#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

Atum: part of the LLY team in Jamaica


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.