PEACE, LOVE, and BLESSINGS!!! EyeAM just a soul passing through spreading positive vibes and radiating love . Making the conscious decision to eat healthy and take care of myself spiritually through Prayer/Mediation and Yoga has given me a new found peace that everyone should have. Allow me to share my life as we rebuild together. UNAPOLOGETICALLY MELANINATED
ILA ( I Love Afrika Designs) has been an household name for my husband and I for 2 years now. So it was no surprise when my husband requested them as the final touch to his wedding attire. ILA is a online boutique from Trinidad that sells Loc Caps, Crochet Tops, and much much more. My husband and I both decided our dreads would be wrapped on the day of our ceremony. Since we had a summer wedding we both needed something thought would make us sweat too much. ILA loc caps are my husbands go to because they allow your head to breathe even on hot summer days. After purchasing the loc cap I personally reached out to inform them that we needed the loc cap for our ceremony and she graciously mailed it out the next day. I love how personable ILA is which their costumers. They inform you how long shipping will take due to the fact that it is being shipped from another country which did put me at ease. The loc caps come in different sizes depending upon how long your dreads are. Also you have a choice in how long you would like the elastic band to be for the perfect fit. There are loc caps for men and women alike as well as knitted hats. Once it arrived my husband was so excited. Thank You ILA for making my husbands day and for being the finishing touch for my husband on our Wedding Day.
For more information on I Love Afrika Designs Click Here.
Every little girl has this fantasy of how she will look on her wedding day. As for me my vision changed over the years. It wasn’t until I knew who I was that I was able to see myself for who I truly am. Luckily I came to that realization before wedding bells started to ring. Once I evolved into the woman that I am today I put much thought into my attire for our ceremony. I knew the attire must be symbolic of our union as well as my families history. Another huge factor was that my husband and I address one another as Empress and King; I wanted my attire to symbolize not only a royal but also a spiritual union.
Once the time came to go dress and accessory shopping I was already captivated by a beautiful woman by the name of Empress AK on Instagram. Without hesitation I personally reached out to her for ideas and inspiration. I have followed her for a little over 2 years and watched her grow as a woman and brand. When it came to supporting her business I was waiting for the perfect time and occasion. What influenced my look for the ceremony was the love of my heritage within the African Diaspora and our cultural attire across the world. Woman such as Nefertitit, Queen Makeda, Empress Menin, Oshun, and many other African Queens. For me our ceremony signified my rights of passage as an Empress as I begin to create my own dynasty along side my Emperor. I knew that I could only got to Empress AK to make that vision manifest. Alli was such a joy to work with and so humble the entire time. The first day I got into contact with her she sent me so many adornment ideas and consulted me about how I should wear my wrap. Even though she is located in New York she made it a point that we communicated back and forth up until the wedding day. It meant a lot to me because I wanted her to see the final look with everything put together. These moments alone felt like a dream come true. I will never forget trying on the full attire at Impressions Bridal with Empressive Finds jewelry adorning my head. The entire bridal shop was completely quiet; everyone was in complete shock because everyone said this look couldn’t be done in a classy or elegant way. Well The Empress AK proved them wrong. I am forever grateful .
What I love about Empress AK is she informed me on when she shipped the adornments and in the package she takes the time to write a thank you card which is personalized. Empressive Finds boutique has a variety of things. She is known for her glossy head wraps however she offers bases wraps as well. Aside from wraps she has third eye jewelry, earrings, and much more. Her card brought tears to my eyes and put me to ease. Alli puts time and love into her work which overflows into how she interacts with her customers; or as she calls us her cousins. Again Allie is so humble, real, and sweat. She will forever be family in my eyes. Thank You having a hand in making our ceremony magical. I am not sure what I would have done without her.
For more information on Empressive Finds Click Here.
The Groom has to look as good as the Bride right??!!!
