Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

3 Products for the Cool & Conscious Consumer

Let's be real, capitalism isn't going anywhere (anytime soon). So if we are shopping, we might as well shop smart. I found 3 products that won't break the bank or beat up the planet! 

1. holBOX by Grace Wiggins  $25.00
Ginger body scrubs, savory coconut water and soy candles are just a few of the goodies you will find in the "holBOX" monthly subscription.
For $25 per month, holBOX will send you products for sample and expert advice on  living a holistic life. Baltimore resident, Grace Wiggins created holBOX to give black women a taste of the holistic and eco-friendly lifestyle. 
"holBOX Founder Grace Wiggins


 2. Yoga Affirmation Cards by Yes Lioness  $12.95
Artist and illustrator M. Borgella used her background in fine arts to create "YES Lioness", colorful products that speak to the self affirmed "Goddess". I love the affirmations because they express the diversity within the yoga world. Each card has an empowering quote and can be used as gifts, decorations or even art.
For more colorful vibrations

3. Yoga Mat Ties by Brian Saeger $12.00
There is nothing sexier than a man who practices yoga and chops wood. Brian Saeger happens to do both. He decided to turn his love for yoga and scrap wood into the "Yoga Mat Tie".

Yoga Mat Ties easier and faster than a Yoga Bag
Brian Saeger created the "Yoga Mat Tie" as a way to encourage yogis to shop local and stop supporting corrupt companies.  The Yoga Mat Tie is easy to use, eco friendly and you can customize your tie by having Brian engrave your name on the wood! His philosophy is that yogis must educate ourselves and then practice responsible action.

"It's one thing to sit around talking about all the things we could be doing, 
it's another to step up and live it."
Yoga Mat Tie Creator Brian Sager
Twitter: @TheYogaMatTie


For more info visit

If you have eco-friendly product, email

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Body Balancing! 3 Tips for Arm Balancing

Balancing your entire body weight can be one of the most challenging aspects of a yoga practice. Most people can barely stand on their own two feet without falling down. So imagine the frustration when attempting to balance on your hands!
Sari in Shoulder Press Pose (bhujapidasana) Photo by Wanakhavi Wahkisi
 I love arm balances because it proves that I can handle my own weight. I feel self-assured and confident that I got this!  So I thought I'd share 3 yoga tips to good arm balances...

Bakasana (crow) gets easier when the weight is equally distributed.

Arm Balances have a lot to do strength in the core and less to do with strong arms. A savvy yoga teacher can tell when you are muscling your way up into a pose. The trick is to allow your arms to function as a supportive shelf while your core stomach muscles lift the body into the air.

Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II (Dedication to Sage)
This pose comes and goes depending on how my hips are feeling. If my hips feel like jello then my body can go in all sorts of directions. Flexible hips = less strain on the core and lower back. Loosening up the hip flexors and hamstrings in a forward bend or forward fold will help you send circulation around the lower body.

Side Crow- Photo by Wanakhavi Wahkisi
We can't deny the fact that you need upper body strength for almost every arm balance. The hands must press firmly into the mat. The forearms must be strong. You need to feel confident that your biceps and triceps can do the work. Toning poses like chaturanga, plank and downward dog will help you slowly build and tone your arms.

Join me this spring and I will help you build your self-confidence while also building your body strength! Register for the Soulful Flow Yoga 6 week yoga series starting March 11, 2013!

6 Week Series 
March 11-April 15, 2013

Step by Step instructions for Arm Balances

See you on the mat!!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Finding New Life After Cancer

Written by Guest Contributor Melanie Bowen

Our favorite Good Morning America host Robin Roberts can testify to the fact that getting diagnosed with cancer is one of the most difficult events in a person’s life. It not only entails an emotional roller coaster but an arduous ordeal of chemotherapy or radiation and the resulting fatigue that goes with it, as well.
Yoga can help you move on from a cancer battle.
 As technology and research has advanced, there are now many recommendations for ways to improve how a patient copes with treatment. One effective supplement to cancer treatment is yoga. Although it does not cure cancer, it has been found to improve the lives of cancer patients by improving their sleep, energy levels, and moods.

