Chastity Davis: Acknowledging Land and Welcome Ceremony for Yoga on Dub

 

Chastity Davis is a mixed heritage woman of First Nations and European descent. She is a proud member of the Tla’amin Nation, located in Powell River just off the beautiful Sunshine Coast of BC.  Chastity strives to keep her sacred First Nations culture, traditions, and values incorporated into her modern day life. She feels it is her life purpose to facilitate the building of bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and has dedicated her professional and personal life to do so.

Chastity is sole proprietor to her own consulting business, Chastity Davis Consulting and has been a successful entrepreneur for 6+ years.  She is a board member at the Minerva Foundation and Chair of the Ministers Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women.  Chastity co-founded the Professional Aboriginal Women’s Network and is currently serving as Co-Chair for this important network that creates a shared space for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women to support each other in their respective careers.  Chastity will be completing her MA in International and Intercultural Communications in Spring 2017, has a BA in Professional Communications and a Diploma in Marketing Management and Professional Sales.  Chastity has spoken at several international, national, and local events on the importance of building bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.  She dedicates her work to her 2 nephews, niece, and 10 year-old brother, as they are the future generations. 

Omega Vibrations: Contemporary Women in Reggae

So its long believed by so many that Reggae Music is dominated by men. I would say you are listening NUFF to the current situation in sound....nor are you looking back at your elder sisters of sound. Here is a collection of my favourite female reggae artists. 

You can accept to hear a lot of these Empresses at the Omega Dancehall, featuring some of the Vancouver's finest feminine DJ's and Mic Madams! Join us for Yoga on Dub on June 13th at Fortune Sound Club with Jah9 and The Dub Treatment. Yoga is at 7:30pm, dancing and holding medz at 10pm. 

Get your sweet self moving with these sisters empowering sisters. Bless up the feminine voice and experience, cultivating real stories about real experiences, keeping it real, raw and filled with truth. Sending strong to all the songstresses out there that are ready and waiting to step up to the mic. SO TO YOU SISTERS, STEP UP AND SPEAK UP!  In where, in no special order... a handful of my favourite contemporary female reggae artists. Check it, and how is your playlist? In no special order, get these tunes in your head. 

1.  Jah9

2. Kelissa

3. Keida

4. Hempress Sativa

5. Shanique Marie

8. Marla Brown

9. Nattali Rize

10. Italee

11. Tuff like Iron

 

 

 

 

SAVE the DATE: Yoga on Dub with Jah9/ June 13th in Vancouver

Looking WELL forward to teaching a special edition of Sound Salutation in Vancouver. 

WE are presenting Yoga on Dub with Jah9 and The Dub Treatment again at Fortune Sound Club on June 13th in Vancouver

Experience the Kemetic Yoga with Jah9 and her return offering of Yoga on Dub with The Dub Treatment playing live.   Unroll your mats and unite through slow-tempo dub in this class with asana,  song, meditation and reasoning in the modified Fortune Sound studio with Jah9 and local teacher Danielle Hoogenboom.  This intimate evening offers vegan food, special surprises and a conscious marketplace.  Come for the class and close the night down with an Omega Dancehall featuring Tank Gyal and Mandai and mic guests including Raw Speakhers. Yoga on Dub is an holistic festival experience bringing reggae, yoga and the revolution to mats,  dance floors and hearts. Part class, part concert, part party, all irie. Come along. 

Inner Education: Yin in Action.

Inner Education

How do we become our highest and most inspired self?

Inner greatness is embedded within us. It is most is inspired and revealed in the great work of hunting out places that hold patterns and tensions that hold our potential for greatness. We need to spend time in places we are inspired, nurtured and seen. We need to spend time in ourselves and with ourselves to call up and back the selves we have lost over the years.

Inner Education: Yin in action.

I am so stoked about the international group of yinnies joining us for a Yin Studies experience. This virtual offering was a mentorship component, and online teacher training as well as continuing education items. I am very excited to be developing this creative education with my team making it an accessible and individualized education and personal growth program. This yin offering is my newest edition of the Love Light Yoga offerings. It’s a way to fulfill the needs and requests to make continuing education more accessible, more potent and to inspire collaborative efforts with those I have worked with for many years.

It’s a joy to continue the work with students and witness their changes.  We share our stories and our collaborations within the yin movement. I LOVE the interactive qualities of this program: a part of continuing education, a part mentorship with a side of coaching, and lots of teacher training modules.

Did I mention that I am a total education nerd?

After I completed my university studies, I spent two years teaching high school in France. I have always loved school and learning. The transmission of knowledge is so exciting. Teaching yoga for nearly a decade has really sparked my deep love for evolution of education and continuing to expand and layer knowledge. The newest offering in the LLY world is a combined offering of my favourite things: Yoga, Education and Creative Expression.  I have spent a lot of my creative contemplation time in discovering what does it mean to really good at great education.

Thank for you all for the support and sweet words over the hours to continue, within the insanity of the growing yoga world, and the challenge of running a solo business for 8 years. I give endless thanks to all the angels of support that make these things possible.

It’s a joy and a blessing to be living this dream with you—always dreaming bigger—and calling out to see how I can serve effectively. I look forward to hearing from you.  The application and information for the online training is here

 

 

LLY Clothing line and SALE

 

I am so excited to be dreaming up the next few pieces, and a couple of special co-labs. I never thought I would have a clothing line, or have taken myself thru self-education of the textiles industry. Oh GEMINI. You are always swimming in the need and want to create.

I started the LLY clothing line as a fundraiser. I had been working with Off the Mat into the World (OTM) in 2010, super involved in their SEVA challenge for South Africa and Haiti, and I was also OTM’s, Vancouver Community Leader. The clothing line was a way to raise money, a product with a solo purpose to fundraise for non-profit organizations.

