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Rahmi Bedwei Allen

We had the pleasure of interviewing Rahmi Bedwei Allen, read more of her interview in Issue 2 of the YBM.

Excerpt from Issue 2 …

The black yoga community is amazing and makes me so proud to be part of an awesome tribe. I’ve made so many yogi friends since I joined the yoga community. Most of them I have never met in person but through Facetime.

I love seeing black men do yoga too because men I knew thought it wasn’t masculine, and that’s not true.

I have found a connection with many of the mothers. I see some ladies trying to do yoga with little ones running around them. It’s so real! This is it. No awesome background or makeup done, just reality. There are so many social restrictions when you’re a mother, so we all connect for that reason and more…

A typical day for me is waking up, letting the dog out, freshening up, a hot cup of herbal tea with my blunt of course, I read a few positive affirmations, I talk to my plants and water them when needed. I am a plant mama now and I have a few air filtering plants that are safe for pets. The Monstera is one of my fav plants at the moment and hopefully I’ll get every last kind of Monstera that there is.

After a Ganga smoke session, I play music depending on my mood and get on my mat, and sometimes when it’s beautiful outside I meditate and listen to the sounds of birds and nature, it is so relaxing. I’m often barefooted because I become one with the earth.

Stretch

Stretch your body and your mind. Go beyond your environment, stretching your perspective, your knowledge, expanding & lengthening in how you see all sentient life in the world, including you.

We often stay limited ideologically to our immediate geographical surroundings forgetting there is a world around us replete with life from the microcosm to the macrocosm. The smallest insect to the largest land or sea animal. A person living on an island or in the slums.

woman girl morning sport

If we take the time to look around us, navigating away from all that which functions as a program for our mind to see certain aspects of the world a certain way, if we instead think for ourselves, leading with the heart to see things as they truly are.

Get into Nature

The Benefits of immersing yourself in nature are instant. At Yoga Bodi we are a big believer and advocate for connecting with nature. It’s like pressing a reset button on our human program.

We all go about our day to day lives, often without a thought about our environment, and how it impacts us; the energies, frequencies, vibration…with the exception of people who work in nature or do work for the environment and animals, many of us just see nature as a background to our foreground.

Tips to make nature part of your life


OCEAN

Seek out the ocean. Swim in it. Float in it. Meditate by it. The ocean (Oshun) is a large body of incredibly powerful negative ions that when we get physically close to river or ocean water, the cells in our body react favorably, regenerating themselves… Our physical bodies consist of 76% water, as does our brain, lungs and other organs therefore we respond very positively to water on a holistic level. Even rain has amazing benefits for clearing energy and assisting with intention.

If you cannot get to the ocean find a river, waterfall or even a pool. The next best thing is a bath.

BATH (alternative to the Ocean)

Soaking in the bath with natural oils to help soften and cleanse your auric field (energetic layers of energy around the physical body), as well as soften your muscles and induce relaxation of your mind.

While in the bath aim to meditate or chant. Place flowers, herbs and salts in the bath with you. Have plants around you. Burn sage, Palo Santo or a non-toxic incense. Try to avoid having a bath with beauty products that include synthetic chemical ingredients and instead opt for natural products or simply a Himalayan rock salt, seaweed, olive oil or aromatherapy oils.

FOREST

Find a place with ample trees and connect with the trees by physically leaning with your back against the tree and or hugging the tree. Aim to connect and request for it to assist you in clearing your energies. Stay for a while and meditate imagining the tree gradually and lovingly removing the negative energies. You should feel yourself becoming calmer and more supported. The tree literally will have your back. Ensure you thank it, giving gratitude before you move on.

If you cannot find a forest or national park, find any tree in your location and make the same connection, as best you can. Find a local park. There are trees everywhere and like the ocean, it is a beautiful energetic conductor resource that encourages many metaphysical benefits.

PLANTS

Get some indoor plants. We love plants indoors. They offer so much positive energy and air cleansing. Talk to your plants, be sure to care for them and they will care for you.

SUNSHINE

When the sun is shining, strip off and make every effort to soak in the rays for not only Vitamin D, something melanated people need a lot of, but also to absorb the many metaphysical benefits of sun exposure, we will cover in another article.

Allow your eyes to capture the light from the sun during your day to day. We are told to wear sunglasses, and although sunglasses look cool, it is more beneficial for your eyes to be exposed to some of the ultraviolet light while outside.

Credit: @esewalter

How to Approach Your Hatha Yoga Practice Plus Ivananda’s Hatha Yoga 12 Asana Sequence

Ha means ‘Sun’ and tha means ‘Moon’. Hatha is the balance between Sun and Moon energies in you. Moon energy is related to cool, comforting, introverted, feminine, and intellect. Sun energy on the other hand is warm, challenging, masculine, and governs vital processes in our body. The Moon and Sun energies are called ‘Ida’ and ‘Pingala’ respectively in yoga.

