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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Photo Credit : @Soulflowermedicine

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!

Jumping and quick movements to prepare for the cold yoga flow

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.

 Another cool yogi I follow on IG SamRbarberMorris  Going to her page feels like a bright beam of sunshine! This was a photo taken from the spaceship we conducted the interview below enjoy!! 

If you could choose another body to be in not limited to human which body do you think would be best for yoga adventures?

I’ve always felt connected to snakes. The way that they slither and move is so much a continuous practice of immense strength and effortless flexibility. Their awareness of their whole body is a feat and is something I aspire to cultivate in my asana practice.

It has been said that pain is stored in our muscles, joints, bones pretty much all over our body, has yoga been useful too in tapping into past experiences that need to be revisited?

A million times yes. Tapping into the resistances and blocks in my own body helped me bring to the forefront of my mind things that I had never faced even through therapy, treatment, and all self-medicating habits I took on. It still feels like this practice is peeling back layers and layers of bullshit and connecting back into a healthy spirit – one who has learned how to let go. My body follows suit.

With every goodbye you learn, what has been a difficult lesson for you to live through?

I have been learning recently how to accept love with openness instead of defensiveness. I encountered my first sex offender at 5 years old. I learned at a young age to hide and protect parts of myself so that I wouldn’t have to be hurt again. It’s decades later and I’m only beginning to learn what it feels like to be safe. It’s not what happened back then that is difficult to accept, it’s learning to feel safe for the first time in my body since then.

Which crystal are you currently attracted to and explain why you may be intuitively connected?

Different crystals call to me at different phases in my life. Right now, moonstones are my supreme guide. I think it’s perfect – a stone for restoring the balance of feminine, creative, and calming energy, great for opening the heart, and a guide for travelers. Sounds like the work I’m ready to do now.

Have you had any mystical and metaphysical experiences practicing yoga/meditation? 

As a child, my mom’s hypnosis & parapsychology mentor would teach me hypnosis and how to enter altered states. Through that I healed my own trauma, also had some luck reading people’s emotional states, and astral-projecting. Often times when I’m in deep meditation I lose track of an hour easily and sometimes I feel my whole body vibrating with the earth.

Is there a way to create a business from your passion for yoga without compromising the passion? How do you manage to keep a balance

It’s what I’m striving to do now. Finding that balance is always tricky but I try to keep the community in mind always. Accessibility is a huge issue but I have been lucky to partner with spaces that allow me to offer free community classes and donation based classes on top of my regular paying jobs. As of now, I feel grateful that I haven’t had to compromise any of my values – I’m able to bring my authentic yoga practice to people who need it everyday. My greatest hope is that I can continue doing that.

Create an analogy using the ocean and waves that would reflect how you process the trials and tribulations of life?

There was a day I spent on the beach with some friends. My friend and I were swimming in the ocean behind the break line, riding huge waves before they crashed on the shore. When we were ready to go back she started swimming hard, wave after wave crashing into her. Resisting the pull of the water as she swam to get back. That’s how I used to go through life – all out and hard. Fighting to get to my destination as soon as possible, to just get through the trials.Now I do what I did then, anytime a wave came behind me, I ducked my head underwater and let the wave push me towards the shore. I’d come up, swim a little more and then repeat. I came up to shore smiling, being in flow with the ocean is amazing.. My friend came up panting. This is not to say that trials and tribulations become easy, far from it.. but I suppose I’ve learned to surrender to what I can’t change, move where and when I can, let everything else just flow. I find myself smiling through the challenging parts, there’s a lot of good stuff there too when I slow down, a lot of learning, a lot of growing.

What was your first memory ever?

My first memory was walking when I was maybe a year old. It’s one of the few, if not only, memories I have with my father. I was walking, fell on my face, and chipped my front tooth which stayed that way until it fell out 6 years later.

How has yoga improved your mental flexibility and what were are open to now that you weren’t before?