We designed a South African Blue Crane, Canadian sourced t-shirt, and sold a bunch. Later, I was approached about other pieces of clothing, so I thought, why not?

As an art school kid I was capable of anything really! I dreamed as a full time yoga teacher who was living in athletic wear. I wanted something better made and Vancouver made, with natural ethical fabrics and made for all body types. Teaching for years, I saw an array of poorly fitted, poorly designed clothes made of unsustainable, synthetic material.

I began to think a conspiracy exisited to make women feel awkward in their clothes. I wanted to rock out pieces that made my global sisters look and feel empowered and positive. I wanted the impact to be light on the earth and inspiring to future makers. I wanted to dream a way to really take our yoga off the mat and into the world.

The vision sent me on a journey of fabrics and sourcing fabrics, inspired by local ethics to find a sewing team that could make athletic wear, silk screeners that use natural processes, designers, web people, labels, tags, shipping, e-commence and pop-up all around Vancouver. I am honoured to create layers and cycles of creation, and employment.

You may know the crane on so many pieces now, all over the world. My friend rocks out in her Japanese Yin Yoga video. (LINKS?) Seane Corn supports my tanks and pants on the street and social media. Dharma Mittra loves his drop bottoms and they toured Asia with him. Not to mention, all the super excellent yoga teachers all over the world, sporting and telling a new textile story for real bodies doing badass things. All bodies, gender neutral and lady boss run. YES.

STAY TUNED. A few years back we started to add yin props and plastic free yogi bulk bags. The foodies sold out so quickly, and planning on another pre sold run of these soon. We have recently been testing the most beautiful indigo tights. Oh my fabric! One thing for sure, I am committed to clothing that lives with you in this world, adapts to you to fit you just right and makes you free enough to rock your visions and dreams.

What do you want to see?

Stay tuned for more on the clothing line and thoughts. The last few years we participated in a #whomademyclothes Fashion Revolution program. Check it out. And hey, I challenge in this moment…look at all the pieces of everything you are wearing right now. Where was it made? What is made of? Where does it go when you are down with it?

 There is a sale right now for 50% if you want to get on that! SpringLovers is the code and I want you to use and share it up. Clearing up the space and making room for the new. Let me know what you think and what you want in this world.

 

CURRENT SALE 50%

CODE: springlovers

Sending you love as you question and create, both the world in, on and around you!

I love you friend!! ONE IT!



 

Yin + Social Justice Week 2

Another epic week of yin and justice vibes at Strawberry Fields Together in St Mary Jamaica! This week we dove deep into the meridians and emotions associated with yin, and developed our teaching practice with support from this now tight family of yinnies! It’s hard to believe that it has ended and we have all gone our separate ways to bring yin and justice to our communities and the world.

Check out this Facebook photo album for some highlights from our last week together!

Stay tuned as well for a podcast series coming up! Spoiler alert! We started recording in Jamaica at this retreat, and the session on Yin + Social Justice with Dia Penning is EPIC! Plus more!! 

Aunty Aya's Shoes for Kids Drive

Soul food.

After spending another 3 weeks out here in St. Mary, Jamaica, Aunty Aya, founder of Aya Wear, took shoe sizes for the community kids. She does this all over Jamaica, her home and land. Bless up the school shoes and the eyes that see the need.

But since the initial shoe mission, more kids have come around and now we need more shoes! 

Want to help ship donations of lightly used kids wear? Or want to send funds? The cash donations we collected while on the Yin + Social Justice retreat went right to school shoes.

Aya! Bless up the sisters that trod and live all heart endlessly. All kids should have good shoes for long walks to school. Each one teach one!

Link me if you can contribute: danielle@lovelightyoga.com.

Yin + Social Justice Week 1

Week one of Yin + Social Justice in Jamaica has been full and blessed!

Our training begins each morning with Yin yoga on the beach: Long holds and floating Shavasana in the turquoise blue sea. Taking the time out of our daily lives (super Yang - running, working, busy) to slow down and settle into a Yin state has been healing and opening, allowing deep reflection on what is truly important.

We have also been blessed with the presence of many honoured visitors, team members, co-teachers and guests!

Dia Penning of World Trust who is walking us gently through an important social justice leadership training. Her workshop entitled “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequality” is just two days in and already we can feel our hearts and minds opening wider, tapping into a collective consciousness around these critical issues. We are learning how to both recognize and respond to racial inequity and privilege in our daily lives, and how to sit with and move through these challenges.

To fit in with our Yin + Social Justice theme, Shane (aka Eyeball) and Sabuki, founders of Life Yard - Jamaica’s first eco village, presented their work and mission to improve the lives of children and youth in Kingston through hands on making and the blessed art of growing food. Inspired by backyard farms, these two young men acquired a space on Fleet Street and built a network of believers and artists to rejuvenate the community through art and nature. Shane and Sabuki are also attending the teacher training sessions, with the goal of setting up a yoga program in the Life Yard space. Full circle of sharing and inspiration!

On the topic of food justice, our friend Kukua Abba, author of JA Herbs, led us on a blissful walk through the jungle, identifying, harvesting and sampling the many medicinal and edible treasures of bountiful mother Earth. Daily Ital meals, meaning vegan, organic and from the Earth, are prepared lovingly by chef and fashion designer Iya, owner of Iya Wear. Meals fall silent as we are in awe of the flavours nourishing our bodies from the inside out. We have tea queen Nadya Dee of Iyashi Herbs also visiting, sharing her herbal teas with us. Relying on Earth provisions for our daily nutrition has been a blessed experience and we can all feel our bodies saying THANK YOU!!

We’ve also got Jesi Carson Designs on site documenting in film, photo, audio and 360!! Check out this Facebook album for more photos of week 1, and stay tuned for some epic 360 production and reasoning podcasts! 