Every time we breathe one of our nostrils is dominant. If the left nostril is dominant, then Ida is more. If the right nostril is dominant, then Pingala is more. By identifying the correct energy, the right set of asanas are performed in conjunction to achieve a balance between the mental and physical aspects of the body. For example, for Ida, back stretches, twists, and standing poses are performed. In the case of Pingala, seated postures are performed.

An all-encompassing yoga practice contributes to a range of positive changes. These changes do not pertain to just our physical selves only.

Our emotional and mental health are also positively affected by these Hatha Yoga practices at the same time. They lead to the release of grief and sadness from our minds, promote happiness and intense feelings of wellbeing, and of course, bring an all-round experience of relaxation and calm.

Facilitating an effective means to feel more connected and engaged with the elements of ourselves and the real world.
Here we offer some tips on how to approach your Hatha yoga practice and things to consider.

For beginners, aim to quiet the mind in preparation for each and every asana. Aim for focused pranayama, breath control in order to open the channels and warm the body.

If you are following classes online or on-site, ensure you follow the instruction of an experienced yoga teacher to avoid injuries. If a yoga teacher is not correcting your incorrect body alignment, it usually
means they don’t see the error, this may be a sign of their lack of experience.

Be mindful to find experienced teachers that understand anatomical adjustments that may be required during the class. If you are practicing alone, consider your alignment and move in and out of each asana with care.

As you perform the asanas, be aware of how the energy is moving throughout your body, how you feel. By tuning into the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and any stagnation or tension in the body and with your breath shift smoothly into the next asana, ensuring to lengthen and use the breath to release the energies. During all postures, inhale using the diaphragm, not the chest muscles. Hold the breath on the inhale for a few seconds and then hold the breath on the exhale for a few seconds.

Do not stretch unduly or force the body. Relax into the poses. Don’t worry if you can’t perform them all. The only competition is with yourself. Be gentle with yourself, in time, you will find the body becoming more flexible and supple. Most importantly, free the mind of thoughts. Thoughts will come up during your practice; conversations, events, things to do…let thoughts pass as they come to you, avoid remaining too long on thoughts that come up, as they can incur blockages in the energy centers should your thoughts induce anxiety and tensions, again just focus on the breathwork.

Sivananda Hatha Yoga 12 Asana Sequence
Spiritual teacher and founder of several schools and author of 296 books, 200 of those about yoga, Sivananda Saraswati created one of the most common Hatha Yoga sequences besides the Surya Namaskar, Sun Salutation. Here we present the Sivananda Hatha Yoga 12 asana sequence and the benefits these asanas have on the body. Try each one carefully, gradually increasing your flexibility, range of motion, and strength.

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Yirser Ra Hotep

The grandmaster Yirser Ra Hotep. We talk all things Kemetic Yoga, the origins of Hatha yoga, where to learn Kemetic Yoga and much more…

Except from the Yoga Bodi Magazine…

There is evidence of the practice of yoga asanas/postures in African countries… How did Kemetic Yoga come about in the United States? 

When I met Dr. Hapi, we both were aware that ancient Egypt was the birth place of world civilization because of the works of Yosef Ben Jochonnan, Cheikh Anta Diop, John Henrique Clarke and others. We surmised that Yoga also had an African origin but did not have clear perception of the exact dynamics of it.

During my life I have been able to travel to many places in the world starting with a trip to Jamaica, the birthplace of my father at the age of 12 in 1966. This was a life-altering experience for a boy from the projects. I was exposed to aspects of reality that others from my community were not able to experience in terms of culture and nature. To fly in an airplane for the first time was a phenomenal experience. To see the ocean and dolphins as I looked down from 20,000 feet was truly awesome.

One of the motivations for doing our research to formulate a Kemetic approach to Yoga was due to seeing so many Black folks seek their spiritual foundation in India and Hindu religion. Even though I studied the Indian texts and knew them, I also studied those from Kemet and other parts of Africa and could see a difference. In Kemetic Yoga we see unique poses and postures that are not known in India. We also see that the cosmological foundation of Kemet is the concept of Ma’at which states the nature of reality is order, harmony, balance, reciprocity, justice and that all can be understood via the seven principles of Tehuti. Our entire cosmological, philosophical, and ethical guidelines could be obtained from our own ancestral source without having to assimilate in Indian and Hindu Aryan culture which is hostile to Black people.