Well thank to Etsy that was possible. Etsy has been the talk of the town over the past year. For much of my planning people have referred the site to me for things such as invitations and decor. However I have always been skeptical about using the site and any other online shopping site. When it came to our ceremony my husband wanted something cultural yet different. Often times when looking for African Attire unless you look online or at a Middle Eastern shop you pretty much see the same thing at each store. Our primary drawback when shopping was that we couldn’t find anything in all white. Each attire had gold or silver embroidery. When looking at different designs at other cultural shops it just wasn’t what we were looking for in a cultural garment. When shopping we were going off of a design I found on the internet however we never looked to see who the designer was. All I knew was I didn’t want him to have to buy something offline. After doing some digging I found the shop on Etsy.com. My husband decided to order the attire with high hopes and expectations. I was on pins and needles because I had never ordered from Etsy. Once everything came in he was thoroughly impressed with everything. I tried my hardest to find the man or woman behind the brand yet I couldn’t find anything. The attire is made in Ghana with very light material and is made to order if you send in your own measurements. My husband was comfortable the entire ceremony and was able to wear it through the reception. He truly looked like royalty.
Shopaholic GH is a etsy boutique that specializes in African Clothing. There is attire for men, women, and children. You will find that some of the attire is a matching set for the entire family. Shipping does not take long to arrive at your home and you are able to track the shipment.
As a bride you want to start wedding planning as early as possible to be able to lock certain things in such as venue, catering, and any other vendors that may need a early deposit. Which is why my husband and I took a winter trip to New Orleans. Originally we went to lock in a location for the ceremony and reception; we tried food just to give us an idea of what we possible wanted our menu to be. One afternoon we stumbled upon a Caribbean restaurant by the name of CoCo Hut. A very small family owned business where the food is made to order. Thoroughly impressed we asked if they catered and was told yes on the spot. Once we returned home I called CoCo Hut as I was instructed to recieve a quote for all that would want at the wedding. Our reception menu was based on there menu and specifically what we ordered on our visit. After speaking with CoCo Hut I was told I should expect a call to confirm by Friday.
The Catering Blues begins here……..
A we goes by and we never received a call back. Each time we reach out we are told the owner isn’t in she will call back. Unfortunately the owner is the only person able to discuss catering matters. During this time we are going into Christmas and I decided to wait until the holidays die down before continuing with vendor confirmations. The second week of January I am calling twice a week yet I can not get in touch with CoCo Hut. Once February comes I am a little on edge as I am calling and continually being told the owner is out of town or not in yet. I assume Madi Gras may have taken up some of her time; so again I wait. March there is no call back and we are 3 months away from our ceremony. By the middle of March we are over the waiting game and decide to make a trip to New Orleans to finalize everything for the wedding. By this time we have everything for the ceremony and are dropping things off for our cake and doing a final walk through of our venue. Yet and still we have nothing for our guest to eat. We decide to visit CoCo Hut in hopes that the owner is in for us to speak with.
As we arrive the owner is in casually talking to her brother.We greeted the owner and expressed we would love to have a moment of her time and she was instantly defensive and ask, ” For what?”. Unfortunately she was not willing to have a seat and discuss our catering menu which we gave her months in advance. After explaining we had been trying to call about catering our wedding she asked us to, “come back tomorrow”. We were willing to come back however she refused to give us a definite time she would be in. While trying to engage she continued to have a side conversation with her brother. The entire experience was extremely frustrating. While at the restaurant we considered waiting to grab a bite to eat. As we waited I was able to take in the entire restaurant kitchen area included and I was dissatisfied with some of the conditions the kitchen was in. My husband and I decided to look else where for a caterer and to never eat at CoCo Hut again. Livid doesn’t express how upset we were when leaving the establishment. However, we cancelled our order and left in peace.
CoCo Hut was very unorganized and unprofessional which put us in a very uncomfortable position. I would have appreciated and respected the establishment if we received a phone call let us know they were unable to accommodate us. In the months leading up to our final visit we were scrambling in search of a Plan B for catering. Having to deal directly with the owner has ruined our experience with the business establishment. The cashier as well gave poor customer service that day as well while taking the orders of others. Perhaps it was a bad day? However, we chose to take our love for Caribbean food elsewhere when in New Orleans.
People visit New Orleans for 2 things. TO EAT & DRINK. Everything else is usually a plus. I have been to New Orleans a few times over the years and I thought I knew just about everything I needed to know about the beautiful city. However, what I didn’t know is that there is a huge food truck culture. I found this cool fact out on our final trip to New Orleans when we went to save our wedding reception from hunger. If you don’t remember anything from a wedding you remember the food; usually because of how bad it was. Needless to say we were on the hunt for the best food in NOLA but not your typical Cajun Cuisine. We wanted Caribbean Food!!! Unfortunately we had a rough time finding a reliable caterer and was down to the wire. Not to mention there aren’t a lot of Caribbean restaurants in New Orleans.