Plus, yoga teacher and musician Jason Worton is here and offering teachings and music to accompany our yin training experience. Jason will also be joining us for the Yin Rest + Reset retreat coming up March 3-5th - bookings available, get in touch for details!

Can’t wait for week two!

Musical Offerings in Jamaica with Jason Lee Worton

SO STOKED that my long time friend, yogi and super musician will be joining us for the Yin and Justice Teacher Training AND the Yin Rest + Reset retreat in Jamaica.  Jason is also a yoga teacher in Kingston and plays a whole variety of instruments and sings.....are you ready for musical medicine mixed with yin yoga on the sea? We give thanks for the musical healing powers and insights that is music and yoga mixed today. Have a peep at this bio below and have a listen to this soundcloud here

Jason Lee Worton, a singer/musician, grew up moving around the island of Jamaica, and spending several years overseas. Coming from a racially diverse background, surrounded by music, the ocean and rural Jamaica, this shaped him and his music, one of his muses being "the common bonds that complement the very distinctions that make us all beautiful individuals".

Switching between instruments and styles, he has established himself as a solid sideman multi-instrumentalist, working mainly on the guitar. Often described as a Jamaican Jimi Hendrix, but also having acoustic material compared to Jack Johnson, Jason spent years performing with numerous Reggae Artistes, ranging from veterans such as John Holt and Kymani Marley, to the leading figures of what is being referred to as the “Reggae Revival Movement”. This includes young rising stars such as Jah9, Chronixx, and most significantly Protoje in his backing band “The Indiggnation”, who he toured with throughout Europe and the USA.    

Building his reputation as a guitarist in the Reggae scene, Jason has also earned a name as a Singer/Songwriter in his own right, both within the Reggae fraternity and in thesmall developing Yoga community in Jamaica. He has been a mainstay at small local venues like Jamnesia, RedBones and the local jam scene. As a yogi-musician, he has been accompanying yoga classes and leading the occassional kirtan session, bringing his blend of Jamaican and World Music influences to studios and retreats around the island. During the Caribbean Yoga Conferences of 2012 and 2013 he played with MC Yogi, then with Dave Stringer. In 2015 during the first ever International Day of Yoga, he played for the largest recorded gathering of yoga practitioners in Jamaica at the National Indoor Sports Arena,   attended by local dignitaries such as the Indian Ambassador to Jamaica.     

Now Jason aims to continue sharing his music, releasing original material and a project of Jamaican influenced yoga/meditational music. His greatest joy is spreading love in the collective consciousness through irie music. When he doesn’t have an instrument in his hands, he thrives on being in the sea and in the bush, and is an avid surfer, yogi, and aspiring farmer/beekeeper.

Jason Lee Worton is the talented music maker to this new LLY promo video shot in Jamaica last year with Neisha Brown. Giving thanks for yoga moments all over the world, creative co-labs and bigger visions for this 2017! 

    

LLY Blog Listed as Top 50 Yoga and Wellness blogs

The Web is full of information about yoga and wellness; however, it can be challenging to find the real jewels that provide abundance of relevant and useful information on the topic. To help yoga lovers to separate the wheat from the chaff BookYogaRetreats.com has handpicked Top 50 Best Yoga and Wellness Blogs to Follow in 2017. The blogs that we selected enjoy not only broad readership but also engagement of the audience and collaborators. Their frequently updated and well-written content provides a great value to the yoga and wellness community. 

BookYogaRetreats.com is proud to announce that Love Light Yoga has been included in the Top 50 Favorite Yoga & Wellness Blogs to Follow in 2017

Danielle Hoogenboom is the owner of the fantastic website Love Light Yoga on which she shares her passion for Yin yoga and uses it as a platform to talk about her creative interests on and off the mat. She believes that Yin Yoga and a mindful lifestyle have the ability to heal, change and transform the world around us. And if you’d like to expand your yoga apparel, she has a very nice shop too where you can get clothing and props.

BookYogaRetreats.com certifies that Love Light Yoga is a high quality source of yoga and wellness information to keep on following in 2017!

Yin Rest and Reset: Two Vegan Weekend Retreats in Jamaica

Super Excited to be adding and announcing some super excellent ital events while I am in Jamaica. The weekends around the Yin and Social Justice Yoga and Leadership Training, I will be hosting a mellow Yin Rest and Rest Weekend. Come and enjoy a vegan diet with us, yin yoga and healing teas on the seat. Two special weekends: February 10th to 12th and March 2nd to 5th. Come for one or both. Simple and deluxe rooms, as well as shared, couples and solo. Please write Danielle for availability and cost. Danielle@lovelightyoga.com

Day Flow

Friday: Beach available at 10am for day use.  2pm Room Check for weekend guest. 4-6pm Yin Yoga. 6:30pm Vegan Dinner.  8pm Fire and Tea. 

Saturday:  8am-10am: Yin Yoga and Tea. 10am Breakfast. Free time or additional booked healing sessions.  Yin Yoga 4-6pm. Dinner 6:30pm. Evening for personal reflection, rest and digest. Flow away to the sides of the ocean. 

Sunday: 9am-11am Yin Yoga and Tea.  Vegan Brunch 11am with Healing Teas. Day Beach use until 5pm. 

Daily Rates available if space availability:  Danielle@lovelightyoga.com 

#yinandjustice: a yin yoga IG offering and reflection with Kimani McDonald

SUPER stoked to be co-labing with the inspiring Kimani McDonald (@kimanimcdonald) for a special new moon yin offering,  closing one year and opening another with intentions and reflections. What better medicine in these hours than stillness mixed with consciousness! I am rocking along the poses at @lovelightyoga. Join us for #yinandjustice.  Some real talk, mixed with real poses. 