As time passes, with consistent practice my body began to open up and change. All the things I used to think I couldn’t do became more and more possible. It’s a real visceral experience of how limited our minds can be – in short, I didn’t know shit. Probably still don’t. We are so full of potential energy and given practice and patience I feel that there is so much we can learn. I’ve started working for myself which is something I never thought I could do, I’ve even started taking up piano again which I gave up as a kid and swore I could never do. If we never try, we can never know

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

Thank you for taking the time to read my little contribution. I’m grateful for the space to express..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a chance to catch up with  Jenna, the last time I spotted her was at Movingartatl dancing and getting painted by Inspr.Art it was fun night! She shared a little piece of her journey check it out below

What was you first memory?

I can’t recall exactly how old I was the day my little sister got lost in Disney World. I was maybe 5 or 6 but I remember this day so vividly. It was our first time at Disney and I remember how excited we were to be there. It felt like we really were in a “magical place.” Before we got to the park, my parents gave us the lecture about staying close by because there were so many people there and they didn’t want us to get lost. (Ironic) We were at the Little Mermaid splash park when we realized my little sister had wandered off and was nowhere to be found. My mother was frantic and crying uncontrollably. I was young at the time but I could feel my mother’s fear and anguish as we went from person to person weeping and asking for help. My dad on the other hand was calm. I remember him taking deep breaths and speaking to God out loud saying, “I know you did not plan for us to lose her today”. He kept repeating it over and over. I remember thinking, how can he be so calm at a time like this?? Trying to follow his example, I grabbed my mother’s hand and asked her to just pray. My sister was lost for at least another hour after that, but for some reason we just knew we would find her.

How important is it to find a nice core of people within the yoga community you can connect with?

Finding people you can relate and connect with in the yoga community is so important. To me, yoga is also about building a community of like-minded individuals who support and uplift each other. There is an energy that can be felt when you are in a room full of people all breathing and moving together. Yoga has a way of connecting people in ways still amaze me.
“There is so much more to learn and discover about ourselves”
I’ll be honest, before I started practicing yoga, I was very inconsistent and I didn’t have a lot of confidence. I felt like I wasn’t able to pull myself out of the slump I was in. With yoga, I’m learning to be more focused and intentional. I am learning to speak what I know to be true about myself, instead of allowing the default mind to take over. In my 6 years of practice, there has only been a few times that I wasn’t practicing on a regular basis. Off the mat I am learning to be calmer and more aware when my mind starts racing. I am learning that the only thing that truly matters is what you think and say about yourself.

Is a mental restart beneficial and how would you recommend it be carried out?

When you feel stressed out or overwhelmed, it can be hard to stay motivated and get things done. When your mind is bombarded with thoughts and daily tasks, it can be a challenge to accomplish anything. Sometimes a “mental restart” can help you develop a calmer state of mind and generate a more positive outlook on life. Everyone is different and what works for one doesn’t work for all. So I think it’s important to find the avenue that best fits you. The main thing to be aware of when you are hitting the “mental restart” button is how you are spending your time. What things are you feeding your brain day in and day out? How much of what you are doing is in alignment with your goals or intentions? Give yourself time to sit in silence and take deep breaths. This will help calm the chaos and chatter of everyday life and bring clarity to your mind. I also recommend journaling. Get your thoughts down on paper and take time to review it daily. Journaling is a good way to declutter the mind and focus on the most important things. You can restart, refocus, and readjust as often as you need to. I read once, “Too often we get lost in the abyss of unawareness.” Try to pay attention more and restart whenever you feel you need it.

What are some mental limitations yoga has helped you overcome?

When I first started yoga I was dealing with a lot of negative self-talk, a lack of passion, inconsistent across the board and a desire for more than what I was experiencing in life. I didn’t feel I had the tools to pull myself out of that hole. I started yoga out of curiosity and after taking my first class I was hooked. It was challenge for sure, it was the hardest thing I’d ever done but for some reason I felt better than ever each time I left class. I was taking the things I was learning on the mat (things like breath awareness, mindfulness, courage and willingness) and applying them to situations in my life (off the mat). I began to understand the power we truly have and the enormous impact setting intentions can have on the quality of life.

Teaching yoga to children can be fun, how has your experience been??

Aside from teaching yoga, I also teach 3rd grade students. I LOVE incorporating yoga concepts in my classroom. We discuss the importance of taking deep breaths and keeping yourself calm when you are stressed. We take “yoga breaks” during the day. They love to get up and do their sun salutations after sitting for long periods of time. I think my favorite thing about practicing yoga with my students is when I see them applying what we talk about. They encourage each other to “be clam, be strong and find your inner ocean”

I had a chance to capture some of the MovingArtAtl fun what did it feel like being body painted and doing yoga in front so many people?