I found Jamaican Johnny’s Grill on Yelp a site I was very skeptical about depending on. We sent someone to New Orleans to scope the restaurant out and to everyone’s surprise it was food truck. I was intrigued off of that fact alone so my husband and I took a trip to meet the owner. Before leaving we got in contact with the own and sent our menu request and informed Johnny’s Jamaican Grill we were making our way back to New Orleans. Our first time Jamaican Johnny’s Grill we felt like family. The Food Truck is located at Deja Vieux Food Park. The atmosphere is that of an outdoor restaurant or food court with amazing food and drinks. When the owner Mr.Johnny heard our experience with finding a caterer he stepped in with nothing short of refreshing energy. Mr. Johnny also offered to show my husband the inside of his food truck and what he would be using to cook everything. We also had the luxury of trying quite a few of his dishes while visiting and was blown away. Johnny’s Jamaican Grill has great customer service and an open line of communication. Mr. Johnny was extremely open and transparent which made our experience unforgettable. We knew each others schedule which put one another at ease when we were not in communication for periods at a time. What I love about Johnny’s Jamaican Grill is all foods are made to order and come in big proportions. Outside of that all ingredients used are fresh; each dish is authentic Jamaican cuisine.
The day of the wedding Mr. Johnny cooked all dishes the morning of the wedding. Everything was fresh and the food arrived on time. Each pan of food was devoured rather quickly. Everyone enjoyed the food and had nothing but good things to say about each dish. We wanted the food to be buffet style because the reception was an informal setting where everyone could relax. Our main concern was that there would be left overs; safe to say there was no food left behind. Thank You Jamaican Johnny’s Grill for saving our wedding reception.
To see more about Johnny’s Jamaican Grill Click Here
When it comes to scarfs, head wraps, and hejabs I am all in. Often times I consider wearing one for everyday of the week. However, being a yoga instructor you sweat a lot and I tend to sweat in my head. Nevertheless when I dress outside of yoga 90% of the time a head wrap is in tow. So it was only right that my head be covered for the most important day of my life. The colors for the ceremony were Turquoises and Silver and I wanted my wrap to be the accent of Turquoises. Finding the perfect wrap was pretty hard. Many of the wraps I came across were Turquoises and orange or had patterns that clashed with the ceremony. My vision was simple and elegant and Fanm Djanm had exactly what I was looking for. My biggest concern was that the color wouldn’t be the exact shade that I wanted considering the fact that Turquoises comes in many shades. However, the wrap matched everything perfectly and I was able to wear it the entire day because the material isn’t heavy. The wrap fit perfectly over my base wrap creating the perfect amount of height and fullness I was looking for. Shipping was easy to track and actually came earlier than expected. Fanm Djanm wraps was another major factor in creating the vision for the ceremony. I can also wear the wrap multiple times because it is a solid color which was the deciding factor when making the purchase.
When you think of Jamaica what is the first thing that comes to mind? Shottas or Bob Marley?Is it the beautiful resorts and white sand? I recently heard someone say, ” People Think That Jamaica is Beautiful But It Isn’t Some Real Bad Things Happen There.”
The truth is bad things happen in our own backyard often times on our doorstep. However that doesn’t stop us from going out every week. There are “bad” areas in every city; places you should not go if you don’t know anyone in that area. For that reason alone Jamaica was a wonderful way to break in my passport. Honestly, I was excited yet nervous about being in Jamaica because I went with zero expectations and reservations. I just knew I had a list of to do’s that needed to be checked off; everything else was a bonus. We stayed in a town named Negril, Jamaica that had so much to offer. Unlike Montego Bay things are a little cheaper and less touristy. Many people stay here to get away from the shenanigans of the city. Of course people still on their hustle but after a while you either ignore it, shake your head, or they leave you alone all together.