 Last year on the last new moon of 2015, I rocked out a series of 15 yin poses til the full moon, it was the first LLY offering like that and also a series of Jamaica. You can peep it here!   Kimani rocked everyday of the #newtofullmoon yin series virtually with us,  a Jamaican mama in Seattle studying to be a DR, me writing posts in Vancouver rocking events and education,  the LLY images taken in Jamaica ....yoga in direct international action. Linking the community! It was SO RAD to have a cyber style sister circle in the yinning realm. It was such a joy to journey and be reflection while in collaboration.  We thought what better thing to the create an offering together to UP the potency of this yin practice, than to mix it with meaningful and impactful themes to meditate upon!   Kimani and I  reason often about our interests and actions in natural wellness and diverse communities. What is the greater scope of yoga  and its impacts on the world? What does justice look like in action? How are we participating in our daily lives and working to cultivate communities that reflect our knowings and gifts?  How do we act and what are our reactions? Looking at all the connections between the large, the small and all the spaces in between and sitting with it....yin medicines! Together we are planting a pose with a topic to contemplate, to reflect, to sit intentions and actively direct change with these offerings. 

Kimani is studying to be Naturopathic Medicine Doctor and has as  been teaching yoga for many years. Kemetic Yoga and her vegan lifestyle informs her work, as well as her years of living in Jamaica and Africa with her family. Her commitment to natural livity is her life.   She is currently studying in Seattle, WA at Bastyr University and if you feel called to support her work you can contribute to her campaign here,  as she waits for her loans. As an international student, she does not qualify for student aid and needs to raise $5000 by next week. She can not currently register in her final year, as she awaits her Jamaican loans. #schoolrebel she will attend and do her work. You can check out her original video for her call to support her commitment to health and wellness. 

from Kimani's last newsletter:  "The picture above is the Ancient Egyptian yoga pose, Sobek. Sobek (the crocodile) embodies the qualities of chaos and fierceness that can either be totally destructive or harnessed to be incredibly powerful and protective.

My personal "chaos" right now is that a hold has been placed on my registration at Bastyr until a payment is made toward my fall tuition (!).

All last quarter I have been in the process of applying for a student loan in Jamaica and.. GROOOAANN...lets just say this process has been... slow. This means that I cannot register for classes or clinic for winter quarter (which begins next week!) until I find another way to pay while we wait.

Of course, I will still show up for classes next week with entitlement and confidence that it will all work out, but I really am in a sticky position... until a payment is made I won't be able to access my online class portal, receive credit, do my clinic shifts etc. Ish just got real...!I need your help for another big fundraising push! My goal is to raise $5000 in the next 2 weeks. Can you help me? "

Join us, in the #yinandjustice journey and see how it extends out into the world. Investing in the leadership and education makes a massive impact on many people and this sister's work will reach far!    Kimani's experience and interests in culturally appropriate healthcare and accessibility will be revolutionary.  If you love these offerings, you can make a donation here. 

The theme of the annual LLY Yin Yoga Training in Jamaica for 2017 is Yin and Social Justice, Feb 16th to March 2nd. You can apply here.  We have scholarships opportunities and we are also accepting donations towards the scholarship fund if you want to support teachers. One of our co-teachers is Dia Penning, who  joins us from World Trust, an Oakland based organization that uses media for race, gender and equality work. We also have a local teachers  and elders sharing about history, culture, the art and local medicines.  The event meals are vegan, we have natural adventures to take you on and reals talk to have, with a mix of sacred, silent and social times. Come and met and make new soul family.   Yin Yoga twice daily and reflection, this training is both a yoga and leadership training and is for all levels. Link up.

Each day from Dec 29, the last new moon of 2016, I will offer up a yin yoga shape, some thoughts on variations and some benefits of the shapes. The images are all from a series that our friend Niesha Brown and I did in Jamaica last year.  The images are are from the stunning botanical gardens in Kingston and at Bob Marley Beach. What a blessed photo journey, I spent 4 non stop months in JA and ended it with this photo art adventure. Giving thanks for reflections, memories, friendship and artists on the path!   Kimani will be adding a theme and reflection each day that will go with the pose, on themes of social justice, or 'inner justice' You can pair these together and share up your thoughts. #yinandjustice is the hashtag. We will run from the new moon to full moon. Yin Love and blessings. Don't forget to support Kimani @kimanimcdonald #schoolrebel

Plastic Free Yogi: Small efforts make a big impact

GOING PLASTIC FREE

  • Carry a big bag/purse/backpack!  I always have a huge purse so that  I am always ready for any surprise find, or a sudden grocery stop, a markets farmer or a wild forage find.  Check out the mushroom section for paper bags in grocery stores,  I use these for bulk foods as well if I forget or run out of my own. Encourage your grocer to stock more paper products.

  • Always carry a mason jar, or TWO! Its great for water, tea, left overs,  take out and bulk shopping.

  • Carry your own cutlery and say NO to straws ALL the time. Tell your friends to say no to straws. Even write your fav restaurant and encourage them to stop using straws. Really, ask questions...like why does know need a straw? Love them? Get a metal or glass one at Soap Dispensary and carry it around. All cool like.  

  • Have a  new mantra/chant: No CUP, NO drink. Its EASY...if you love your cafe drinks and stick to this mantra, you eventually ALWAYS remember. SEE. Yoga in Practice. Practice makes perfect when you stick to NO CUP, NO DRINK. If you can train a puppy to do cute tricks you can retrain your habits too.

  • Eat in season, shop at the farmers market and buy local. Stock up on squash, carrots, potatoes and things to roast, fry or soup.  Eat natural foods and cook at home. All of the convience of packaged food and take out is only easy for YOU...its SUPER hard on the plant.

