,” “certified” or “accredited.”
- In the case of RYS (registered yoga school), a trainer completes an application and submits a fee. If the application is accepted, the trainer may use a YA logo, receive group discounts on some purchases, and access video workshops.
- Trainers are required to pay $240 annually and re-apply every three years.
- Yoga Alliance has come to be known in the public eye as a standard bearer for yoga teachers in the United States – in effect, a stamp of legitimacy.
- However, from 1999 to 2019, Yoga Alliance registered teachers without actually requiring knowledge or competency standards.
- The new standards announced to take effect February 2020 will not be measured or enforced by Yoga Alliance. Rather, Yoga Alliance charges trainers with responsibility for teacher competency while offering little in the way of resources or support to do so. Instead, they require a burdensome application process with demanding documentation requirements, fees and processing time.
- It’s a verifiable fact that being on the Yoga Alliance registry has no relationship to teaching competency. Any value provided by the list must therefore be in perceived legitimacy and market value. We must presume that legitimacy and market value is based on a misperception that Yoga Alliance “certifies” teachers and that Yoga Alliance recognition has some relationship to teaching competency or professionalism.
- The Yoga Alliance registry categorizes all teachers by a few “levels” based entirely on hours accounted through Yoga Alliance bureaucracy. This hours-based model is a shameful misrepresentation of actual teaching competency which is unrelated to the bureaucratic requirements. As such, teachers with few skills are represented in the Yoga Alliance registry as being on par with far more capable, even elite, teachers.
- The knowledge of highly qualified teachers is unrecognized within the Yoga Alliance system. These teachers are instead burdened with an hours-based bureaucracy that depletes their time and finances that presumably could be used in legitimate pursuits of study and teaching.
- Teachers and continuing ed providers who have received such “credentials” as RYT and E-RYT have been less impacted by the Yoga Alliance burdens than those who apply to be on the trainer registry (RYS) which incurs much greater fees and paperwork requirements.
Moving Forward: Your Options
- Consider whether you wish to perpetuate the false narrative that Yoga Alliance registry is in any way related to competency or legitimacy. In other words, every time an organization states that they or their teachers are “certified by,” “accredited with” or “approved by” Yoga Alliance, they are perpetuating a myth.
- Be aware that you are not required to register with Yoga Alliance and that you have alternatives.
Alternatives to Yoga Alliance registration include:
- Participate in existing certification programs such as Iyengar, Ashtanga or International Association of Yoga Therapists.
- Highlight your roots and education such as the Krishnamacharya lineage, Kripalu or Para Yoga-trained and so on.
- Create your own certification process. In other words, if you teach ABC Method, you can certify that your teachers are qualified to teach the ABC Method.
- Develop or choose alternative registration services.
- A volunteer board is discussing ideas for moving forward. If you would like to participate, please email Coleman.
- Due to the advisement and request of trainers, Yoga Teacher Central will launch an accreditation service on Nov 1st as one option for trainers to choose from.
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