So of course Kemetic Yoga is met with hostility by some Black people who cannot believe that Africa has ever produced anything. Some are not able to accept the reality of the caste system in India and the subjugation of dark-skinned Indians under their concepts of Varna (color) and Karma. So, we get resistance from those quarters. We also get resistance from the mainstream commercial Yoga community that comprises a multi-billion dollar industry. They see Kemetic Yoga as a threat to their monopoly over the narrative of Yoga’s origin and antiquity. So, for example except for a small article that appeared in the 1990s, we have been Blacklisted or whitewashed by Yoga Journal. In a major article that I was interviewed for that focused on the top Black Yogis in the world, I was edited out by the Yoga Journal editorial staff. In the 1990s when I attempted to tour the major Yoga studios of California, the bastion of Yoga in America, I was turned down with the excuse that Kemetic Yoga would “confuse” their students. Consequently, we have quietly built an underground movement that permeates the African community. We have been able to train and certify over 2000 instructors throughout the world, curate Soul Yoga Fest on 3 continents, sell many thousands of copies of our DVDs and CDs and be invited all over the world to speak and present workshops.

READ MORE in the Yoga Bodi Magazine Issue 1. Click here to Shop now!

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Herbs for a Sacred Yoga

Excerpt from the Yoga Bodi Magazine

Plants are sacred in their own way, though a lot of us don’t think of them this way. Plants are like the grandparents of the earth and they protect and provide so much to us. They teach us of patience and growth; they give us oxygen, food, and medicine.  The plant spirit is innately healing and naturally nurturing. They are part of the universe, therefore part of us. This alone is such a sacred existence; our bond with the plant world is deeply rooted in the sacred, for we are all one.

Essential oils are often used in yoga practice as a great way to focus your practice. Some people may drink tea to calm them down. You may burn sage or Palo Santo before or after practice to cleanse the room. Plants have already been introduced to the yoga practice unintentionally; imagine how it could be with a little intention behind it.

There are so many new trends occurring in the yoga world, all of which bring a new spin on how we relate to yoga. Many of these classes encourage our sense of connection to the modern world; classes like goat yoga, SUP yoga, trap yoga, and even cannabis yoga. These classes push us towards our understanding of how yoga fits into our changing and distracting world with a fun and happy twist. Classes like this are important to our growth as yogis; distraction is a part of life. However, sometimes we need our practice to focus on the unity of self. It is no secret that yoga can be a very sacred and spiritual practice if you want it to be.

Yoga means union, it is the union of the Atman (Our higher self) and the Brahman (Our world self). Yoga is an amazing way to create a soul balance within yourself, which is beautifully sacred. Yoga shows you that you are capable of more than you think yourself to be; and the more united you become the more you experience your limitless possibilities. Yoga can be beautiful in this way, and yet it is so hard for us to focus in on this spiritual aspect. The ego can be strong within us, which can make union difficult, but it is a part of us, so we have to work with it; and even this struggle can be sacred.

READ MORE in the Yoga Bodi Magazine (Issue 1)

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Self Care Matters

One major side effect of anxiety, depression and all other forms of mental illness is poor mood control. A way to improve upon that is by keeping track of your moods, and there are a number of apps through both Apple and Google Play which can assist with that. I personally use Youper, which is like a sort of digital therapist. 

I try to log in at least once a day and it has proven very beneficial to not only have a private space to vent but also take note of how I’m feeling and exactly what it is that’s making me feel that way. 

Now I can only speak on Youper, but there’s a number of others to choose from as well; Huddle, Pacifica, Calm, 7 Days, and Moodpath just to name a few.

Meditation may not be the easiest method to get into, but it has a number of benefits. Just start practicing and don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t work out too well at first. Patience and consistency really are key here.

READ MORE in the Yoga Bodi Magazine (Issue 1)

Detoxification and Yoga

Yoga is healing on so many levels, but the most noticeable is of emotional and physical detoxification .

It is important to ensure you stay hydrated prior to after a Yoga practice, preferably with a litre of filtered water, in order to assist with replenishing your kidneys, hydrating your entire system and assisting to flush out toxins from your body.

When we do abdominal twisting motions such as Ardha Matsyendrasana/Half Lord of the Fish Pose – Seated spinal twist, we help the organs, especially the liver to be flushed with lymphatic fluids and blood toward the cardiovascular system.

This is important to prevent stagnation in the bloodstream and to ensure the steady flow of waste and by-products to leave the system. Otherwise, you will be host to parasites, weight gain, dehydration, muscular aches and pains.

Other asanas to practice for detoxification include:

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon twist

Marichyasana – Marichi’s pose

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana – Twisted hand to big toe

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana – Twisted side angle

Bharadvajasana 1– Bharadvaja’s Twist

Organic vs Non-Organic

Most countries around the world have an established organic certification program that demands strict standards under government control on all organic foods. Food manufactures and produce farmers are required to label and sell their products as per the strict certification standards of that country. Some smaller growers can be considered exempt from the strict standards, so be sure to ask the grower how their produce is grown;

  • Do the fruit or vegetables include the spraying of chemical pesticides?
  • Does it include chemical fertilizers in the soil?
  • Have chemical herbacides been used around the vegetable or fruit to control weeds?
  • Have animal material been included as a fertilizer in the soil? If so, have those animals been injected with antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease in the animal?