  • BULK! We refill our dish soap, laundry soap, cleaning supplies and buy jumbo boxes of TP that have no plastic! YEAH. Its money up front, but its actually cheaper and super cool to only think about it about every 3 months. We rock this at Soap Dispensary in Vancouver mostly.

  • SAY NO!  I want those organic potatoes...but they are in a plastic bag...hmm, walk 8 blocks to the organic bulk place! Want something, but keep seeing and then buying the opposite? Don’t support it! Your dollars vote.  Make requests at your local market to shift their waste practices and buy things as plastic free as possible..or GASSPP, go WITHOUT!

  • Bulk beauty! Soap Dispensary in Vancouver has bulk natural toothpaste. I use coconut oil as an everything moisturizer, I don’t wear deorants, but sometimes essential oils in my pits. I am realllly into clay masks, you can give that in block both at SP and Quiddittas on the Drive. I use either bulk Dr. Bronners or I have many friends that make amazing bar soap at home. YEAH. The bulk toothpaste there is so so good.

  • MAKE IT! Want hummous? Buy dried chick peas, soak over night and then crockpot. Add fresh lemons, loose garlic and some bulk refilled oil and BOOM. Hummous in bulk...waste free and cheaper! LOVE Kombucha...make it! Like peanut butter...invest in a blender and bulk buy those nuts. Stop making excuses and get creative. I know you can. You really CAN.

  • DIVA CUP and Lunapads, so excellent and a life changer...so epic….shy? CHAT with me. I am such an adovacte for these things and really believe your moon should be as natural as possible and def not making waste in the world. Pretty much all my sisterfriends use these products and all of them say they will never go back. TRY. Small steps, new spaces and places.

  • Change your habits...love chips? You gotta get into bulk popcorn that you pop and add lots of salt! Yum, I love a triple dose of nutritional yeast on there too. BOOM. Pretty close to the chip family and way cheaper! I get mine at Eternal Abundance or so many bulk food places love the corn.  LOVE a certain candy in a wrapper...learn to shift your snack needs and love another food.   Love a certain tea...see if they have it in bulk in another place or better yet. GROW it. I grow enough mint for the year.
     

  • RELAX. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to be totally plastic free, so relax the stress and do your best. This is a world that is build on waste and  we need to shift those patterns and make new plans, products and get creative.. Start to see it and make it happen as you can. Any effort and attempt will make an impact...and once you start, the easier it can get. Martin Luther King said you have to take the first step before you even see the whole staircase.

 

 

I REALLLLY don’t like shopping.

I don’t need things. I HAVE so so many things, things that have been gifted to me, left in our community home, found in free boxes, rescued from thrift stores that have simply appeared in our temple home. But really tho, do you think about your stuff, who made it, where did it come from? If you have ever spend time in my home I know your eye wanders around all the garage finds and many alters, gifted crystals, found beads, textiles from around the world, worldly travels in small objects Mason jars filled with home grown herbs, art supplies bulk donated from old art school friends. STUFFF. I love the stuff, I love...but it’s not necessary. And in this time of year, all I think about is the source of the things, the places of consumption. The powers that make the stuff! The businesses that benefit from the stuff and what they do with their funds and how it affects this world. I think we are so disconnected to the process of things that we forget only where they come from…. but also where they will end up!

This time of year, peeps are alllllways feeling the need to get things for people. Why? When do we say enough is enough?  I encourage you to YIN this season and mellow on the consumption in all forms and simplify presents, diets and output. IF you feel the need to out, let me suggest a few of my favourite Vancouver offerings.  Don’t be afraid to say, lets not buy things! Or just don’t...cause any great cause or shift in the world has a fearless and bold leader that took a step or made a sound that was different. BE this. Its worth it, in fact...if there is a call for change deep in you...its the gift you have to dig out and offer up to the WHOLE world. You can. Start now and vote with your dollars in conscious ways if you must!

 

I encourage you to support the veggie restaurants, they all have gift certificates and food is an excellent gift to give.  If you know me you know I LOVE, like LOVE Bandidas. Oh swoon, the menu is perfect (you can vegan ALL OF IT), the business ethics are RAD and the radical women that run this are some ladyboss idols of mine with great vision and excellent community building. Thank YOU. I serious would not have suffered many years of full time teaching all over this city without that Ronny Russell burrito.

 

And hey, LADY BOSSES, another powerful sister in the world, Madeleine Shaw is one of the super shero behind Lunapads. Her business, worldly efforts and big dreams are all female power centered with a perfect dash of revolution for dessert. LOOK out, so many great things brewing with her and the teams behind Lunapads and G day for Girls.  I am a SUPER fan of Lunapads and Diva Cups. I have been waste free period goddess for about seven years and I would never look back. I can’t believe there is even a disposable industry in relationship to menstruation.  Interested in learning about cups? I have wanted to run a workshop on this for so many years….would you come to this?

 

For many years I have been an ambassador for the ever epic Shanti Uganda. I love this vision and dream and I LOVE the textiles that are created in their women’s generating income project.  Yoga mat bags, sling bags, totes, laptop bags and beads. I have a handful of colours right now and there is a selection of them at Stretch in Vancouver right now with my LLY yoga line.

Have a peep at my clothing line here. Love Light Yoga. Made in East Van, bamboo and organic cotton and made for so many different body types. YEAH to baggy and comfy clothes. I have been making these for the last seven years and started as just a dream to have cool, comfy and ethical clothes, both to teach, dance and hustle in.  Patterns for real bodies, the best fabrics you will ever feel and all cycles and parts from small local East Van businesses.  You can peep my props and some of the calabash I brought back from Jamaica at Dharma Temple on Main Street, and also my clothing is on display at Stretch in Chinatown. Peak and let me know what you think!