The 2 main things that I loved about Jamaica is the food and you get Alkaline everywhere. Because the island has many natural fresh water falls the alkaline water comes straight from the source to the people. Making the process more eco and people friendly. Each day we made it a point to try out local foods away from the resort and we were successful. The entire trip I was mindful about eating strictly sea food and ital dishes; which is not hard in Jamaica. Majority of the people are vegan which made it easy to find Ital food. Also everyone has access to different types of fish daily due to the fisherman on the island. Needless to say everything was fresh and everything we ate was made to order. A place by the name of Rasta Lemonade made a huge impression on us. The restaurant was right down the beach from us so we ate there a couple of times. Rasta Lemonade is a strictly Ital restaurant that makes your food to order; along side daily freshly made juice. The portions they give you for each platter is massive. The 2 days we ate there we were full for at least half of the day. However you can honestly find good food on accident anywhere that you go on the island. Also since everything is made fresh it is best to never be in a rush to get anywhere. On average the food can take anywhere between 5-20 minutes to make. But, you’re on vacation what’s the rush anyway RIGHT!?
While in Negril, Jamaica we blended in fairly well. It was clear we weren’t raised up on the island itself. However, many people assumed we were American Jamaican which made our stay a little less nerve wrecking. Meaning we weren’t a target for shenanigans most tourist find themselves in. Because of this we made friends with some of the locals. In Negril many people are on their hustle in a good way. Two of the people that we became acquainted with were our personal drivers. In Jamaica there are a lot of tour companies that own buses that strictly take a group of tourist around the country. This may sound cool until you look at the prices they are charging and how crowded the buses are. Also the tour bus is often in a rush to get you to all the places people want to see. So it’s not worth it. On the other hand locals in Negril made their own Uber or Lyft system. They wait for tourist to come out of the resort and ask if they need a taxi. Having a taxi is much like having a personal driver. The cost is cheaper because it is calculated by the distance of the drive. Also because they are using their personal cars to drive you around. The drivers willingly act as your tour guide and wait for you at each stop you make. Some may even enjoy the day with you if each part feels comfortable. Each day you are there you will most likely have the same driver. If the driver is not available they send someone else in their place for that day. The drivers we had while in Negril were Roger and Chris (yes we made it a point to know their names). They really made an impression on us because of how laid back, kindhearted and open they were. The entire time in Negril Roger was our main driver and we had the pleasure of meeting his father which was such a treat. We made it a point to genuinely ask questions about the history and culture of Jamaica; which they willingly answered. This made the trip an educational experience as well. While with Roger he went to every site with us and often times gave us a little tour of his own. He also didn’t mind having fun with us along the way; which made each of us comfortable . Chris was a little different; he was more of a talker than a hanging out type of guy. As he drove us around we made frequent historical stops; such as Columbus Landing. Turns out Columbus actually landed in Jamaica before redirecting himself to America. He also shared with us his experience growing up in the country side and how things have changed over the years. Each of the drivers really knew how to maneuver through the jungle and rain forest. Yes we went on some adventures willingly.
This may seem scary right? To just go an adventures with some men who claim they’re taxi drivers?!!
Well we also made friends with the security at the resort as well as some of the staff women. Because of this we knew where to go and who to talk to while in Negril by our second night their. So each day and night people did look out for not only us but other tourist as well. What really made the trip magical is that everyone we encountered we made a connection with. We bridged a gap that some people are too afraid to do or so self righteous. We did witness times where people were very rude to the those who are simply doing their job. It is something special when you see someones face light up because you actually came back to speak with them or to even buy something that they may have. Often times to get something free or a little extra just because of that simple moment of kindness.
Now I am not going to lie by the 6th day I was tired and ready to go back home. Only because each day we got into something. We would wake up and hit the beach running. if we weren’t on the beach all day we were in the hills going on adventures. I will say that it would be awesome to spend a week in Negril or Jamaica period then got to another island for another week. We did meet a family who spent 3 weeks in Negril. I was amazed because in a week and a half you can pretty much see the whole island if you moved around like we did. We purposely left some things untouched to have a reason to go back. However, we did everything we set out to do and a little more. Of course we had our iffy and scary moments while there. But it only lasted a few minutes because we realized we were okay. Luckily we ran across some genuine people; yet at the same time we didn’t linger long enough to get taken advantage of as well. We developed a fine line between being nice and being gullible because at the end of the day it is am island that has been raped and taken advantage for so long. Because of this everyone is trying to make it the best they know how.
Tips for Jamaica:
Convert some of your currency and spend before reverting back to your cash.
Bring a small bottle of mosquito spray. Try to find a natural brand because the smell is string.
Do not stay on the resorts the whole time. The resort is not Jamaica; there is so much the island has to offer. It helps you throw away the stereotypes.