Why yoga?

Yoga is a physical and mental practice for health that has origins dating back to ancient Africa and India. In recent years it has gained widespread popularity in the West because of its many health benefits. The goal of yoga practice is to unite mind and body through a succession of postures or poses.

There are many forms of yoga, and some are not terribly demanding physically, and therefore they can helpful to cancer patients undergoing treatment. Yoga can help you respond better to treatment and more quickly recover your energy levels and mood following treatment. This is true whether you are fighting leukemia, or a rare cancer like mesothelioma, or any other type.


Yoga is very effective at treating depression, something not uncommon with cancer patients. The demands of cancer treatments, financial burdens, and other problems lead many into feeling depressed and anxious. Studies have found that practicing yoga can be as effective as prescription antidepressants for many people.

Yoga causes the release of endorphins. These chemicals in the brain, can help raise your spirits and alleviate any feelings of depression you might be experiencing. They can also have a potent pain-killing effect that can last for hours after a yoga session. Some patients have even found that they are able to reduce their reliance on pain medications as well.

Many cancer patients find themselves becoming moody and irritable when undergoing treatment. And who can blame them? When we do not feel good, it is much harder to be positive and optimistic. It turns out that yoga helps here also. The very same endorphins being released during a yoga session can help improve feelings of irritability too and increase relaxation.


Improved sleep is another benefit often reported by those who practice yoga. The physical exertion releases energy and toxins form the body, resulting in longer and deeper sleep. Many cancer patients are reporting that they feel less tired during the day and are able to sleep better at night.

Finding New Life

Yoga is a great way to carve a new pathway to life after cancer. Now you can move on and find a renewed motivation through a yoga practice. Yoga reminds us that beating cancer isn't only about surviving, the victory lies in learning to thrive in this new life!

Resources for Yogis Thriving after Cancer
American Cancer Society on Yoga

Yoga Bear

African American Women's Breast Cancer Alliance

Monday, February 11, 2013

3 Steps to Becoming A New Millenium Activist

Back in college, I really wanted to FIGHT the POWER! I wrote controversial articles in the student newspaper. I challenged racist professors. I wore an African medallion so people recognized  my value for cultural identity. Then I graduated and I had to get a job in the real world and in most cases, the white world.
Activism starts within
Photo by Thomas Sayers Ellis
This reality check forced me to confront my ideas about being a revolutionary. I hadn't changed my revolutionary leanings. But I did change how I lived my beliefs. Instead of protesting on the picket line, I began tutoring kids in my neighborhood. If I met a racist co-worker or boss, I filed a formal complaint instead of blasting off Public Enemy quotes in their ears. I learned to apply my activism under a new reality, the reality that I had to keep food on the table.

Everybody can be an activist. But everybody doesn't need to sleep in a tent in front of the White House. I have developed 3 ways you can still live your values while positively changing the world.

1. Eat Light & Live Right! 
It may read dissapointingly simple and boring. But the biggest challenges facing our community are the stark health disparities. There is no point in standing up for a cause if you can barely hold yourself up. Hospital bills and long term health ailments have taken its toll on our families and finances. Self care is the new health care and health is the new wealth. Just by taking care of yourself, you can be a revolutionary!

For more on the nutrition revolution, contact Anacostia's own Tambra Raye of NativSol Kitchen.

2. Get on Your Knees... and Grow A Garden
With food costs soaring and organic food reserved for the affluent, food justice will be a major threat to our quality of life. Veritical gardens can grow indoors.
Vertical Tomato  Garden
 You can turn your house plants into an herb garden. Or create a community that shifts caring for a collective garden. Fresh food will be the real cash crop of the future. The First Lady Michelle Obama even wrote a guide called American Grown to help kickstart the home gardening revolution.

For more on home gardening visit Brown Girl Farming.