Not all growers and manufacturers adhere to the strict guidelines so it’s necessary to read labels and ask farmers market growers as many questions as you can.

Some people believe, that Genetically Modified Food (GMO) or pesticide and herbicide sprayed food is not going to effect them, but the science has already demonstrated that not only does the consumer become affected with medical symptoms over time, their offspring is also impacted, DNA is altered and even the growers who spray the produce are affected if they do not use precautions when spraying.

There is a lot of scientific research, academic papers, news articles, court cases, film documentaries… to demonstrate that there are specific factors that impact our health when we consume foods with pesticides and herbicides etc. Be informed.

Food Science by Somi Igbene

Excerpt from the Yoga Bodi Magazine

I am a Biomedical scientist. Biomedical science is the study of the human body in health and disease. It encompasses physiology, anatomy, nutrition, and genetics.

There is a complex interplay between what you eat, your genes, your organs and tissues and ultimately how your body responds as a whole.

Many people underestimate how much diet influences wellbeing. My biomedical science degrees have helped me understand the science behind how what I eat influences my wellbeing.

READ MORE in the Yoga Bodi Magazine – Issue 1

Quotes supporting Veganism

We found over a hundred quotes from Vegans around the world. We hope this inspires those on the fence to research more about Veganism, the animal rights movement that we believe is interlinked, intersectionally, with social justice and human rights for melanin people all over the world.

There is way too much evidence available for people to see the truth about factory farming, negative energetic factors in animal slaughter, parasites and bacteria in meat and animal secretions (milk, cheese) and the enormous environmental impact on the planet among other things. Research, research, research. Go Vegan!

“May all that have life be delivered from suffering.” -Buddha

“It is much easier to show compassion to animals. They are never wicked.” -Haile Selassie

“I’ve found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet.” -Carl Lewis

“Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.” -Pythagoras

“We are all animals of this planet. We are all creatures. And nonhuman animals experience pain sensations just like we do. They too are strong, intelligent, industrious, mobile, and evolutional. They too are capable of growth and adaptation. Like us, firsthand foremost, they are earthlings. And like us, they are surviving. Like us they also seek their own comfort rather than discomfort. And like us they express degrees of emotion. In short like us, they are alive.” -Joaquin Phoenix

“I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length and make you an all-around happier person.” -Ariana Grande

I just didn’t want to be fat. I got tired of breathing hard. I got tired of my joints hurting. I just got tired of being lied to.” -Waka Flocka Flame

“Everything in food works together to create health or disease. The more we think that a single chemical characterizes a whole food, the more we stray into idiocy.” -T. Colin Campbell

“We need to realize that these are beings that suffer the same as we suffer. They want freedom the way we want freedom.” -Russell Simmons

“Animal cruelty is one of the most unfortunate and barbaric demonstrations of human beings manipulating ill conceived notions of ‘power’ over other species.” -Ian Somerhalder

“There are two kinds of cardiologists: vegans and those who haven’t read the data.” -Dr. Kim Allan Williams

“If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls.” -Jane Goodall

“Fed by plants, fed up with the world.” -Evan Baldonado

“Being vegan helped me realize I can say and do what I believe is right. That is powerful.” -Alicia Silverstone

“People get offended by animal rights campaigns. It’s ludicrous. It’s not as bad as mass animal death in factory.” -Richard Gere

“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.” Roy E. Disney

“The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Gandhi

“If you think that being vegan is difficult, imagine being a factory farmed animal.” -Davegan Raza

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” -Anatole France

“I don’t see why someone should lose their life just so you can have a snack.” -Russell Brand

nature farmer dutch hd wallpaper

“It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.” -Joaquin Phoenix

“Veganism is not a sacrifice. It is a joy.” -Gary L. Francione

“Only when we have become non-violent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves,” -Cesar Chavez

“Animals are not products. Life doesn’t have a price.” -Anonymous

“Every living creature has the right to live ethically.” -Dirk Verbeuren

“All life deserves respect, dignity, and compassion. All life.” -Anonymous

“To get mud off your hands, use soap and water. To get blood off your hands, go vegan.” -John Sakars

“Life is too short to make others shorter.” -Chris Hannah (Propagandhi)

“Consider that animals, like us, have one life. It is their life, their only life, and as important to them as our own life is to us.” -Jill Robinson

“Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.” -Bradley Miller

“I choose not to make a graveyard of my body with the rotting corpses of dead animals.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Regardless of anyone’s dietary motivations, the healthiest lifestyle is the one that’s most compassionate.” -Steve-O

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates

“The food you eat can either be the safest, most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.” -Ann Wigmore