It is okay to say NO!!
Do not fall for the tricks. Sometimes people will try to talk you into buying them food or drinks.
Let nothing ruin your trip.
Places To Visit:
Ricks Cafe: The world famous Ricks Cafe is known for their cliff divers. The cafe opens around 1pm and closes around 8pm or 9pm. There is a live DJ who is really good who is accompanied by dancers who convince tourist to dance and have a good time. The drinks are really good and very strong. The food isn’t the best on the island however it is good. There is a live bad that places everyday at 7:00 but they aren’t a good act. All in all Ricks Cafe is a great places to relax and enjoy the end of your day.
Pelicans Bar: If you are up for an adventure and a good time Pelican Bar is right up your alley. Pelicans Bar is a bar that sits in the middle of the ocean right off of the Black River. You have to take a boat to get there which isn’t a problem because there are many boats that go back and forth to the bar. At Pelicans Bar they serve food and drinks all day. The food is freshly caught around the hour to serve the guest. And there is great music to set the mood. Sounds crazy?! Not at all. The Bar is completely solid made of bamboo and real solid wood. It offers seating inside as well as outside. If you pay close enough attention you may even be able to met the amazingly talented Rasta who built the bar himself not once but twice. As a really bad hurricane did come a few years back. Definitely a place I will always return to.
Mayfield Falls: The beautiful Mayfield Falls is a place like no other. You have to go a little ways up the forest to get there however it is worth it. The Mayfield Falls is a tour through the falls and the rain forest. You are accompanied by a tour guide who is well experienced through the rivers and water falls. The tour guide is hands on and helps you along the path and takes pictures for you. When in the falls you are free to swim and sit in the water falls. After taking the tour you are welcome to order from their kitchen and have a bite to eat. The food at Mayfield is amazing and they give you really big portions.
Bob Marley Mausoleum: If you are a Bob Marley fan the museum doesn’t do his justice. The Bob Marley Mausoleum resides in Nine Mile where he was raised and grew up. The Mausoleum is on the land where his family lived. There lays the tombs of his Mother, Brother, and Bob Marley himself. When you arrive you are appointed a tour guide. While on the tour you sea the home if his grandmother as well as his mother. There are areas where you are not allowed to take pictures. When walking through the mausoleums you are directed to take you shows and to not take pictures. Bob Marleys mother made her own jerk and dipping sauces while living. They are only sold at the mausoleum;during the tour you are given time to rest and listen to music while taking her sauces. There are gift shops and a restaurant where you are able to eat,drink, and indulge.
Many people ask me the question, “Why do you do yoga?” And honestly at first I couldn’t do anything but tell them it was something I liked to do( A good cool down after a lengthy dance rehearsal HELLO!!!!). For me doing yoga after a long day or workout is something that I look forward to, some may call this positive reinforcement since I always find my self doing something ( It’s hard for me to stick to a routin). I watched random videos daily and incorporated different stretches we do in dance rehearsal. Now let’s be honest searching for videos can be time consuming and some videos are very lengthy. One thing I will say that helps me now is doing Yoga Challenges; it doesn’t matter how long it is just choose one that best fits you. They are normally no longer than 30 mins and vary from 7-30 days. And if you get lucky the person you subscribe to will have morning and night time sequences; as well as different yoga stances, breathing exercises, and a host of other How To’s that will not only make your practice easier but teach you more about the practice.
Many people believe yoga began in India over 5,000 years ago. Although that seems to be what is in all the yoga books and when you take a yoga class that’s pretty much the typical story. Many people to Hinduism and Buddhism solely with the misconception that it is a” feminine” practice or that it is only for people who are a part of that religion. In reality yoga started with OUR ancestors as an Ancient Kemetic spiritual practice. The word Yoga means Control or some may say Yoke or Bind. Kemet was the name for ancient Egypt; the people of Kemet were. Many mathematicians, architects, and much more for many years before the people of India studied yoga. Kemetic Yoga dating back more than 10,000 years was seen as the way to reach your highest form of think and self. The purpose was the merging of an individual’s lower self and higher self striving daily to be a better you. When looking at Egyptian art you notice the correlation of yoga from the many poses our ancestors were in, the names of the poses and the way they were depicted in art form, and the philosophy of Kemetic Yoga in reference to body alignment. Self care and Knowledge of self was the key to civilization and Kemetic Yoga was seen as the outlet.