3. Get Fired Up with Alternative Energy
If the recent east coast earthquakes, hurricanes, and that weird "El Derecho" storm wasn't enough to send you running to an underground bunker, then consider yourself warned! Climate change is here. Hopefully not to stay,  but a force that we can't ignore. Some people went for hours without energy. Families in Connecticut and Long Island, NY went without energy for weeks. The local and federal governments were completly unprepared to take on these challenges. The true new millenium activist will explore solar, geothermal, wind and alternative energy sources.  These climate anomolies are simply a precursor of what's to come.

Fore more info on renewable energy visit

Read the recent Ebony Magazine article by Dr. Marshall Shepard on black communities and climate change.
Modern day activism is shifting to focus more on health, wellness and the planet. The new millienum activist can prepare themselves by simply changing how we live.
The real revolution starts within!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beyonce's Secret Super Power: Bibi McGill Yoga

I wonder if Beyonce practiced a quick sun salutation or meditation before the electrifying Super Bowl performance? I suspect the secret to Beyonce's focused success is a ROCKIN' yoga instructor named Bibi McGill.

Bibi also happens to be the lead rock guitarist for Beyonce's World Tour.  Despite her quick ascension into success, international super-stardom wasn't enough.
Bibi McGill Yogi Instructor in seated full lotus
Bibi's musical background has taken her around the globe after a successful musical career with songstress Pink!. But now Bibi is also a yoga instructor seeking to spread yoga to the communities in need of a deeper mind-body connection.
Seated Twist
Bibi didn't stop with yoga and music. Now she's created instructional yoga videos, sells healthy kale chips and leads exclusive Hawaiian yoga retreats. Bibi McGill proves that girls with big afros can be anything and everything we want to be if we follow our dreams.
Acro Yoga
 Bibi described success as,"Having purpose and being happy, then sharing it with other people in whatever way that you can. It's not about money, recognition, or fame because you can have all these things and still be miserable. It's important to follow your dreams. If you follow your dreams, you are successful."


 Check out Bibi McGill solo performance with Beyonce

Bibi in Navasana (Boat Pose)
Thank you BIBI for proving that girls with big Afros can be 
anything and everything we dream to be!!

Learn more about this  Rockin' Yogini Bibi McGill

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fans Will Make Her Dance: Get Sweaty with Keiara Lashae!

I guess the secret is out.  I am a big fan of the dance craze called twerking. I love the masterful isolation of the hips. I like to feel the burn from the inner thigh workout. I get excited by the mysterious trance of most men when they see us ladies twerking with abandon. But, twerking does NOT come naturally.

I had to learn to twerk on youtube from my Fit and Fabulous Honoree Keiara Lashae.
Dancing Queen Keaira Lashae
The twenty-something Tampa native didn't give up on her dreams after losing a record deal and starting over. Instead she went back to her dancing roots and started uploading dance tutorials on youtube. 

I love Keiara Lashae's teaching style and supportive personality. It feels like you are dancing with your homegirl in the club!

With over 600,000 youtube views, Lashae has now secured an online fitness gig with Dailyburn and released her full length video "Frankie".

Thank you Keiara Lashae for being Fit & Fabulous!

Keaira Lashae Twitter

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fit & Fabulous: Black Women in Health & Wellness

I think that it's about time we celebrate our sistas who are literally moving their health in the right direction.  These Black women have started businesses, organizations and helped to transform lives through exercise, yoga and fitness. Over the next month, I will feature the successful women in the wellness industry who are taking wellness to the next level.

Today's Honoree is exercise guru Donna Richardson

The Silver Spring, MD native launched to national stardom when she won fitness competitions, served as a host on ESPN and most recently on President's Council for Fitness. Donna has created over 10 exercise videos with her unique style connecting spiritual faith to fitness. 

One of Donna Richardson's many workout videos

At 50 years old, Donna Richardson maintains a sophisticated and sexy style. Yet, somehow never looks like she breaks a sweat!

