Showing up as a black man in wellness spaces
TWO BLACK GIRLS TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING PODCAST: EPISODE 7
I this episode we talk to Shawn J. Moore, the director of Student Leadership at Moorehouse College. Shawn talks about how he integrated meditation and mindfulness as a tool for his own creative resilience, personal power and healing.
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Speaker 1: (00:12)
Welcome to theTwo black girls talk about everything podcast, I’m Dianne and I’m Dee. And we’re going to be talking about everything. We’re going to talk about yoga and fashion and justice. Everything black girls talk about Welcome to the two progress. Talk about everything podcast. On today’s episode, we talked to Shawn J. Moore by day. Shawn currently serves as the director of student leadership at Morehouse college, helping students grow their leadership competencies and talents through trainings, workshops, and developmental opportunities. His tenure and student affairs has focused on the identity of developmental and leadership growth of students from various backgrounds. Shawn is also a gifted sound. Healer. Mindfulness has always been a part of Shawn’s life, exploring his own meditation practice rooted in Buddhism. It was sparked in high school by Herman Hess’s Siddhartha. Over the years, he has integrated meditation and mindfulness as a tool for his own creative resilience, personal power and healing. With the privilege of sharing these nuturing tools with his community. Shawn is a registered yoga teacher, sound practitioner, meditation teacher, yoga nidra teacher, as well as Reiki practitioner and Gallup certified strength coach. Listen in while we talk to Shawn about what it is to show as a black man and healing spaces,
Speaker 2: (01:35)
I’m excited. I’m so excited. Yeah, it’s so amazing. I’m glad that you’re here. And so we wanted to have you on the podcast because it’s black history month. And you know, a lot of teachers, uh, black men who teach yoga, like we I don’t and black men who teach yoga, who are, um, who are, who are robust, right? Like I always see these on Instagram. I follow is it I follow black boys own and this other one brothers who practice, I think it’s called. I just started following them. And everybody’s like a professional athlete or a dancer or, and they can do the and they’re doing like a one hand stand I’m like let’s, let’s, let’s talk the real people.
Speaker 2: (02:36)
There can definitely be some, uh, there’s room for body variation, particularly as, as black men are exploring, exploring yoga a little bit more. So, yes, that’s right. That’s right. So I have a friend Neil in, I believe he’s in Columbus, Ohio. I met him when I did a workshop in, in Ann Arbor. What’s close to us. That’s not Anarbor. That’s close to us. It’s like Dearborn. I always confuse Dearborn and whatever. So I did a workshop in Dearborn and I met Neil who came down from, uh, Columbus, Ohio. And he’s got a whole thing called beer, uh, bear belly yoga. Yes. I see that. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (03:17)
I just recently followed them on Instagram. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (03:21)
Yes. He’s the sweetest. Like I love him. And then in my book, my friend Dylan used to, I don’t think he teaches yoga anymore, but he used to have yoga call it. He called himself the Clydesdale Yogi. So you know what I mean? Like I want some, you know, you know what I mean? We need some bodies. You can sink your teeth into. I think it’s great to get Shawn to get, um, men like you out there and talking about what you do. Because like I said, I didn’t mean like real people. Like they’re not real people, but everyday person that, you know, comes into yoga, you know, they can look at someone like you and say, you know, I can do that. You know, I talked about in a couple of podcasts ago, we talked about, um, you know, so going through social media and seeing these great, like these beautiful women that are on the beach and doing all these crazy poses, and it’s very intimidating for somebody coming into the yoga world or starting a yoga practice because they, you know, they, they just can’t compare to that, so hard.
