Chastity will be contributing over the weekend for your Yin and Justice Training in Vancouver. We are excited to have her share with us her experience working with First Nations across Canada. Chastity is a yoga practitioner and great studier of yin yoga, that is supportive fuel for her advocacy and justice work. We are excited to have her share her diverse offerings with this course and share teachings of this land.
Bless up the Yogi Brother Alijah Mystic that took part in our Yin and Justice Training in Jamaica in February 2017 and in March 2016 in Kingston. Check out this latest song inspired by the yin trainings and look out for his classes soon!
Too much yang will bang I take my reference point from the yin and yang energy
That represents the balance between/of two main energy in the world ok I said main energy so let me give some idea of how these two energies or represented
We have hot and cold
In and out
Up and down
Left and right
I we were to make a song or poem out of these power words it would go like this. We must be in and out flow left and right getting hot and cold as we go up and down releasing energy that makes the globe goes round and round ever yining and yangING to the sweet music of life. halo Jah
That would be if the song was so in the world that we are living in to day the mines of most of the people and mainly world leaders,act on only one energy and that in my view is the yang energy . Please don't yang at me yet for my accusations am just here to open a new site the sight of balance vision
Let us bring back the energy words back instead of using the conjunction and we will use or with the or as the middle word you get the feeling that you are doing one or the other and if you are doing one or the other you are not balance things are not equal you are inefficient etc etc
We are living in a world that believes in dominance we will all most for sure activate our most dominant energy at the time all the time without any thinking of balance or is this the right energy for this moment
This is the song that we are singing .I must be hot or cold in or out Up or down Left or right as long as I continue to live. What a boring song there is no dance no music such ego one or the other the best one that serves my purpose so much yang no blance and this is the way people are living today they think mainly about individual dominance and that's where the yang energy is very high
I spoke about yin and yang,now I will talk about one way they are represented as energy bodies around us. We will use a tree for example,the outside of the tree could be the yang side and the inside could be the yin side within those moments of representations the yang would represent out for out spoken outgoing etc and the yin would represent in for inner strength inner talent what I can do from within like within the tree lies countless art work halo Jah.keep your mind on the tree let's look at it from a different angle look at the inner core of the tree that is known as the heart of the tree we find the yang energy and on the out side of the tree you find the yin energy now you might be saying how is the inside yang and the out side yin and you just said that yang is outside and yin is inside,remember I also said within those moments of representations and within those moments yin and yang was representing in and out and within these moments yin and yang is represented in the manner of Wich part is harder and Wich part is softer and the inside is harder representing the yangenergy and the outer part of the tree that is softer is the representing yin energy do note that some trees are harder on the outside and softer on the inside yin and yang dances again we rest on yin and yang for now and talk about world leaders I say that they are full of yang energy and I need to explain
Lets take a moment to think then I ask the question how do we select a leader of most group,organization,companies etc.I wonder if we took a moment to think before we say in yang mode who is the toughest of us all (yang) who is the most outspoken the best the baddest,fastest roughest strongest biggest etc lets face it in most cases that how most leaders are selected
Mantra of the yang leader
I am the biggest am the baddest
am the toughest am the fastest
am the roughest am the strongest
Am better than the rest I could care
Less am the best you can't test
I win all contest yang yang yang
I would say yang where is Yin in your fight to be the king you have only task her in the bin,yang would say so what if am bigger badder etc We are living in a competitive world yin moment take yin out the bin who or what is the competition !!hey I said something!! Yang said something yin said something yang would say again I compete against all yin would say there is know competition lets put them together yin and yang the competition in within all let us all do our best yang is the competition that most be kept like the tough yangheart of the tree lies within the soft yin barks of a tree ,and if we most be yangon the out side because the sun warm in our face we most all remain cool as the inside of the tree remains cool knowing that there is always the support of the Forrest. yin on the inside yang on the outside, yang on the outside yin on the inside in the everlasting dance of life .Its a dance not a race of life.I said race or races leaders or selected among races and sometimes world leaders and maybe because we think it's a race we think we need the yangest leader to lead and if every race pick and yang leader to run its going to be yang on yang
Call to Action by Dia Penning
The point of my work, why I do the things I do, is to make the world a safer place for my son.
He was my point of radicalization.
He is what gets me up in the morning and keeps me moving when I am tired of talking to white people about how to do better.
He keeps me asking questions when I have been told that I am not black enough or educated enough or when I face my own imposter syndrome. I keep myself moving because I know that it takes everyone of us working as hard as we can in order to create change in the world. It takes us all to be open to accepting our own pitfalls or spaces of ignorance.
Activism that produces change takes humility.
I am a teacher. Over the years, I have taught and created curriculum for every age from pre-k to seniors. I’ve worked with pre-school parents, college faculty, high school artists, dancers that hang of sides of building and park rangers. I use techniques for deep reflection and community building. I encourage connection from the heart and a deep listening to acknowledge the wholeness of other human beings. In all the spaces I have worked, there are two questions that I ask.
When was the first time you noticed race?
What was your call to action?
I ask these questions so that we have a compass for one another and learn that while we share similarities we also have many differences. I learned this way of understanding this way of looking at the world in two spaces. The first was the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Technology Education at Columbia College in Chicago, the second was at World Trust Educational Services.