Victoria Principle, Jane Fonda and Denise Austin may have blazed the trail for women in the mainstream fitness world.  But many people don't know about the amazing Black women who kickstarted a health and wellness revolution. Look out for the next 2013 Fit & Fabulous Woman...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

If I Ruled the World...

If I ruled the world, I'd tear down dilapidated clinics. Instead I'd build up state-of-the art healing centers. Every man, woman and child would be able to enjoy healthy cooking classes.
Teen participants in the Mind Right/Body Tight Summer Video.
 Grandmas could try out a restorative yoga session. 
Sariane Leigh teaching yoga to women at Anacostia Library.
Anacostia women enjoying floor exercises
Physicians would prescribe a yoga nidra class instead of sleeping pills. Herbal remedies and whole foods would replace needles and surgeries. Anacostia residents would finally start to feel real change in their lives.
East of the river residents taking a clean eating course.
Idealistic, yes. Impossible? Never. 

Health equality is the civil rights issue of our generation. The health inequities in DC rival those of Russia. The HIV rates compete with parts of West Africa. Obviously, we have surpassed the time for action.  It is time to embrace a new approach.  Become a part of a new medical movement!

 Join me in discussing a new vision.
"Yoga Healing in Anacostia" 
 Center for Integrative Medicine on  
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 @ 7:45pm

DC Yoga Therapy Community led by Linda Lang (center with scarf)
   Health is not a luxury. 
Health is a necessity.
Yoga Healing in Anacostia - Panel with Sariane Leigh
International Integrative Medicine Day
George Washington University Center for Integrative Medicine
 2121 I Street NW
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
More info click here
The event is FREE TO THE PUBLIC.
No reservations are required.
You must bring an ID to enter Ross Hall on the GW campus. 
Ross Hall is located on the pedestrian walkway across from GW Hospital and adjacent to the Himmelfarb Library.
E-mail for more information!
Sponsored by Therapeutic Yoga of Greater Washington | New Hampshire Avenue, NW | Washington | DC | 20037-2334

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mind Power: Mental Health First Aid at St. Elizabeth's

I grew up in a home where I witnessed a cousin struggle with bipolar disorder, depression and dark tales of suicide. Lexapro failed her. Mental institutions confined her. Spiritual therapy confused her. Her only therapy was through self medication by using illegal drugs.  Eventually, my cousin ended up in a mental institution, on public assistance and ultimately on the streets.
How do you handle a "Mental Health Emergency"?
As a family, our solutions for mental health treatments were limited. Now, we live in a  21st century reality where mental health is no longer a family secret.  Now it is a medical emergency.

For far too long, our society has ignored, laughed at and downplayed the issues of mental health. Our pharmaceutical companies throw pills at the problem.
Our mental health institutions are privatized and costly. Our national response systems can barely handle the suicide crisis bubbling in our barracks.

Mental health is finally being pushed to the frontline of America's health conversation. In a sick and twisted turn of events, the recent horrific acts by white, young males in their own communities have sparked a national debate on mental health.

 Did we wait too late? 
Learn to assist in a Mental Health Emergency
This is a national challenge that Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in SE is facing head-on. They are kicking off  a new Mental Health First Aid Training for east of the Anacostia residents.  The training will help our community identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.  Register for the training and help our community move in a new direction for mental health. If you ever need help call  1888- WE-HELP.

Alix Talleyrand

For more Resources on Mental Health in Washington D.C.

DC Department of Mental Health
The Access HelpLine at 1(888)7WE-HELP or 1-888-793-4357

The Siwe Project

Black Mental Health Network

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Power of Weight Loss with Petra

Wellness consultant Petra Cleary is a walking testimony that anybody can radically transform their lives. Petra lost over 30 pounds after living a vegan lifestyle and removing harmful chemicals from her diet. She lost the weight but gained a new passion for living a holistic and fitness-based lifestyle.