 

So I truly feel like I manifested MovingArt into my life. For almost two years I followed the MovingArt Instagram page and thought to myself how amazing it would be a part of that show. When I saw that they were accepting submissions for the April 2017 show, I was at a red light and immediately sent in my video. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The energy in that room before the show was incredible. I was definitely nervous because I had never done anything like it but the good vibes were all over the place. Being painted was exciting, it was my first time but the other artists and yogis made me feel right at home. The thought of doing yoga in front in that many people was nerve wrecking a few days before the show. I didn’t know what to expect but when I got up for my turn, I took a deep breath, and flowed like no one was in the room and all the nerves just seemed to disappear. I will never forget that feeling and I really hope to be able to experience MovingArt again in the future.

Water seems to be near in many of your photos is there an island/location you must experience that you haven’t been to quite yet?

I LOVE being in nature. It is where I feel most calm, connected and peaceful. My goal is to make traveling a major part of my life. There are so many places I want to go that I haven’t been yet. Jungles, Mountains, beautiful rocks and hills, trees, waterfalls.. I could go on and on. I want to experience as many of these places as I can. I think of so many different locations, but I must get to the Northern Lights one day.

Have you had any mystical or metaphysical experiences while practicing yoga/meditation?

Hmm I thought about this question for a while. I don’t know if I can say I have. Although, there was one time I had a very transcendent experience while practice yoga at the park. I was sitting on my mat and there was a birthday party going on about 200 feet away. I closed my eyes to take deep breaths and all of a sudden the sun was shining directly on my face and there was complete silence. I could not hear a thing. I felt an extreme calm and peace like never before. I will never forget that day.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about trying yoga but feels intimidated?

Stick with it. Like most things in life, it will be a challenge at first. You will be moving and breathing in a way that might be unfamiliar to your body. Give it time. Give yourself time. Learn to focus on how you are breathing in the pose rather than how you look in the pose. Use your time on the mat to cultivate what you need. Strength, focus, balance, courage, conscious breath, what do you need more of? Think about a reason to practice yoga that has nothing to do with the physical poses. Give yoga a real try and I’m certain your life will not be the same.

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

I want you to realize the power you have. Know that how you experience life is 100 % in your control. Your choices and inner dialogue have an enormous impact on your life (as most of us know). Decide how you want to feel.

Now we have been following Tracey on social media outlets for as long as I can remember. I’ve always appreciated the visual aesthetic of what she captures. A very consistent look is easier said than done. Tracey also shares personal insight and helpful tips to living a life of abundance and accomplishment!

“Are you being led by your spirit or your wound…” Can you give an experience where you were guided by your pain but were led to spirit?

Sometimes pain causes us to ask meaningful questions. In my case, the questions I had centered on why living in America as a Black woman was so painful.  My questions led me to pursue a graduate degree in Africana Women’s Studies. In Atlanta I was led to spirit because I ended up taking a Womanism course taught by Dr. Layli Maparyan.  Her class inspired me to teach yoga to students at Clark Atlanta University where I was studying.  And well here we are today!

What is the most difficult test your yoga and meditation practice has confronted you with thus far?

Being patient has never been my forte.  Finding the strength to allow my practice to unfold naturally without wanting to see more progress faster has definitely been one of my biggest challenges.

Describe your self as you would a flower

I’m exquisite

Why is it essential to care for your self through proper nutrition and fitness practice?

Proper nutrition and fitness is paramount to maintain good health.  In order to accomplish your goals, whether its career, school or relationship related, good health needs to be a priority.  You can’t do good work if you’re sick.  Poor health is a recipe for failure.

What do you believe your purpose is in this lifetime and how do you think it will feel for others when you fulfill that purpose?

My purpose is to love myself unconditionally and to encourage others to do the same.  That unconditional love is best practiced with self care and discovering creative ways to promote health and wellness. For others, they will feel a strong commitment to cultivating their wellbeing on a daily basis.

Do you feel there is segregation within the yoga community if so in which ways and does that help or hinder the “appeal for new comers to join and try yoga”?