Whether you are just looking to do yoga for the purposes of flexibility, toning,and burning calories; or to deepen your spiritual connection. Yoga is perfect for all these things, when doing yoga the key is to focus on your breathing. We all know we need air to breath, Right? Yoga focuses on that A LOT. Why? Because we forget to breath when we are doing continuous movements and when concentrating. Also breathing helps you flow through movements with ease and is beneficial when holding poses. When doing yoga of any form you often feel pressured to be the more flexible and do things with ease. Well I am here to tell you that thought should never cross your mind. Yoga is about listening to YOUR body and self love. It is always encouraged to take your time and ease your body into the movement and BREATH. One thing I learned in my practice was patience, a very hard thing to master; When you do yoga you cannot rush through the movement you’ll end up hurting yourself. Yoga is a form of teaching you how to appreciate yourself. Physically you have balance, you’re stronger, and more energetic. Mentally you are calmer, concentration is better, and the practice has meditative qualities. Spiritually your health and well being improves, anxiety decreases , and you a have sense of peace. Emotionally you ignore negative emotions and feelings, and learn to be the truth situations demand. Through yoga you learn to accept their presence and in time negative emotions will cease to control you, as long as you continue to practice.
I do yoga to find my inner peace and to remain CONCRETE in my decisions and SPIRITUALITY!
DO YOU YOGA?
Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, share with me, vibe with me,
A lot has changed since I first started my spiritual journey. When I first started my yoga practice I was just researching ways to heal my knee as well as my spiritual and mental state of being. Early on I never knew the practice of yoga would lead to something deeper. If you have read my first blog post ” Why Yoga” and “Loose As A Goose” can see how and why I started this journey.
I get asked the question often, “How did you get it to yoga?”. And I am always compelled to tell the story of how I popped my knee out place while in the middle of a dance performance. How*So Glad You Asked*?!! During that time I was out of shape mentally, spiritually, and physically. Mentally I was lacking true self love. I did not realize my value. Somehow I lost site of how influential, talented, and powerful I truly was. Being passive had become second nature causing me to lose my voice in many cases. Over time I silenced my own voice allowing views of others to guide me. I didn’t know who I was; resulting in me big unhappy. Spiritually there was something missing…… me. I was searching for something outside of self. I expecting everything to magically work itself out while I just sat and waited. Because of this mentality I found myself crying a lot; I was not following the path set out for me. Deep inside I always knew there was a force protecting me. However, I was not connected the way I should have been. Physically I ended up putting on a little weight and I was extremely out of shape. Due to my injury these things doubled. Poor eating habits and an inconsistent working out routine does have its effects on the body. I also found myself not stretching properly before I dance which caused me to strain muscles over time. Needless to say yoga helped aid me in the realization and soothing of all my ailments. Many of you may think saying “Namaste” and burning sage doesn’t do anything. Well I assure you may be right (0.1 % accurate). However, it is about the core principles that change your life and the lives of those around you. (We will dive into that a little later.) Initially I started my practice at home on my front porch. I came across YOGA WITH ADRIENE on YouTube and I was hooked. But we already know this right?……RIGHT!!
Here is the reason I decided to give you an update on Why
I realized yoga is something that has to be a part of my life. I have learned that yoga is more than doing the Asana (Poses). And it is also not just saying “Namasta” and burning sage or incense. Yoga is a lifestyle; it consist of how you treat yourself daily as well as others. It is about being aware of why and how you feel day in and day out. Owning those feelings as well as reflecting and adjusting those emotions if they do not serve your highest good. Most importantly yoga reminds us we are always learning. WHY?! because we will never know everything. In that we learn how to tame the ego; which means getting uncomfortable. From admitting your wrongs to letting go of things that never truly resonated with our true self. I realized early on that I had a lot of things that were weighing me down spiritually. As I move in and out of yoga poses emotions come up from my past as well as present state. There have been moments where I have cried during a yoga flow or meditation because of the mental space I was in during that time. This is not a bad thing at all; being a yogi is about being. Sweating, crying, shacking, and even falling are all signs of cleansing. Yoga cleanses us of ego, negativity, and all things rooted in fear. *How is this possible?!* Daily we allow our thoughts to unconsciously control our actions. Many of us are aware and refuse to admit it may be the cause of our unhappiness. In yoga many emotions come up at once and we are guided to breath and push pass them. Once that is done we then are able to reflect on the process in peace and quiet. Allowing ourselves to breathe; reflecting on who we truly are and what we are capable of. As I continue my personal practice I give myself more and more time to sit and reflect. I realized those quite moments are important because we are able to see that the answers we sought out for had been there the whole time. Is maintaining a daily yoga practice hard? Of Course! However there is always room and time to get even the smallest of flows in. We can yoga in the car, in our beds, even in the kitchen. Just take some time to get weird and be a kid again. It all about dedicating time to yourself to get connected.