“Look into their eyes and tell them “I’m sorry, you have to die, but I need to eat”. Look into their eyes, and tell them “I know there is an abundance of plant based foods I could eat, but I would still rather eat you”. Look into their eyes and tell them “I know I don’t NEED to eat you, but I am going to pay someone else to murder you anyway” Look into their eyes and tell them “I’m sorry you lived a short enslaved, abused and tortured life, but I don’t care because I am selfish” Look into their eyes and tell them ” I love my cat/dog, but your life doesn’t matter as much” Go ahead, take a look into their eyes and tell them that!” ―Jenn V Keller-Lowe

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” -Albert Einstein

“I’m a vegan. I respect the environment and I do my best to spread the importance of such an issue.” -Jared Leto

“It is not your right—based on YOUR traditions, YOUR customs and YOUR habits—to deny animals THEIR freedom so you can harm them, enslave them and kill them. Thats not what rights are about. Thats injustice. There is no counter-argument to veganism. Accept it. Apologize for the way you’ve been living. Make amends and move forward.” -Gary Yourofsky

animal cattle close up close up

“Intellectually, human beings and animals may be different, but it’s pretty obvious that animals have a rich emotional life and that they feel joy and pain. It’s easy to forget the connection between a hamburger and the cow it came from. But I forced myself to acknowledge the fact that every time I ate a hamburger, a cow had ceased to breathe.” -Moby

“Whether you understand they evolved over billions of years or believe that a God made them all one afternoon, please be kind to animals.” -Ricky Gervais

“I’ve always abhorred violence and am highly sensitised to it. I do not think it benefits society or indeed any individual to become tolerant of violence… I feel if I can accept the abuse of these innocent, sentient creatures and my role in it then I could easily become apathetic about…well, everything, and that is a scary thought.” -Evanna Lynch

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” -Albert Schweitzer

“Medicine is not healthcare, food is healthcare. Medicine is sick care. Let’s all get that straight for a change.” -Karen Pendergrass

“Eat food. Not too much. Only plants.” -Michael Pollan

Protecting the weak is the first step to enlightenment and being truly civilized.” -Gary Yourofsky

“Eat your medicine.” -Anonymous

“A healthy outside starts from the inside.” -Robert Urich

“Killing and eating animals is a betrayal of our own core humanity…killing an innocent goes against our nature.” -Evanna Lynch

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” -Jane Goodall

white and gray dolphin on blue water

“Animals are near and dear to my heart, and I’ve devoted my life to trying to improve their lives.” -Betty White

“How would you feel, if the day that you were born, somebody else had already planned the day of your execution?” -Gary Yourofsky

“After all the information I gathered about the mistreatment of animals, I couldn’t continue to eat meat.” -Liam Hemsworth

two orange and blue macaws on branch

“I’m a vegan. I don’t want to torture anything. I guess it’s about trying to live a life where I’m not contributing to the cruelty of the world.” -Jessica Chastain

“The average age of a meat-eater is 63. I am on the verge of 85 and still at work as hard as ever. I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak; would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. I am oppressed with a dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism.” -George Bernard Shaw

“Basically we should stop doing those things that are destructive to the environment, other creatures, and ourselves and figure out new ways of existing.” -Moby

“If you look at veganism, and question how we do things, and how we should be living, veganism, to me, seems like the logical way.” -Romesh Ranganathan

“When I became vegan I stopped training for myself and started training with a purpose greater than my own. Veganism for me is about mindfulness. I do this to liberate animals.” -Tim Shieff

“All animals should live happily and safely.” -Ariana Grande

“If it’s not good enough for your eyes, why is it good enough for your stomach?” -Gary Yourofsky

“Our thinking about non-human animals is very confused, and people who have chosen to live a cruelty-free plant-based lifestyle are baffled as to why other people have not made the connection. Many of us live with companion animals such as dogs, cats, and rabbits. We share our homes with them, consider them members of the family and we grieve when they die. Yet we kill and eat other animals who, if you really think about it, are no different from the ones we love.” -Benjamin Zephaniah

“Be the voice of those who can’t say …..’stop.’ Who can’t say ‘that hurts.’ Who can’t say ‘I’m so afraid to die.’ Be the voice of the animals!” -Miley Cyrus

“Wearing cosmetics that were tested on animals makes you ugly on the inside.” -Ricky Gervais

brown and black goat near fence

“The health reasons are staggering! Do it also to take yourself out of the cycle of killing and abuse to living things. Show some compassion, and act on it.” -Ed Templeton

“My motto has always been ‘If you love animals, don’t eat them’ … The moment I began to understand what was going on with the treatment of animals, it led me more and more in the way of the path I am [on] now, which is a complete vegan.” -Bryan Adams

“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all auto-mobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of “real food for real people” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.” -Neal D. Barnard

“No human influenced me to become vegan. The screaming, terrified, enslaved animals were the only influence needed.” -Gary Yourofsky