Speaker 3: (04:29)
And it’s the same, it’s the same conversation on the male side. Like, you know, I mean, I work at Morehouse, so, you know, I work around all black men and I typically do meditation and yoga classes for them. And that’s the same conversation. It’s like, well, I’m not flexible like that. Or, you know, I’m not an athlete. And I, you know, again, the people that they are seeing are very athletic, like to your point, Dianne dancers, folks like that, that are doing yoga and that way, and they just don’t see it for themselves. So it’s, I think it’s one of the other reasons why not only is quite often a lot of this work, very white facing, right. That even when they do start to see people that look like them in it, then it’s like, well, then that body type isn’t me either. So I still don’t think the practice is for me
Speaker 2: (05:12)
A hundred percent. I don’t see a lot of black men in the practice at all. Believe it or not, where I’ve seen the most, um, black men in yoga is hot yoga and more, and men in general, I’ve seen a lot of men in hot yoga. When I go to the hot yoga studio, it’s probably 50 50, but in a non hot or non-heated yoga, it’s like 90 10 in terms of having the men to women, uh, women to men ratio, but zero men of color. And to think of it now, I don’t even think there’s anybody currently teaching in our realm that is a man of color or, you know, a man of size. We meet, we need body diversity and we need men of color to come to yoga. Like they are missing out what brought you to yoga as a, as a of color. And I like an abundant body, you know what I mean? Like what brought you to the brand? Yeah,
Speaker 3: (06:05)
Yeah. Um, what brought me to yoga, yoga, yoga, yoga. Um, I think my answer, my, my first foray into yoga before I realized it was really meditation. Right. You know, we typically think about yoga from the Austin, uh, perspective, but I was introduced to yoga from the meditation side back in high school. So from high school, um, there was a book I read called Siddhartha, which was the fictional retelling of the story of the Buddha that got me in. Yeah, it’s a great, great, great, great book. Um, that one got me into meditation also got me into Buddhism and then, you know, I’ve developed my own practice of meditation ever since then. And then I would say maybe in, um, when I was in undergrad, I began to explore yoga a little bit more. One of my best friends, um, went through her, YTT closer towards the end.
Speaker 3: (06:56)
This was maybe around 2009, 2010, somewhere in that space. And so that was like, Oh, this is a thing. Right? So again, my best friend, black woman exploring yoga, she got really connected to a black yoga studio in Maryland. Um, and that was my first kind of foray into it. And then fast forward to me moving to Atlanta in about 2014, um, you know, I was always in a place where I’m trying to kind of explore different practices and different things. Um, I went to one of my first yoga classes here in Atlanta and my intro into yoga as a practice was Bikrum, um, or an hot yoga. That was my intro intro. And there was something about that practice that really resonated with me because for me I’m always, and of course this is not the Yogi mindset right at the beginning. I’m like, how, how do I get better? Right. And we know like Bikram classes, there is a very consistent sort of flow. It’s the same thing. You know what you’re going to get every time you go for me, it was a benchmark of, okay, well I can get into dancer’s pose easier in this class. So, um, there’s a level of progress that I was able to make. And then, um, from there that’s where it started to get weird. Right.
Speaker 2: (08:10)
Speaker 3: (08:15)
More and more. I started to go the more and more I, you know, you’re starting to pay attention to the surroundings a little bit more. Right. Like, okay, cool, wait a minute, go welcome. Yeah. Like, okay. People are staring at me, it’s a little weird in the space. And so that’s where that kind of thing for me, it started to get a little bit more conscious of how, you know, what’s the perspective of me being in this space. Um, and the idea of, and I think this was probably around the time where this conversation I think was getting bigger just in the yoga scene of just like, what does a safe environment or a safe community really feel like? Um, and so for me, I’m always thinking about this from a perspective of like, this is an investment, right. We know like yoga memberships, that it, it can be expensive. Um, and I was doing what I was calling my Groupon exploration. Right. Like, you know, those 30 days, yes. Two week unlimited or the 30, uh, 30 day unlimited. And I was trying to feel out what made sense. And a lot of the spaces that I went to I’m like, yeah, once this two weeks is up, or I don’t think I need this, do this two weeks. Right. It doesn’t feel, it doesn’t feel good just for the two weeks.