When I dedicate myself to something I do research to see how things came to pass. When it comes to yoga you are forever a student. I love that reality because there is always something new to learn about yourself and the practice. You can always add on or take away from your practice; the same holds true to your life journey. The history of yoga runs very deep. Depending on the training you take and the books you read you will learn that yoga began in India over 5,000+ years ago. To understand the teachings of yoga we must first overstand it is a lifestyle not a religion. Yes!!! being Yogi is not a religion and is not religion specific. Many people connect yoga to Hinduism and/or Buddhism solely with the misconception that it is a religious practice or devil worship. While some believe it is a “feminine” practice that men shouldn’t do. Truth is in India men and women alike can take on the lifestyle of a Yogi starting at very early ages. Men are some of the leading gurus of the Yogis.
As we dive deeper into the truth we must look to Mother Africa for the original origins of Yoga.
An even deeper truth to this reality is that OUR ancestors created this spiritual system over 10,000 years ago. What is known today as Kemetic/Egyptian Yoga; or as the ancients would say ” Smai Tawi” is the first spiritual practices known to man. However Egypt or Kemet is not were the concepts were birthed. Ancient Nubia and other neighboring dynasties gave birth to these spiritual concepts and yogic text; which Kemet payed homage to. Meditation is noted as the first style of yoga known to man. The Kemetic yogic system is recognized as the foundation of religious structures around the world. When we look at the meaning; yoga means to yoke. Connecting the breath to body as well as our higher and lower self. Smai Tawi ( Kemetic Yoga) means the union of two lands; holding the same purpose and truth as what would be considered today as western yoga inspired by India. As we dig deeper we will find no mention of a Devil in ancient times. The satin or Setian self are our impure thoughts and worldly desires; which strokes our egos. The root of our irrational impulsive actions as well as our greed. Yoga is designed to help us find that balance so that our ego may be satisfied in a way which feeds the soul; bringing a sense of wholeness to ones being. Many mathematicians, architects, prophets, sages, and much more in early Kemet mastered yoga before perfecting their craft. Yoga was used as a means to reach their highest realm of thinking and self. It is were we found ourselves before entering into the world to master ourselves. When looking at hieroglyphics we notice the correlation of yoga in the many poses our ancestors were in. It is there we notice some Kemetic Yoga poses were named after the gods. Each pose focuses on alignment physically as well as spiritually. The goal is to always balance those energies within ourselves. In doing so we are able to cleanse ourselves of the energy that weighs us down. When the Kemetic Empire spread to India the spiritual practices followed as well. When studying Kemetic Yoga and Modern Yoga the language may be different however the principles and concepts are all the same. Acknowledging words and meaning become lost in translation and dialect; we can see the commonalities run deeper the more we dive into the yogic practice. Although there are many schools of thought the foundation and destination is the same; total peace. There are many forms of yogis and all are respected because of that one simple truth. India keeps the Kemetic Yoga essence alive in the hills. Many individuals break away from their societal structure in search of a deeper meaning to life. This involves fasting and praying for many days. As well as heavy meditation; in this yogis are able to be detach themselves from what is now seen as a normal way of life. The yogi is detached yet fully conscious and in tune.
On my last post I go in depth on the benefits of yoga in many ways. After 2 years of practicing I am able to share more of my experience. I used yoga as rehabilitation after my knee injury; from that point on I have been using yoga as a go to for everything. Yoga is great for lower and upper back pains as well as shoulders. For women with painful menstrual cramps restorative and gentle yoga is a great tool for the bloating and the tension. For athletes as well as those who lift a lot of weights yoga gives a wider range of motion and prevents injuries. Yoga is also great for those who have anxiety as well as for those who battle with depression. The breathing techniques assist with calming of the nervous system and treats asthma as well. There are many healing components to the yogic practice and many are still researching other benefits. There is a sense of discipline within the practice that aids adults and children alike with concentration. Those we struggle with a spinal condition can benefit from the practice as well. Where there is a need yoga meets it.