“Farm animals are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined and, despite having been bred as domestic slaves, they are individual beings in their own right. As such, they deserve our respect. And our help. Who will plead for them if we are silent?” -Jane Goodall

“What you eat every day is a far more powerful determinant of your health than your DNA or most of the nasty chemicals lurking in your environment.” -T. Colin Campbell

“As someone who loves animals, when I hear about a process that involves animal cruelty, I no longer want to be associated with it. Aside from the animal cruelty aspect of the meat/dairy industries, there are many health benefits associated with turning vegan, much to many people’s surprise.” -Lucy Watson

“The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest.” -Dr. Michael Greger

“It’s not a requirement to eat animals, we just choose to do it, so it becomes a moral choice and one that is having a huge impact on the planet, using up resources and destroying the biosphere.” -James Cameron

“There are viable (and usually better) alternatives to the use of animals for food, sport, clothing, & experimentation. I beg you to discontinue any actions that might cause or condone animal torture, abuse, or destruction.” -Moby

“Becoming vegan has given me a greater purpose, something bigger than myself to fight for, and fight I will.” -David Carter

“People feel poorly because they are nourished by foods you wouldn’t feed to your dog and cat. The rich western diet is full of fat, sugar, cholesterol, salt, animal protein — all the wrong foods for people.” -Dr. John McDougall

“You know what’s more insane than slaughterhouses? Meat eaters. Walking around, acting like their lifestyle isn’t causing any harm.” -Gary Yourofsky

“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” – George Bernard Shaw

“For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” -Pythagoras

“For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” -Pythagoras

white and black killer whale on blue pool

“I got into being vegan because I was simply looking to benefit from being more compassionate. I have since come to learn that it is an animal-based diet that is responsible for the overwhelming majority of cases of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and all kinds of other problems.” -Steve-O

“Stop filtering your nutrients through somebody else’s body.” -Gary Yourofsky

“Animal rights is a part of my everyday life. When you live by example, you create a certain level of awareness. Friends of mine – people I have never discussed animal rights or vegetarianism with – are adopting vegetarian habits because they see it.” -Joaquin Phoenix

“Veganism changed me. It taught me to look past myself. To consider how my choices effect others. The animals, the people around me, and the planet we live on.” -Kat Von D

black gorilla

“I hope someday everyone will care about all animals, not just the ‘cute and cuddly’ ones.” -Joanne McArthur

“Cows scream louder than carrots.” -Alan Watts

“Animals on factory farms all face pain and fear, just like the animals we share our homes with, yet are repeatedly abused in shocking ways.” -Peter Dinklage

“It’s not about loving animals. It’s about fighting injustice. My whole goal is for humans to have as little contact as possible with animals.” -Gary Yourofsky

“We know we cannot be kind to animals until we stop exploiting them — exploiting animals in the name of science, exploiting animals in the name of sport, exploiting animals in the name of fashion, and yes, exploiting animals in the name of food.” -César Chávez

“I always say that eating a plant based diet is the secret weapon of enhanced athletic performance.” -Rich Roll

“By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.” -Thích Nhất Hạnh

“I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man” -Mohandas Gandhi

“One should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.” -Buddha

“Every time you have a glass of cow milk, some calf is not.” -Gary Yourofsky

“Every kilogram of beef requires 100,000 liters of water to produce. By comparison, a kilogram of wheat requires just 900 liters, and a kilogram of potatoes just 500 liters.” -T. Colin Campbell

“Animals are not here for us to do as we please with. We are not their superiors, we are their equals. We are their family. Be kind to them.” -Ricky Gervais

“Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you any more.” -Franz Kafka

“It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.” -Albert Einstein

“I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens.” -Isaac Bashevis Singer

“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.” -Albert Schweitzer

“What we must do is start viewing every cow, pig, chicken, monkey, rabbit, mouse, and pigeon as our family members.” -Gary Yourofsky

“A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses.” -George Bernard Shaw

“If you choose to eat meat… you love PETS not ANIMALS.” -Miley Cyrus

“I love animals more than I love most people. Not kidding.” -Ariana Grande

“Being a vegan just helps me build up my self-esteem. I feel good about it every time I eat a meal.” -Steve-O

“I made the choice to be vegan because I will not eat (or wear, or use) anything that could have an emotional response to its death or captivity. I can well imagine what that must feel like for our non-human friends – the fear, the terror, the pain – and I will not cause such suffering to a fellow living being.” -Rai Aren

“You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We don’t need to eat anyone who would run, swim, or fly away if he could.” – James Cromwell

“Thousands of people who say they ‘love’ animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been utterly deprived of everything that could make their lives worth living and who endured the awful suffering and the terror of the abattoirs.” -Jane Goodall

“This may surprise you, because it surprised me when I found out, but the single biggest thing an individual can do to combat climate change is to stop eating animals.” -James Cameron

“Clearly, animals know more than we think, and think a great deal more than we know.” -Irene M. Pepperberg