 

East Van Roasters! I LOVEEE this cafe and chocolate making place. They have sipping coco, the best ethical bars, coffee gifts for your friends and are amazing business model that supports the community and creates low barrier jobs. The selection of chocolate is divine and you can peak into the bar and bean rooms. What sweet joys. Stay tuned for our co-labs brewing up.

 

Eternal Abundance! One of my FAV places on The Drive. It’s a vegan deli and grocer, its plastic free and so RAD. My friend Alex’s store is so great, please check it out especially for the super foods, powders and spices in glass jars. OH the SIGH, I love anything natural in a glass jars all lined up. It’s important to rock out added super foods and spices in these times. Think useful and regular if you have to get a gift...I would drool over jars of excellence, as my future healthy self would be so stoked.

 

Soap Dispensary!! I can’t highly enough of this super shop and so stoked that have continued to grow and expand. IF you know you me, you know I am big advocate of waste free living and this shop makes it so possible. We group buy as a house here and they carry every single size container, jar and tin you can think of….these kinds of stores are my dream spaces and places. Thank you for the visionaries that make them! HEY, get aboard our Plastic Free Yogi efforts this year. Share up your thoughts and tricks for the radness of making a waste free efforts in your life and world.

 

Sponsor something/someone badass. WE have a scholarship fund for support Jamaican yoga teachers to take our Social Justice training, we have SO many applications this year, your donation would make a big difference You can donate to any chose cause that fills your heart. I would suggest reading about Sacred Trust here or buy from a local makers like my friend Andi.

 

I know loads of my friends do really bad ass things...in fact, we are hosting a pop up shop in Vancouver to host some local makers.....would you be down? I think as a community we can re imagine what it means to make, gift and gather. Love to hear about your favourite places and things that are important to you in these times. You don’t need to shop or create waste getting wasteful things. Think creatively and community based. BLESSINGS

 

 

A Little Black History on Black Friday

Guest Blog from Atum Walker, a LLY friend and will be joining us for the Yin and Social Justice Leadership training in Jamaica in February. Come and join us, this program is a creative and collective reasoning, great change occurs when community gathers and works together.

All around us we are saturated by advertisements, promotions and marketing campaigns geared towards getting us to spend more money. If we were to follow the psychology behind a lot of these ads, we'd spend more and more frequently and end up consuming a lot of things we don't actually really need to live, or even to thrive in our environment. Black Friday is the epitome of the consumer culture that drives a lot of the economic inequality and environmental degradation that is responsible for so many of our problems today. SO, instead of joining the race to get the most impressive sales, we thought we'd instead focus on a more grounded idea of Black Friday. Although every day should be Black History day, in light of the Thanksgiving holiday across the US and what that represents or should represent, let's focus our attention on recalling some of the greatest black leaders to impact our history here in the Americas, and offer up a giving of thanks for their lives and the great works they have done. Here are a few who have inspired me, and I share in the hopes that they might inspire you too:  

 

Marcus Garvey

A popular man, and even more so important figure in the struggle for equality and the establishment of a united and truly independent Africa, Marcus Mosiah Garvey is a name that still resonates within black communities around the world today. Founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, the Black Star Liner and the Negro Factories Corporation among many other successful organizations in their prime; Garvey held firm to the mission of reuniting blacks spread across the world in the African Diaspora with their continental homeland. Starting in 1914 with the UNIA as a Black Nationalist centre from which various other groups would spawn, Garvey set out to establish for black people their own means of economic empowerment and social welfare. Although his vision would not be realized in its fullness in his time due to racist strategies and the infiltration of the movement he had stirred by his opposers both black and white, much of his ideologies live on today and have deeply affected the social consciousness of Africans at home and scattered abroad. He has arguably been the greatest leader to achieve uniting these scattered peoples around a common goal.  

Angela Davis

A true academic, Angela Davis has been a prominent face and reminder of the Civil Rights Movement of the USA in the 1960s. Davis emerged as an activist and close ally to the Black Panther Party at the height of its organizational success, bringing to popular culture the militarization of resistance or rather the arming of black civilians in defence of their humanity, rights and freedoms against organized white supremacists and where necessary, the state. Angela co-founded Critical Resistance in 1997, which is a grassroots organization focused on building a critical mass of unified people working to eradicate the prison-industrial complex, which she has long criticized for its unfair and inhumane targeting of Black and Native Americans as well as other "minority" groups. Through Critical Resistance, Davis and her allies have successfully lobbied against unfair laws such as Proposition 21, the privatization of prisons and the school-to-prison pipeline. Throughout her life Angela Davis has also strongly advocated for gender equality and is a retired Professor of the History of Consciousness and Director of university feminist studies.

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Kwame Nkumrah

Another great father of the Pan-Africanist movement of Garvey’s time, Kwame Nkumrah was a nationalist leader of Ghana who led the struggle for the liberation of the ‘Gold Coast’ from Britain. In December 1945 Nkumrah founded the West African Nation Secretariat, just after the fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester, England. This organization would successfully mobilize Africans working towards the decolonization of Africa and eventually led to the 1949 formation of the Convention People’s Party under which Nkumrah garnered the support of cocoa farmers, trade unions and women. The support of these groups was critical and Nkumrah organized civil ‘disobedience’ or rebellion against the colonial forces including boycotts and strikes. This rebellion led to his arrest not long after in 1950 and he was sentenced to be imprisoned for three years. The following year, 1951, due to international pressure and internal civil unrest, the British were forced to leave the Gold Coast and organized the first general elections. Nkumrah from behind bars, was successfully elected Ghana’s leader and was released. By 1952 he was declared Prime Minister, and then by 1957 after much investment and strategy he declared Ghana free and successfully lobbied for independence from Britain. By 1960 he and his fellow lawmakers successfully amended Ghana’s constitution and Kwame Nkumrah became the first President of the Republic of Ghana. Under his presidency, Ghana’s modernization began and the industries of forestry, fishing and the production of cocoa expanded greatly. 