The yoga community exists within the broader context of US society.  Since we live in a very segregated America it’s not surprising that the yoga community is also segregated by class and race.  Fortunately, social media has been used as a powerful tool to help get the message across that yoga is for everybody.

Can having a vegan diet improve your relationship with Mother Nature?

I think having a vegan diet forces you to become more mindful of what you’re eating. I wouldn’t say that that mindfulness always transfers over to one’s relationship to the environment.  In general, however, I think that any plant based, whole food diet that cuts out processed food will change your relationship to many things including the planet.

Have you had any yoga related dreams or metaphysical experiences that you find hard to explain? If so feel free to share

I’m Caribbean so paying attention to my dreams or metaphysical experiences has always been an important practice even before learning about yoga.  I think getting waves of strong memories filled with multiple sensations while awake has been the strangest experience I’ve ever had.

What are 3 items you must have to set the tone of your space before meditating?

I don’t need much for meditation.  Lately, however, I’ve been revisiting the Headspace app that offers guided meditation exercises.

Does your perspective on yoga affect your practice, if so how?

Yes, absolutely. I don’t just practice “yoga” by doingposes.  Yoga is a pretty flexible practice in that it can touch many areas of your life.  For example, yoga helps cultivate mindfulness.  Mindfulness is extremely important to creating a centered and healthy life.  My existence is rooted in an understanding that my life isn’t ruled by outside occurrences.  I’m not perfect so my day to day practice of mindfulness sometimes falls short.  However, knowing that I have the power of awareness affects what I consider my “yoga practice”.

How can yoga be a tool of empowerment for women?

Practicing yoga helps develop a strong sense of self efficacy.  You try a pose and it’s impossible.  You’re wobbly, weak, and your breathing is labored.  You keep practicing it without judging yourself. Then one day you’re practicing that same yoga pose and you’re nailing it.  Yoga teaches us that you have the ability to achieve your goals.  You can take that confidence in yourself and apply it to other areas of your life.

What book have you picked up and put down but years later found to be a fascinating read?  Also why do you think the message in it didn’t resonate you the first time.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has a pretty big following.  I wasn’t a fan at first because of how the protagonist’s love interest was written.  Santiago goes on this fantastic adventure while the woman he loves has to sit waiting for him? I thought it was bullshit! I’m not a fan of stories where women wait around.  However, I re-read it and found that the overall message of making moves despite knowing exactly what lies ahead is an extremely valuable lesson.

Is there anything you would like to share with the readers of Infocus247?

My website is  TraceyCoretta.com and I’m starting a YouTube channel this summer at Tracey Coretta.

Finally got it done! I couldn’t stand to be called out again lol….  –LittleMsDaisha 

Yes we will call you out occasionally at Infocus247, persistence is a element we definitely value over here! So if your taking a few months to answer some question we want to know why! Today Littlemsdaisha climbed her way out of the Questionnnaire sucken place lol… she was struggling to get the answers but Im glad she was able to pull through. We always run into each other at the movingartshows, she is one of the people I will look for to feel like ah.. everything is how it should be. …  Check out what she had to share about her practice!

If you could of started yoga earlier in life at what age and why? 

Hmmm… at first I was thinking I’d love to have started yoga as a toddler. Mainly because I’m thinking of how far along I’d be in my journey if I would have stuck with it from then until now. However, I honestly feel like I started my journey at the right time, when I was 25. I think now, as an adult with life experience (lol) I have a better appreciation of the practice and the journey.

Seriousness is a sin… What do you often take too serious about your yoga practice?

Seriousness is a sin! I agree with that completely. I like to take my practice as lightly as possible. I think that’s why I love to practice at home listening to whatever my playlist delivers. This way if I am stressing over something I can take a dance break or I can just stop. I usually get serious when I’m doing a challenge, then I find myself stressing about getting into the pose and getting a perfect (enough) shot of it. I actually went to school for photography so I’m my biggest critic when it comes to composition, lighting, etc. Yoga is hard when you force yourself to think about doing it “right”.

How has your yoga practice changed your thinking? And what problems has that change solved?