In both spaces, I was able to examine my own learning curve in the company of allies and friends. I built my capacity for humility, for being ok with not knowing and for finding opportunities to learn. When I had my son, I was able to recognize the stirring in my soul to create a space to keep him safe. The challenges that I faced up until his birth provided me a map for question asking and collaboration. Every year that he grows, the more he is able to see and understand, the more committed I become to forming alliances across the globe to create spaces of sanctuary and learning. Read the rest of Dia's post here.
r the newsletter, please connect to this blog with this intro:
Co-Teacher Dia Penning of Commonweal and the Equity Collective collaborates with a number of folks regularly. She uses a series of agreements to support the work and transformation. In the following blog she outlines these agreements indicating that we all have work to do. Internal work. External work. Collective work.
As we take time to examine our relationship to violence and honesty, there are ways that we can be intentional about how we interact with one another. These agreements shape the time that she spends with students, clients and in workshops. They have become a calling card for how she interacts with folks, professionally and personally. They will also serve as a foundation for the upcoming workshop Yin and Social Justice.
STOKED to be bringing some epic Reggae Love to Bass Coast again with the ever epic Tank Gyal on Sunday 1:30pm. I had a BLAST last year at Bass Coast, dancing til I couldn't move any more, time with old friends giggling over sunrises and stories, and made connections with so many new peeps. West Coast, you are a VERY special place of creativity, empowerment, healing and FUN. THANK YOU for reminding me how to play and move endlessly and joyously! Bring your mats, your nice vibes, snacks to share and your favourite dancing boots. SOOOOON!
VERY COOL to see my friends at Yerba Buena Farms getting some press for their beautiful products. What a sweet joy to support the movement of natural makers. It was so amazing to be learning about oil making as well. check out the Jamaica Essential Oil Distillation Project. Read the full article here.
I am stoked to have Dia Penning has a guest blogger here. She will be joining LLY for another edition of Yin and Justice in Vancouver, a 30 Hour Yin Teacher Training. More info here. You can also have a listen to your podcast interview here, Dia and I were interviewed by Jesi Carson during our training in Jamaica. Music by the talented singer and yin yoga student, Aljah Mystic
Habits and Change by Dia Penning.
My work in social justice and yoga has dovetailed a number of occasions over the last 5 years. More often, I find myself in spaces where we talk about spirit and demonstrate our long held physical tensions as parallels for the tensions in the world. How can one do effective public work if their internal landscape is a mess?
Justice is not, strictly, an external concept. As we continue to examine normalized violence and our collective capacity for self-harm and dishonesty, the sickness in our world becomes much more sharp.
What could happen if we stopped lying and saw the world as a collective representation of history and policy that places profit over human dignity?
What would happen if we individually and collectively made choices that supported, embraced, or encouraged growth instead of minimizing, silencing, and erasing?
How much more responsibility would each of us have to take?
For me, the meeting of justice and yin yoga are natural. One asks questions of a cultural and society, the other asks questions of a spirit and a body. We move into areas of discomfort rather than avoiding or working around them. We ask the hard questions, sit with the things we would rather avoid and investigate what might be on the other side.
For years, I searched for the thing that would fill me –a number of high profile jobs, repeatedly a gained and lost 40lbs, I moved across country and back, drank too much. I did all the things one does when trying to work around discomfort. Prolonged attention is what gave rise to a feeling of security inside of me, prolonged attention and importantly attention to my discomfort.
We avoid the spaces that cause the most distress—fear of being wrong, personal ignorance, lack of historical context, difference of life experience—we cling to the things that make us feel confortable, even if it is making our communities more unbearable. Change on any level requires commitment and attention. It requires vigilance, honesty and being able to laugh at ones self.
When we are less self-absorbed, we are much more able to be present in our own lives, show up for those that need it and attend to the things that need attending to. When we are able to meet our minds or our world where it is at, we have a greater capacity for making change.
Practice is practice is practice, whether you are seeking to do a handstand in the middle of a room, open up years of tension in your hips, or develop new pathways for inclusion and understanding, the process is practice. We develop a muscle for change by working it.
If you commit to the process, you find the way to make that change, albeit slowly and with discomfort. I challenge anyone who has considered that the world might be more holistic and inclusive to examine their behavior off the mat and see what habits might be keeping them back.
Dia Penning is co-teacher for Love Light Yoga’s Yoga and Social Justice Curriculum. She is founder of The Equity Collective, a social justice experiment in radical honesty and inclusion, and has written three volumes of curriculum for World Trust Educational Services.
Dia lives in Oakland California with her wife, son, mother, dog, cat and invisible pony, Sparkle.
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.
Have a visual delight in this video from last year and come and check a vibe on June 13 at Fortune Sound Club. Grab tickets for this years yoga offering and we new VIP lounge, expanded market and of course the DANCE PARTY after. Come early, stay late. Tickets.
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.
8. Marla Brown
9. Nattali Rize
11. Tuff like Iron
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.
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
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%
Sending you love as you question and create, both the world in, on and around you!
I love you friend!! ONE IT!
Love Light Yoga brings to you yoga retreats, yoga teacher trainings and wellness adventures. Come and join us for an on offering soon.
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!!
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: email@example.com.
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!