As my journey continues my only goal is to deepen my love and practice. All while sharing the healing practice with others.
It’s a new year and some of us are on the road to being a new and better us. With many new New Year Resolutions in high gear there is one that gets recycled every year. The Resolution to drop a few pounds. We often start off motivated and inspired however somewhere we fall off some where along the way. No worries this is not a blog to post nasty pictures of pork and red meet; or to tell you how bad it is. I am here to tell you that it’s OKAY. And to ask a question that many of us may have yet to ask ourselves.
Does Size Really Matter?!
We have heard the term size matters time and time again. However, does that statement hold true in the context of a woman’s figure? Over the years the color of our skin and the shape of our body has caused much controversy. We find ourselves using terms such as skinny, petite, thick, average, fat, and obese; what does it look like to be any of theses sizes? Who signs off on the meaning of too fat or too skinny? Some may argue that words such as thick are used out of context. Many of us obsess over our weight because we want to have the perfect body. Causing ourselves to become sick in the process; not just in terms of anorexia and bulimia. There are some of us who find ourselves over indulging to gain the pounds we feel we lack. Everywhere we turn there are cross-fit gyms, personal trainers, and social media sensations desire to look like. However many of us are merely imitating what we see. Is that wrong? Of course not. The true danger in not knowing is dietary. Often times we work out and return home to poor eating habits. If we are not putting the right fuel in our bodies how well we keep it up will not matter. Health Over Image; many of us live in the gym only to have serious health conditions later on. Does our bodies really make us who we are if we are constantly ill?
Body Shape Does Not Determine Health!! When speaking of health I am talking in terms of immunity, physically, spiritually, and mentally. We often confuse physique with health. You can be thick and very healthy; slim and unhealthy. As well as fat and vegan or skinny and have poor eating habits. The true work is in eating to live not living to eat. Meaning it is our responsibility to keep our bodies functioning properly.There is nutrients in all of the foods we should be eating to give us longevity. Our food consumption is the key to a well functioning vessel. Taking the natural approach not only give us a great body but it acts as a preventative regiment to fight off ailments. Yes, meat is not meant for our bodies however it is not a necessity to drop it completely. Asses how your body feels when you eat certain meats and/or too much meat. And make the judgement on what you need to cut out. The truth is too much meat is bad for the body and we will get sick. Taking baby steps is what is needed to get our bodies to full health. When taking the natural route whether vegan, vegetarian, or simply all organic our bodies begin to take its natural form and is able to fight off any ailment it encounters. Exercising is an additive to assist in the toning and longevity of mind, body,and soul. Taking our health into our own hands is an act of self love. We should feel as good as we look and look as look as good as we feel.
Health Secretes They Don’t Tell You?
Being mindful that when you change your habits of eating along with you personal life your body begins to return to it’s natural state and size. Many of us do not realize how important eating clean is to the body and soul. The foods we consume have the power to charge, cleanse, and strengthen our chakras as well as harm them. Chakras are our energy wheels with in the body. Think of them as pressure point of the soul. Our chakras can be over stimulated, under stimulated, or blocked completely. They are a reflection of our mental and emotional state. Our mentality is what controls the state of our chakras as well as our daily functions and interaction. What we consume and engage in daily has the power drain or energize the chakras. There are food that are soothing to the soul as well as food that can clog the soul. Fruit and vegetable naturally have a direct correlation to the chakra system bring our longevity and vitality to body. The foods we crave, our emotional state, and areas of stress or tension is a reflection of our chakra alignment. Balancing our intake of proteins ( not necessarily meats), roots, spices, liquids, and more makes way for a healthy diet and chakra system. When are chakra are cleansed and aligned we tend to have more clear perspective on our day to day life as well as smoother days. We are less sluggish and cravings; emotions are stable with less of a tendency for out burst and lash outs.
Know that we have more control and will power over our emotions than we realize. We have healthier food options that give us the ability to be Eco-friendly and health conscious. Health is wealth not the other way around.
Listed below are tips about ways to naturally lose weight as well as vegan habits that may help you pack on pounds.