Audre Lorde

Self-described as “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde spent her life and creative energy dedicated to confronting and addressing the injustices she faced, namely racism, sexism and homophobia. Deeply concerned with modern society’s need to categorize or box in groups of people, Lorde fought against the marginalization of people categorized as “lesbian” and/or “black woman” and challenged her readers to react to the prejudices in their own lives. Although Lorde was targeted by those who opposed what has been described as her ‘radical agenda’, she undauntedly continued to express her individuality and refused to be silenced. Lorde did not see her conversations as merely about sex and sexuality or even obscenity, but rather revolution and change.

While expressing freely her opposition to racial inequality and injustice, Lorde also spoke on feminist issues and occasionally criticized black men for playing a role in perpetuating sexism. A big theme in Audre Lorde’s work is also the parent-child relationship and in many of her poems she recalls feelings towards her mother and father, as well as her own daughter. Many of the themes reflected in her work can be seen to represent or extend to similar struggles faced by black families in an American reality, and created a space for difficult but necessary conversations to be had. In the late 1980’s Lorde co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, which was focused on expanding the reach of the writings of black feminists. Lorde would also later create Sisterhood in Support of Sisters in South Africa and was an active voice on behalf of women who suffered during apartheid. 

Walter Rodney

Last but not least on this short list is the late great Walter Anthony Rodney, Guyanese educator and revolutionary, recognized as one of greatest Caribbean scholars of all time. After completing his African History PhD in 1966 at just 24 years old, successfully challenging many assumptions about African history and culture, Rodney returned to the Caribbean where he actively challenged the post-colonial status quo. While in Jamaica as a history professor, Rodney joined with others to object the actions of the still young government; engaging the poor and working class, including Rastafari brethren who were deeply marginalized in Jamaica. He educated large groups of people at-a-time, any who were willing to listen and be engaged on the lies and propaganda they had been told of Africa and indeed of themselves, and began to empower these groups with self- and social awareness. A collection of his speeches and lectures in these communities were published under the title Groundings with My Brothers, which although banned by several governments, has been critical reading in many grassroots organizations and black power groups. While attending the 1968 Black Writers’ Conference in Montreal, Rodney found he was banned from re-entering Jamaica, cited as being a threat to national security, which led to civil unrest, particularly on the UWI campus where many of Rodney’s students staged protests remembered today as the “Rodney Riots”. Although ill-treated by his own government, Rodney retuned to Guyana in the 1970’s where he was a leading figure in the resistance movement against authoritarian leadership until his assassination in 1980. Walter Rodney lived with constant threats and police harassment and through it all he still managed to publish academic and children’s books and liberate the minds of people around the world. 

While this is by far no extensive list of names or full descriptions of the great works these and so many other great black leaders have accomplished, I hope that it may spark an interest in knowing more deeply who we are as a people, and the power we have to inspire change. There is so much more out there to know and to share so I encourage you this week to find a leader who inspires you and share their story with someone. Social Justice works better when we all commit to realizing its full potential. Love and blessings until we meet again, Atum. 

Yin and Social Justice in Jamaica with Dia Penning

 A guest blog from my excellent co-teacher Dia Penning. Join us in Jamaica Feb 16 to March 2nd. 

As the Director of Curriculum and Education for World Trust Educational Services, I travel around to support people in learning about inequity and the systems that hold it in place. One thing that I often focus on is the idea that privilege isn’t free. It’s costing someone something.

 

When you travel you are invoking many privileges. Unexamined, you can potentially do harm in the places that you land. As a leader you have a responsibility to examine the ways that you impact others from your interpersonal relationships to investigating how we support structures and policies that keep inequity in place. Like the systems in your body, the systems around inequity work together to keep things moving. When you make changes and focus attention in one area, you are able to put pressure on other systems

 

Over two weeks in Jamaica we will

·      Learn to embrace that many contradictory things may be true at once (e.g., someone can be both a loving parent and a racist)

·      Develop a framework and vocabulary for talking about inequity

·      Practice thinking and speaking about inequity with all kinds of people

·      Identify resources to support deeper and long term inquiry about inequity

·      Identify strategies for interrupting inequity  

 

In our time together you will get to practice critical thinking as well as creative problem solving. Some of these conversations might make you feel uncomfortable. And just like yoga these moments are part of the process of moving toward being a more reflective human. You are joining us in the goal of creating a more reflective, just and equitable world.

 

You get to start here, and we will develop the tools to KEEP MOVING.

Steaming: Breathing for Healing

Guest Blogger Atum from Kingston, Jamaica. Atum will be joining us for the Yin and Social Justice Training this year to share about steaming, culture and his favourite natural adventures. Giving thanks for the humble brothers in the world. We are looking forward to our reasonings with Atum over the 14 days. 

Atum and his Queen enjoying a supreme steam. 

Atum and his Queen enjoying a supreme steam. 

Breathing is essential to life, so much so that saying so seems almost redundant, doesn’t it? But it could surprise us to learn how many of us nowadays don’t actually remember how to breathe properly, with the changes in development and particularly lifestyle in the past few centuries. So let’s talk about breathing. A lot of the diseases and ailments that have manifested in our lives can be attributed to us no longer breathing as deeply as we once did. In fact, almost all “lifestyle diseases” can be reduced to the point of non-existence with proper breathing techniques. ‘Pranayama’ is a Sanskrit word meaning “control of breath”; “Prana” refers to the energy which sustains our life force, which we inhale while breathing, and “ayama” refers to extending or drawing out. Together these terms literally refer to the extension or control of the breath. So what does this have to do with steaming?