Petra Cleary's year long weight -loss journey
Petra's journey started as an eager biology student in the United Kingdom researching the Arbonne company. Later she volunteered her time teaching English in Paraguay. Now she's expanded to teaching Zumba in DC's Petworth neighborhood while managing her successful skincare and wellness business.
Petra Cleary, Wellness Consultant
Petra passionately warns us against the toxic chemicals that cause weight gain, acne and hormone imbalances. Yet, she is quietly building her own wellness empire on the strength of a customized fitness and skincare sales model.  

Petra's ambition is more than vanity, beauty or money. She is truly committed to educating and helping people transform health into wealth.  

Join Petra this Wednesday, January 9, 2013 for her Pure Transformation Workshop. Enjoy Zumba, skincare goodiebags and a nutrition consultation. Registration is FREE!

"Pure Transformation Workshop"
Cost: Free
Kansas Avenue

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Is Your Mind All FUNKED UP?

Mama taught us to wash our bodies, brush our teeth and clean our hands. But mama never taught us to wash the funk out of our brains. The winter season can be a dangerous place for our minds if we don't clean up.  I am the poster girl for winter emotional blues. I rarely feel like talking to people, going out or exercising.  So I found way to balance out my moods with winter meditation.
Seated meditation in half lotus puts life in perspective.
Seasonal depression is real. We like to cover it up with food or a warm winter boo thang. But we can't cover up our emotions and mental stress.  It is time to give your brain a break with 4 simple tips.  

1) Create a quiet, uninterrupted space.
2) Get into a comfortable seated position (or chair)
3) Inhale for 7 seconds, hold, Exhale for 7 seconds. Repeat.
4) Let your breath do all the work.

In the winter things are literally frozen. Old man winter has a way of telling our minds and bodies to sit still. A daily meditation helps us sit and cleanse away old thoughts and beliefs. 

Meditation is like giving your brain a daily shower. 

This winter join me for the Soulful Flow Yoga Series where we explore a meditation practice.  Learn to use the breath to clean the crud out of the corners of your brain.

To learn more about meditation read Eknath Easwaren.
Meditation: A Simple Eight-Point Program for Translating Spiritual Ideals into Daily Life

Start 2013 clean, fresh and renewed.

 Register Online
Eventbrite - Anacostia Yogi-  Soulful Flow Yoga Series </p><p>Winter 2013</p><p>

See you on the mat!
Soulful Flow Yoga 6 Week Series
March 11, 2013-April 25, 2013
$15 Drop in
$50 All Access Pass
Register Online
Ryland Epworth Methodist Church
3200 S Street SE
Washington DC 20020

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oh Baby I Like it Raw! Hip Hop Flow & Food

If MC Lyte and Lauryn Hill had a baby, it would be Johnee Wilson.  

Johnee is the co-owner (along with Brooke Johnson) of the vegan catering company "Raw Inc".  
The raw chef and lyrical chief just released a new hip hop song about the impact of health on our society.
The northern Virginia based duo created Raw Inc! as a food delivery system to meet the demand for raw, vegan and vegetarian meals in the DMV area. 
Johnee Wilson and Brooke Johnson, owners of  Raw Inc!.
I met Johnee and Brooke earlier this year as they were rolling out their first selection of raw food dishes and detoxifying juices. Within 3 months they launched Raw Inc! by offering meal plans, nutrition consultations, cooking demos and raw prep classes.

I picked up my "Peax and Love" shirt earlier this year!
 Brooke and Johnee go beyond catering by hosting raw yoga brunches, selling t-shirts and creating music. They use their background in nutrition and self-taught creativity to empower people to grow their own veggies and explore clean eating of unprocessed foods.
Raw T-shirts
$15 Raw plates from Raw! on Wheels
My favorite dishes are the raw samosas and cauliflower eggs. The green juices are highly potent and a great way to energize the body in the morning. They also create healthy affordable $15 plates and sandwiches.

It is refreshing to know that more businesses like Raw on Wheels are opening up in DC. There is a big demand for vegan diversity in the food industry. Brooke Johnson and Johnee Wilson are a refreshing addition to the health community. Order your raw dishes today and beat the holiday bulge.

Raw on Wheels