Yoga Saves Lives
How one lil yella girl wants to change the world one Kemetic Sun Salutation
at a time!
The Real Mission:
Life has dealt me a deck that didn't always make sense. Most of us probably feel that way from time to time. However, over time, our purpose becomes clear.
The time I spent working on myself, healing myself and learning how much more of my life was within my control was invaluable. Like everything else, there is a cost for what we need. Not only do the people who need the life saving benefits of yoga often not have the financial means to do so, but unfortunately have often not been properly educated in reasons to make it a high ranking priority in their lives.
The health of the body and the mind are only as good and strong as the foundation in which they are built. Kemetic (African-based) Yoga is a foundation people of color can unite and connect with and use to tend to mental and physical needs in a world that often makes them question their very existence .
Black Representation Matters
The association between good mental health and self identification is rarely given the proper weight. Not only is this issue present within the health and wellness community in general, I believe the impacts are even more detrimental in an environment where the healing that needs to happen is difficult to receive from individuals whose life paths are extremely different.
When I became homeless after being abused, I sought refuge in a facility for victims of domestic violence. There were wonderful people willing, wanting and able to help and I was thankful for their presence. However, it wasn't until many years later the depth of that gratitude would fully develop. Being in this kind of position makes it difficult to hear and believe certain messages.
Messages of hope and sense of self become tangled in disbelief and disappear. In these moments where everything seems the most out of control is where we need inner self control the most.
Many struggle with trusting this process, the idea of seeking internal peace to regain external control seems far fetched and culturally inappropriate and hard to receive if coming from a source whose life path may have appeared
much smoother than the victims.
Many of the issues I've come to see over the years in my own community are deep seeded stemming from lack of self value, self discipline, and an overall sense of hopelessness. Everything feels beyond you and around every corner is another obstacle. Deep down you know you are supposed to care about your physical and mental health but lack both the financial and mental resources to do so and place it on the infamous list of things to do once life settles down. It is this mindset that is so damaging, placing our health on hold to get a grip on external life never realizing that shifting the focus internally is actually what will ultimately resolve all the issue externally.
Self Care=Self Love= Happy Healthy Communities= World Peace!
My vision for Kemetic Yoga and meditation solves all of this! Kemetic Yoga addresses most all of the underlying issues that plague our communities from mental and physical health, stress management, confidence building and becoming more spiritually grounded (across all religious backgrounds).
Kemetic Yoga is not only a tool to heal the mind and body; it is the key to unlocking how to use all the other tools and gifts that are buried in fear, resentment, anger, shame and lack of self confidence and value. Yoga restores hope and sense of self in small bite size easy to believe pieces. What may just look like a series of random postures is actually reprogramming how the body handles and interprets situations it previously would have deemed as stress. Yoga allows your mind and body the space and time it needs to carry blood, oxygen and energy efficiently through your body to replenish and repair the internal organs and encourages coordination between your mind, body, breath that has effects lasting long after you step off the mat. As you begin to feel your mind and body positively reacting to your own efforts, you begin to regain a sense of control. Problems become more manageable and doom suddenly doesn't seem lurk around every corner.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result
Lets face it, what we have been doing is not exactly working. Mental illness is increasing despite the advancements of medicine. The industry operates under a symptom based approach and not the causes. This is costly not only in medical expenses, but also in the lost productivity coming from those are are sick.
Gotta meet the people
where they at!
Yoga Saves Lives program helps people who are often trapped in some of the most undesirable situations and locations. Yoga Saves Lives aims to bring Kemetic Yoga and meditation to the front lines of some of the darkest places around Kansas City like homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, transitional housing programs and correctional facilities. We would also like to be able sponsor others in need passes to regular class offerings!
Yoga Saves Lives will literally save lives by giving these individuals what they need to save themselves in a moment when everything seems so hopeless. The summer I spent in the domestic violence was extremely hard on me and my children and getting them to their summer daycare program was really important to be because I knew they needed consistency. Traveling back and forth from the shelter to the daycare center was too expensive so I hung out in a near park all day and did yoga and meditated. Yoga literally saved my life.
Many yoga programs were offered in our community and often it seems difficult for our community to connect to the instructor. I believe I am the most qualified person to deliver this message having used it personally to save myself! Finally, now that I can bring Kemetic (African-based) yoga to Kansas City individuals who previously felt yoga was only for rich, Caucasian women can see the true spectrum of all the benefits and representation in today's yoga world.
Soul Yoga Fest- Chicago 2017