“If you could see or feel the suffering, you wouldn’t think twice. Give back life. Don’t eat meat.” -Kim Basinger

“Compassion is the awareness of a deep bond between yourself and all creatures. -Eckhart Tolle

“No member of the animal kingdom ever did a thing to me. It’s why I don’t eat red meat or white fish. Don’t give me no blue cheese. We’re all members of the animal kingdom. Leave your brothers and sisters in the sea.” -Prince

“Don’t wait for a better world. Start now to create a world of harmony and peace. It is up to you, and it always has been. You may even find the solution at the end of your fork.” -Sharon Gannon

“The heart of vegetarians is healed sooner than those of flesh-eaters.” -Virchand Gandhi

“Who are we to say dogs and cats have more rights than cows and pigs. They’re all conscious. They feel the same. They hurt the same. God help us understand!” -Izey Victoria Odiase

“The horse and the cow, the rabbit and the cat, the deer and the hare, the pheasant and the lark, please us better as friends than as meat.” -Élisée Reclus

“Mankind does not have dominion over the Earth, mankind has a relationship with the Earth.” -J. Adam Snyder

Which are you? Vegan or Plant Based?

The explosion of people across continents, switching to plant-based diets, is truly phenomenal. Whether Vegan or Plant-based eaters, it is a huge win for animal life, the environment/nature, and for the physical, mental, and spiritual health of human beings. The main takeaway is you’re not consuming animals anymore, and that is a phenomenal thing!

We give you the basic 101 on the difference between being a Vegan or being a Plant Based eater. Both are great, but there is a difference that it helps to be in the know about.

Vegan diets are high in nutrients and fiber while low in saturated fats. This has shown to lower blood pressure, regulate blood glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and promote overall health. Although different vegans fall under different categories for different reasons, they all have one thing in common and that’s a plant-based lifestyle.

Though there are different reasons for becoming vegan, Veganism, by its definition is purely an animal movement, a way of life solely for the protection of animal rights.

A Plant-Based diet solely depends on plants for food, it is not governed by any considerations for animal welfare, like Veganism. A healthy plant-based diet includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. For a plant-based diet to be healthy, it should contain whole minimally processed plant foods.

Eating highly processed foods, although plant-based, can never offer you these benefits and can put your life at risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Processed foods are often high in saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, and other additives to curb your taste buds but harmful in the long run.

READ MORE in the Yoga Bodi Magazine (Issue 2)

No Justice No Peace

Greetings to every yoga bodi,

This message comes with a heavy heart for the recent events that took place in the United States, yet another demonstration of an unrelenting and ongoing pattern of violence against black and brown bodies. The YBM team hope this message finds everyone safe, and in wellness.

As the YBM Editor, I would like to share my thoughts with you about why I started this magazine. It was and is my belief that to see and read stories of beautiful melanin rich yogis and wellness aficionados, represented in a published work, was of critical socio-cultural and psychological significance and it was a publication missing from our world.

During times like these, it is important to know how to reduce the impact of negative social issues on our psyche, our mental health and subsequently on our bodies… Yoga and overall wellness is a very necessary life line to navigating the very complex socio-political structural and psychological system of racism everywhere.

Yoga Bodi’s core mission is to honor & serve the rich diversity of yoga practitioners from around the world. The Yoga Bodi brand was inspired from a need, representation. The representation of people from across the world, specifically melanin dominant; black, brown, copper, carbon – indigenous people, who are systemically left out of the Yoga “industry” image of what a person practicing Yoga typically looks like. This lack of sincere representation in the Yoga “mainstream” is contrary to Yoga philosophy of removing ego.

All practicing yogis no matter the human suit, work equally hard & diligently towards attaining the yoke, with the aim of removing all suffering & accessing the divine in themselves. The practice and promotion of Yoga should not signify privilege and exclusivity, because that only demonstrates the reinforcing of deception, limiting belief systems, & infringing upon all people’s incarnated potential & their individual value to human society. Silent bystanders too, strengthen this misleading paradigm & all this prejudice is contradictory to Yoga philosophy.

Higher consciousness lives in the truth, joy & light & truly wants this manifested for all. As we use meditation & the breath to expand our awareness & our hearts, we can explore our inner light, become empowered, mindful & allow the higher minded version of our selves, that by default we entered this realm already connected to, to take the reigns.

We at Yoga Bodi Magazine made a choice to not title our magazine a Black/Brown or “people of color” specific Yoga magazine, because no other group has to insert their racial or skin tone identity at the beginning or end of titles & headings & we won’t either. But we are unapologetically melanin rich; black, brown, carbon, copper indigenous people. Our content will reflect that self-love. Our yoga magazine is like any yoga magazine at it’s core, it’s about how Yoga enriches lives and it’s for every body to enjoy. The Yoga Bodi Magazine does not exclude any body, the point of difference is that our publications gaze, in which the content is derived from is from the perspective of black, brown, copper, indigenous yogis and wellness warriors, something that should not be considered unusual given other groups practice this type of social economics every single day.