You usually hear yogis saying that yoga has changed their lives, I can say that is so true. Yoga turns you inward. I’m not sure how that happens..yoga magic I guess, but it happens to all the yogi’s I’ve seen. Once you notice that you hold emotions and stuff in certain areas of your body you naturally want to release them. When I learned to release things physically I then wanted to learn how to release them mentally and emotionally. So far from my practice, I’ve learned the importance of letting go and how to flow with the universe. This change has helped me start to view my life as if it were a movie, each scene as a lesson.

Have you had any mysterious or yoga related dreams ? If so feel free to share.

Hmm… I dont think I’ve had any yoga related dreams…. If I did I surely don’t remember them. Haha.

What’s the most important question you could ask yourself? What would you do with the answer ? 

I struggled the most with this question. I mean, there are sooo many questions I could ask myself, what makes one more important than the other? In a strange web of connected events, yoga has lead me to learn about the universal Law of Attraction. Basically explained as like attracts like. Whatever we have & get out of life is attracted to us by our subconscious thoughts. This made me more interested in figuring out what was going on deep down. So I think the most important question that I could ask myself on a daily basis is; “Have you checked in with your subconscious today?” What could I do with the answer? Literally, anything, align my vibration to match the frequency of my desires, or just take a mental note and keep on keepin on.

If you pick a planet to travel to with the intention of spreading yoga throughout the universe which planet would you pick and why? 

I would pick Mercury. Two reasons first because I’m thinking with it being the closest planet to the sun it would create a ripple effect down the solar system spreading yoga to the other planets. Secondly, because hot yoga classes seem to be popular throughout the US, sure it’s probably much hotter than 105 degrees on a typical day on Mercury BUT I think we’re onto something there.

How was your experience getting a chance to do full of body paint in the past movingart show?

Omg it was surreal. I remember the day I found out I was going to be in the show. I was sooo excited! Literally jumping up & down excited. I’m pretty sure I cried too lol. I went to the very first Moving Art show as a yoga newbie, I think I was 4 months into my practice at the time. It was so amazing to see the yogis that I’d been following on Instagram doing their THANG in person. I remember I took a photo with Dara @pintsizenurse & DJ @Dade_2_shelby. I knew I wanted to be in the show from that day. Fast forward to just under 2 years into my journey and I was standing on a platform next to Dara & DJ being painted as a thunderstorm! It’s so crazy how that turned out. Being body painted was also one of my goals and my artist Fenton was very passionate about his work. I represented Oya the Orisha of storms & wind and I surely looked like a dark & stormy night. A flexible one though. 🙂

If you were to look at yoga as an art form what would you express? 

My life theme is freedom, I would want my yoga to express just that. Freedom to transform. Freedom to transcend. Freedom of choice. Freedom to be light, to carry light, to share light. Freedom to just exist. I want my yoga art to have a delicate but strong expression of freedom.

What would you say to anyone thinking of starting yoga but just hasn’t found their way to the mat? 

Remember, I started out just looking at other yogis on social media. If you find yourself inspired by myself and/or other yogis then I invite you to just go ahead and start your journey. Yoga has no prerequisites. Just start without worrying about who, what where, when, and why. No excuses, it’s time 🙂

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

Yes. First, thanks for reading. Second, I’m working on a website. It’s www.littlemsdaisha.com. Pardon, it’s a little unfinished, but it’s in the works to be a great black-owned yoga/meditation shop & funny blog. I want to connect with all of you. Namaste  🙂

Sometimes you have to chase the eagle that stole your Leopards yoga mat and fled to hawaii through the clouds.

Not many people volunteer for yogi selects believe it or not … when Sabrina’s curiosity led to a comment about participating I instantly went to her Instagram page and let the questions flow as usual.
Do you use any meditation routines or methods that incorporate focusing on the yoni as well as chakras ? If so share your process and expected experience 
Since the yoni is located in the sacral chakra, any meditation that focuses on the yoni will also focus on the sacral chakra. Sometimes the meditations overlap with the heart chakra as well. I teach a three minute womb cleansing which gets the student to focus on the trauma in their yoni which ultimately on blacks the sacral chakra

Imagine a world where everyone agreed on eating only what can be grown from the soil…. Elaborate on some of the changes we would see if that were the world we lived in?