Steaming is a safe, all-natural way to use herbs as medicine. Steaming herbs can prove to be a great complement to our practice of yoga and pranayama, or breath control. The first time I used a steam chalice, I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into; but half-an-hour later I was sure I was never turning back. I first came across steaming while on campus at university, in a time when I was becoming more aware of herbal medicine and began replacing a lot of pharmaceuticals with natural plant based “alternatives”. I use the word ‘alternatives’ loosely since herbs are the original medicine, before we had pills and syrups, the way of our ancestors.

A steam chalice usually consists of a few simple, natural parts that have been crafted from any combination of: clay, bamboo, calabash and/or coconuts. All from the earth. In fact, all the four elements work together in the process. A small clay pot, called a kutchie, holds the herbs and a small filter called a gritty, which separates the herb from the fire. This separation ensures that heat travels down the kutchie evenly and draws vapours from the moisture in the herb but does not ever burn it. If the herb is burned in your kutchie, you may be pulling too hard or loading the kutchie with too much herb. Water cools and purifies the steam, making the essence soothing to inhale and clean enough to only have positive healing and growth effects on the lungs. The fire is created by lighting activated coconut charcoal which is created first by burning dry coconut shells. After burning the shells and waiting for them to turn red hot and fully activated, some shells can be wet and left to dry for later use. Jamaican Locust or ‘tinkin toe shells can also be used and provide a unique essence. It is helpful to know that activated charcoal is the remedy used in hospital ERs to treat alcohol and food poisoning. It can be chewed, which whitens the teeth, or broken up and swallowed with water. It will make you want to use the bathroom so stay nearby, and use wisely. Coconut charcoal is a powerful antioxidant and is able to neutralize a majority of toxins including arsenic. It is not recommended that regular wood charcoal be used in the body or in the steam chalice. Air is the most important element here, since breath control is the catalyst that heats and dehydrates the herb --bubblin’ up the chalice. Combining breathing techniques like long, slow inhales and exhales and suspending the breath can greatly enhance the efficiency of steaming and working the lungs.

Any kind of herb can be used to steam. Its most common use has been with ganja as a spiritual meditation and healing practice. Popularized by Rastafari brethren, it has become a thing for people around the world looking for healing. Loading up, lighting and really properly steaming a chalice is a ritual in and of itself and will help engage a meditative state readily.  Ganja has been found, with proper breathing techniques to significantly reduce if not eliminate symptoms associated with shortness of breath and asthma by helping to stretch and repair the lungs. Many other herbs are being used for their medicinal properties which include anti-inflammatories like ginger root and turmeric to pain and fever relievers like basil, lemongrass and peppermint. Rosemary is used to improve memory and cognition.

The benefits to steaming are pretty endless, and at the risk of not making this a medical journal. I can say with certainty that it has brought tremendous healing to Iself and so many others around me who have embraced this ancient practice. So sit around the fireplace & let’s sip some steamers.

Peace + blessings,

Atum.

True Queens Truly Steam

True Queens Truly Steam

Join us in Jamaica Feb 16 to March 2nd for our annual Yin and Leadership Training. 

Hey, want to steam in Vancouver? Link up with Danielle, she has some steamers for sale and use.  Interested in placing an order?  Danielle@lovelightyoga.com 

steaming medicines at bob marley beach, the evening before departure. 

steaming medicines at bob marley beach, the evening before departure. 

Atum: part of the LLY team in Jamaica

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Greetings! I am Atum, my family (and you also may) call me Adam. Both these words, although slightly different in their origin, mean the same thing; beginning, the rise from nothing to something, the formation of life, you could even say the first breath. I'm excited to be a part of the Yin Social Justice and Leadership training that's going to take place in February especially since it will be in my beautiful home parish of St. Mary, where the best fruits and herbs in Jamaica grow wild and abundant in the hills. Since early childhood I have always taken refuge in writing. Growing up I had (and still have) my fair share of challenges navigatingthe society we've inherited through history, and I've been able to express myself most freely through pen and paper to find a way to cope with that. I started very young with poetry and journaling, and even though I may not write every day in either of those two ways, they've stuck with me to this day and are my primary means of expression through life's peaks and valleys. In the last couple of years I've found myself practicing yoga, originally just as a form of fitness and physical therapy, but what I've found as my practice developed has been much more than that. Breath is life, and so many of us don't breathe the way we sould. The mindfulness and breath control that I've been able to hone in on have changed the way I do everything from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night and I feel healthier, stronger and more aware than I ever have. The journey through yoga and breath have also shattered many illusions and preconceptions I had before based on what I knew growing up and learned from my environment and indeed I believe there are many more channels to be opened as the journey continues to unfold. In recent times I've decided to share my expression more openly, and this is a part of that sharing. I look forward to meeting the light beings that will be joining us on this retreat in February and the energy we will share as we commit to healing and building each other, and sometimes just being in the stillness. I intend to make the most of this beautiful opportunity, and to share its gifts with my community both at home and at wide, to spread love and acceptance and healing. Another love of mine, which goes hand in hand with mindfulness and breathing is steaming. In the latter part of 2014I started a business with my life partner called SteamChaliceJA, which is centered on spreading awareness of the breath and herbs as medicine. Far beyond your typical smoke shop and just 'getting high', we've made a commitment over the past couple years to redefining how we look at medicine and meditation and ritual. It has been such an eye opening experience so far and the rewards of seeing others learning to embrace natural healing and the power of the breath has been a joy to witness.  I have no doubt that intuitively all people will return to the Source. All the elements can combine to our benefit if we tap into that potential. I love nature, and usually in my free time I can be found not too far from a fireside or a river, steaming or just sitting and basking in the beauty of the great natural gifts of the earth. I love to share in the joys of good food, good music and good vibes.  I can't wait to share my knowledge of my little rock Jamaica and learn so much more from everyone else out there who is willing and able to share. Communication is key to our advancement. Peace and blessings until that time... Atum.

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