Right now, how can we can best help ourselves to maintain a sense of balance and mid to high frequency state of being, all while bearing witness to and experiencing dramatic events, social changes and an unstable social climate that may be impacting many people emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically, as it has done so to myself and our team?

We have been living in unprecedented times, and we continue minute by minute to experience what appears to be the gradual worsening of our social fabric. While this may be true, it is also a time that we experience the great revealing of truths, the reinstatement of the divine feminine and the increase in higher frequencies brought on by our galaxies Sun evolution. We have the great awakening and with that come great changes and a great new world, should we choose.

What is critical during these times, more specifically is our health; both physical and mental, because our vessel is our vehicle and we need to be able to progress, to travel through the many changes and challenges with limited negative impact to our health in order to be capable and cognizant, to make sense of the journey, inner stand our selves in this time and space – why we are here and how we can better be of service.

If we can take comfort in knowing that the world is created by thought, energy frequency and vibration, then we can use our time to better equip ourselves to actively engage in auspicious thoughts that will bring about powerful energies that will match. Empowering thoughts and feelings that will remove the attitude of dis-empowerment and frustration, clarity that will remove doubt and confusion, focus and determination that will remove disorganization and apathy.

Yoga of any kind will assist us in centering our self for the duration of our time on the mat and long after. It’s a form of meditation, so shedding the worries of the world, to fall by the wayside as we work through any physical maladies that may be building up due to tension, anxiety or stress…that is our aim, with the objective being to decompress and allow Chi to flow through our body; connecting to source energy, divine energy transforming our awareness and subsequently how we perceive our environment and what we allow to inform our life and our life choices.

Focused meditation, either guided or not, with the objective being to lose the attachment to the self in the third dimension and instead exist purely in no time or space, is where we open doors to explore aspects of our selves and our connection to all that is. The process is not only calming and serene, in spite of the chatter often clamoring to challenge our aim to seek silence and stillness, we gain introspection and perspective, especially when we meditate for extended periods of time, often helping us to more positively cultivated states of reality than we would otherwise attain, not doing yoga or meditation.

I end this share with a sincere gesture of love, compassion, warmth, and solidarity for our people, melanin-rich people, who are despite all that we have experienced, our strength, creativity, and tenacity is an uninterrupted inspiration. For our fellow humans, we hope you can continue to stand with us, to be unrelenting and genuine in your aim to dismantle the many forms of violence and oppression that have no place in the new world we are all building together.

Be safe all. In unity and justice. Namaste.
Love and gratitude,
Ra Jordan
Editor-In-Chief
Yoga Bodi Magazine

Trust

Trust in every aspect of yourself before you allow yourself to trust anyone else.

Many of us believe we don’t trust too much of what life throws at us, that we are woke to false prophets and not subject to foolishness. However, how many strange situations do you find yourself in because you assumed you were following your own instinct, but without realizing you were really trusting in things and people external to you, aspects of this world; like ideology, the news, somebody else’s personal story, gossip…and then without realizing, you integrated this foreign information into your paradigm, your perspective, adopted the ideology or mirrored someone else, only to find the outcome was not entirely the best thing for you, not the best choice to have made at the time.

We often run on automatic pilot; thinking, doing, being a copy of social concepts, family baggage, social paradigms inclusive of media; radio, print, T.V, film, music, literature… etc so we aren’t really engaging ourselves in complete autonomous discernment, thinking for our selves, we are instead absorbing, processing and navigating the thoughts of others. This often leads us to stop listening to our inner guidance system, to our instinctive higher voice, to our ancestors, spirit guides…to the reaction our body gives us when we do something not in our highest good. We might instead interpret the feelings as a sign that whatever it is, it is the right choice to make, when it’s really not.

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Only through truly observing your inner workings, through meditation, silent contemplation, critical thinking, and a loving heart for oneself, that you will know when your own voice. Then, irrespective of what comes into your experience you will know to trust your instinct which equips you with the power to truly know what and who to trust outside of yourself.

Yoga Bodi Reveal

Every issue of the Yoga Bodi Magazine we interview yogis of Instagram. In our first issue, we found these Queens and we asked them all the same questions. In our second issue we interview 5 more Queens to discuss their yoga life.

Get ready to tap into the yoga life of Brittany Page, Latoya Maria, Betty Joshua, Ashley Nicole and Jessica Araujo, Jackie Banguera, Ericka Freckleton, Destiny Walker, Ese Walter and Tanesha Smikle.

Find out all about these superstar and inspirational Yogis and how the pursuit of happiness through Yoga has changed their lives.

READ the Yoga Bodi Reveal in Issue 1, Issue 2

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