First of all there would be a severe decrease in health issues. Evidence is increasingly showing that a diet rich in meat is the cause of many ailments that Americans face. There would also be a decrease in the carbon footprint that we leave. It is said that the production of meat for consumption creates 40% more greenhouse gases then all that global transportation does. I think people that eat meat would overall experience higher energy levels because they would no longer be ingesting the flash of animals who were traumatized at their time of death. Those traumatized animals’ flesh contains the trauma in them. Then people ingest that flesh. Thus people will experience a lower vibrational energy. Eating high energy foods like produce will create higher energy in those consuming it. I think people would overall have a greater respect for the land as well as a better connection to it and thus there would be less crimes against nature. I also believe that there would be less hunger in the world because with all these people becoming one with the earth we would naturally do better at taking care of people who don’t have the resources to have what we have.
How can learning about yoni steaming be beneficial for women?

Women can benefit greatly from yoni steaming. At the most basic level yoni steaming is good for healing. You can heal physically and emotionally. You can heal things physically like painful periods, fibroids, menopausal symptoms, shed old linings from the womb that have gotten lodged over time, increase fertility, detox the womb, etc. On an emotional level, the steam can help women release stored emotions/trauma stuck in the womb. By healing a woman’s most sacred place, she is allowed to fully step into the goddess she is meant to be.

Energy can be transmitted sexually. If you can, share one first hand example of when you noticed the exchange and some of the signs that led you to know?

After sharing intimate space with someone for a while, I began to notice that I felt a lower energy than I was used to experiencing. I actually began to take on the characteristics of the person. And not in the sense of hanging with someone and picking up on their idiosyncrasies, but more so feeling low, unsatisfied and unfulfilled even when I wasn’t in their presence. And this person very much had an energy that was low and unfulfilled even though I would never say he was depressed. When I began to meditate more in tune in to things going on within myself, I was able to bring my energy back up. I don’t think at the time I realize what was happening, but in hindsight I was able to figure it out.

What is your first memory of this existence?

Ha! I wish I could answer with something really deep and spiritual like I remember being conceived but that is definitely not the case. My first memory was when I was about three or four and I was spinning around in my grandmother’s living room and I hit my head on the corner of the wall. It hurt, I bled a little bit, and it left a huge knot in my hair. I still have the scar today.

Do you think there are some people  that don’t require healing or does everyone require some form of healing? Share your thought process

I think that the very nature of being a human involves some level of pain which needs healing from. Different people experience different levels of pain but we all experience pain in some form or another. You will never have growth if you do not have pain. I can’t imagine that there is any human being that has never experienced pain that they needed to heal from. Pain is generally a perception. Pain occurs when you assign an emotion to an event. It’s human nature to attached feelings to events. But when you get to a place where you recognize that you are attaching feelings to an event, it can be very liberating to be able to redirect that emotional energy.

How do you measure intelligence ? 

Due to my type A personality, I have unfortunately always measured intelligence by societal standards. I’m becoming more open to the idea that any person who has wisdom is intelligent. Being able to recite facts does not make you intelligent. Wisdom creates intelligence because it comes with experience. I have learned that the eastern way of viewing elders makes so much more sense then the western way. In eastern countries, the elderly are revered for their wisdom, while here in America the elderly are seen as a nuisance unfortunately.

Is yoga good for self acceptance of so how has it helped you in that  

Yoga is awesome for self acceptance. If first of all brings you present which is the only space that exist. It allows you to exercise compassion, love, and forgiveness to self. Yoga is a judge-free zone. It accepts you as you are an asks for nothing more. When you slow down your breath and tune in to yourself, you are able to hear the things inside of you that have been vying for your attention. You can then begin to address these needs and thus create a more loving atmosphere within. I kept thinking for many years that I was broken and beyond repair. But yoga has taught me that although I may be broken, I can easily fix myself by injecting self love into all those cracks to make a more fortified version of myself.

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

I had a pretty powerful meditation shortly after Donald Trump was put into office. I was meditating to Frank Ocean’s “Pink Matters” song and I ended up putting it on repeat. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the song before but listen to it and be aware of the words. As I repeatedly listened to the song as I did my breathing techniques, I quickly realize that earth is just a temporary situation. That all of the years of brainwashing that held me to impossible standards were all bullshit. That I no longer had to define myself by the societal norms that I no longer agreed with. I cried for probably 40 minutes. It was the most liberating experience I’ve ever had. I so look forward to another meditation like that! When you can free yourself from the garbage that tries to permeate your being you can really elevate to a whole other level. It’s sort of a transcendence.

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

After years of therapists, self-help books, and even taking Prozac for a short while in order to “fix” me, yoga has healed me in ways I never imagined. The healing that I felt from doing yoga is what made me want to become a yoga teacher. I want my community to feel the freedom and peace that comes from acceptance and understanding of one’s self. All that I have ever needed has been within me and I am reminded of that daily.

Thank you for the questions! I appreciate the opportunity to be introspective. Be well

Serene Radiance Yoga
facebook/instagram: @sereneradianceyoga

We caught up with Allen aka LifeisArt to get an idea of his perspective on life yoga and art. We were repairing his sling ring and he had a few minutes to spare in between the fix. Check out the insight he shared below and find out more about what is coming next!
How can time be perceived as your friend or enemy? 
Time is everything and an illusion. Because time is important we must pay attention to it in some shape or form. With that understanding Time will always be on your side. Without the knowledge of the importance of time. It becomes an enemy to progress.
Name 3 things Yoga will not help you with 
Yoga will not help if your not helping yourself. Its really that simple. To name 3 things I would say If you cannot give your all to the experience. Let it go and return when you can. I learned that the hard way.
How can yoga be looked at as an art form?
Anything you can manifest with your mind I consider an Art form. Think about it. You have to draw it out in your mind before you do it. Even instinct is a Drawn out reaction created with in a split second to manifest. Yoga is the same, but an extremely more settle, more peaceful way to create with the mind. The mind is the ” True Art “
How can art give you benefits similar to a consistent yoga practice?
When I think of Art, I think of expression. Each artist I have encountered have expressed how art is such a release for them. I believe that is a great benefit. Having a painting in your home can give your mind a memory of positivity. A moment where a complete stranger understood your point of view so well, they created it & this is how it looks. Same as with a consistent yoga practice. Practicing Yoga everyday really broadens your horizon to more perspectives, more diversity. Its a mind opener, just like Art.
What was your first memory?
My first memory was an accident I got into with my father when I was maybe 2 or 3 years old. I remember the firefighter holding me while we were walking down the street and I was crying because I didn’t know what was going on. I could have died that day, but I didn’t. Its crazy because no has ever ask me that and I’m able to go that far back…whoa!!
Which aspects of life do you choose to control vs let happen? 
Having access has always been a hassle for me so I would say access. What I mean be that is having access to things that can benefit not only me but everyone around me. Watching My Older brother and his crew I learned real quick…” You ain’t shining if your whole team ain’t ” And thats been a proving fact showed to me over the years so I stay true to that. When I let things happen its based on the case finding the ” Why ” behind it. A lot of people say..” somethings are not meant be known “. Thats bullshit to me. If your honest with yourself and others then the why should be evident and just. You got to hold yourself accountable and man up when you fuck up. I remember me and you had this talk almost a year and half ago. The way I live, it goes a long way.
How can yoga and capoeira go hand in hand? 
Most people don’t even realize how much yoga and capoeira are one in the same. There like yin and yang. Probably for every move in capoeira there is an asana or variation of an asana that resembles it. Have my Yoga Instructor and Mestre share the same space of education gives the vision of how Yoga and Capoeira are beautifully connected when combined together.
Provide one insight about the power of breath that you have learned purely from observation. And How has that helped you?
From observation what I have noticed is a calming but powerful force behind someone who is control of the breath. Its very serene and intriguing in many ways. The phrase ” Flow like water ” comes to mind watching someone so in sync with breath and movement. I try to be as fluid as my example. In my own practice I have found it very useful in critical situations. Sometimes I have to catch myself, which is cool, those moments are times of growth.

What do you feel is the greatest mystery of life? 

The greatest mystery of life is life itself. Life is a discovery. Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new, something extraordinary. The experience of life is a complete mystery before it happens.
If the world were to end tomorrow or unite in peace ..what  do you think would be  responsible for both? 
If the world ended tomorrow it would be due to the lack of love and compassion for one another on every scale. If the opposite happen where the world would unite in peace it be due to a global conscious decision to put down all of our ” personal ” differences and focus on the healing of the world from the inside out. By any means necessary.
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To Stay Updated with LifeisArt check out the Instagram page and look forward to the next MovingArtExperience show coming up in May.

Cj aka Yoga with the Red Head is always spunky and firey! We’ve had our encounters and funny moments through the streets of New York. I thought it would be a nice surprise to send a questionnaire her way!

How can using your breath help pain or discomfort in different yoga postures?

I find that if you focus all of your attention…solely on one specific thing, everything else can fall to the background. If you are mindful of counting breaths or focusing on your inhale/exhale patterns, you’re less likely to spend energy focusing on the pain or discomfort. (Now that’s not to say if a pose causes abnormal pain…you should focus on your breath and push through! Na! Don’t do that! Haha Know the difference between discomfort and pain. Listen to your body.

Can acro yoga be a way to connect and meet people in different yoga communities?
YES! YES! And YES! 100% YES! Majority of the people who I have Acro-ed with, I’ve met and practiced with on the spot. There’s something to be said about the immediate comfort level and trust that can be felt between two practicing yogis. It’s kinda dope to think about and experience. There was one time I was walking through Washington Square Park (with you, Min and Dara) and we ran into those two yogis. One told me to climb onto his shoulders. And I just did, without second guessing any of it! It was too much fun!

Describe how it feels making breakthroughs, being able to do what was once out of your grasp? and how does this apply off the mat 

There are fewer things more rewarding than yoga breakthroughs! Haha Most times they come after weeks, months, even years of practice so it’s an amazing feeling to see the progress. I really don’t know if I can describe the feeling. Just know, there is always a victory dance that ensues immediately after hitting the pose!

Have you had any yoga related dreams or experiences during meditation that may be hard to explain? If so feel free to share

Not yet, unfortunately. Key word=yet!

What would you say to anyone thinking about trying yoga but isn’t sure if it for them?

Give it a try! You’ll never know if something is for you or not unless you give it a fair run. And that goes for anything in life! And don’t expect it to be easy the first time. You might not even enjoy it the first time. However, I can promise that each and every time you practice, some part of your practice will be different. It’s an ever-changing journey.

How can yoga help women reconnect with themselves? 

There are many aspects of yoga and there are so ways to reconnect with yourself. Mind. Body. Soul. I’ve had a long journey with fitness and weight gain and loss. Yoga was honestly what kickstarted my real fitness journey. And I say “real” only because I had tried many other methods of working out but they never stuck. Yoga became an immediate passion and created a lifestyle change. Now I’m able to combine the other fitness methods with my yoga to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As for the mental and spiritual aspects, if you’re up for a challenge, there’s always something to learn. Countless books, conversations and real world application opportunities are provided each and every day. Take advantage of even just one and be open to learning, and it can change your entire perspective on life…for the better. 🙂

 

I’ve always been curious about chakras, what does it feel like to have your chakras re aligned?

I’m just now really learning about the chakras. I know the basics but I’ve been researching a lot more. I’ve started collecting stones and crystals that align with each chakra to incorporate into my meditation practice. I also just started the book Eastern Body Western Mind. I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

Does diet impact your yoga practice? If so in which ways

On a surface level, if I eat crappy foods, I don’t feel good, therefore it’s a struggle to get on my mat. When I eat healthy, natural foods, I have more energy, I feel better and I’m more apt to practice daily!

What is one method you use to self reflect and how is it helpful to you?
I’m a third grade teacher. I try to instill a lot of the yoga principles in my students daily. We have created rituals like “Meditation Mondays” where I walk them through a guided meditation and help them to set an intention for the upcoming week and reflect on the week prior. In order to help them create intentions and reflect, I too have to do so. I feel like it helps keep me grounded in the situation but also allows for a sense of joy and accomplishment when I see how pleased my students are with their own practices.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of Infocus247.com

I’m excited to share the news (some already know) that I will be traveling to Rishikesh India (the birthplace of yoga), this Summer, to complete my 200 hour YTT and I couldn’t be more excited! So stay tuned for more to come!!!! 🙏🏼