Speaker 3: (09:28)
It’s like, you know what? That $30 I’ll try again. Okay. Um, and so that got my exploration. So in that Groupon exploration got my exploration into the, to the space of yoga, where I was understanding I was going to different studios. Then I thought every studio, it all was just one yoga. So I’m going to different students like, Oh, this is a different style. This is a different flow. This is a different, uh, you know, perspective on yoga. And so that it was almost like exploration by accident in that way. Um, but I think for me, the biggest thing was like, how do you know? And even before then, I hadn’t thought about being a yoga teacher yet, you know, for me, but the whole idea about like creating community, creating safe spaces has always been in the back of my mind from an educational standpoint, right.
Speaker 3: (10:12)
As someone who teaches as someone who facilitates workshops, that’s all, that’s not a lens I can turn off. And so that became kind of the litmus test of how I was exploring these and really settling in, in spaces around Atlanta that I’m like, okay, this actually feels safe. Now I feel like I can explore the practice a little deeper because now I physically feel safe in this space. Right. Like, you know, coming into a space and you’re noticing people, they don’t want to set up their mat around you or their mats already down. And they moved their mat over, right. Or not even conversing with you, or even getting to the point where like, I’m a little bit more of a seasoned Yogi. And the automatic conversation with me is, Oh, you must be new. You must’ve never done this before. And you know, so that’s been the kind of the lens that I’ve always looked at it.
Speaker 3: (11:01)
And then I, you know, eventually settled into a few spots here in Atlanta that have become my yoga homes. Um, and that idea of community, um, creating those safe spaces really propelled me into wanting to teach and facilitate, um, first starting with like sound healing, moving into yoga nidra. And then finally during the YTT piece with, um, the yoga teacher training. But you know, for me, it’s always about how do we create these safe spaces for folks that look like us to start to explore, because we know that what the benefits are for these practices. And, you know, I always say this and it’s half a joke and it’s half real. Like we’re the ones that probably really need these practices, right? Self care, this level of introspection, this, this level of, um, exploring who we are, uh, and oftentimes go to these spaces and it’s, it can often be more traumatizing than before you went in there.
Speaker 2: (11:57)
Yeah. A hundred percent. And I feel all the things that you’ve said I’ve had all those same things happen to me. Uh, I remember I went to a yoga studio in Toronto. They’re lucky I’m not calling them out today. I feel generous today. Um, but, uh, I go to sign up for this class. And every yoga studio in Toronto is on the second level of a building. So now there’s like five sets of stairs that I have to get up. And once I’ve gotten up those five sets of stairs, I’m not sure I want to practice anymore. Like, I’m like, I’m already over it because I’m sweating by the time i get to the top of the stairs. Then I go up to the front desk and the guy gives me this once-over he gives me this look over like, Oh, well. And I mean, Toronto is like the most diverse city in Canada.
Speaker 2: (12:40)
Like one of the most diverse cities in Canada. Um, it’s one of the most diverse cities in the world. I believe it’s in the top 10 that you can stand on a street corner in Toronto and hear nine different languages and have 30 different food. Yeah. Yeah. The population of Toronto is like 50, 51, 49% or 48% Caucasian and 51 52%. Everybody else. That’s the, that’s the make up of that city. And I would go into these yoga studio spaces and still be the only person of color in this space and say to myself, how is this happening in this city? And in this particular yoga studio, this guy was like, Oh, he took a look at the size of my body. And he took a look at my skin color and made some decisions on the spot, in a place that’s supposed to be nonjudgmental.
Speaker 2: (13:27)
And then I go into the classroom, set up my mat and cause I’m in my feelings now and deacon attest to this. I can be petty sometimes. You know, I, you know, sometimes the pettiness comes out. So I roll out my mat and the studio and I start practicing. Like, I can do a few advanced poses. Like I can do a Crow and I can do a handstand or I can do a forearm stand. I can do a forum stand without the wall. I can do a handstand at the wall. And so I’m warming up in there. Everybody else is warming up in there because he had said to me, you know, this isn’t advanced. It was no, he said it to me. This is an class. And I’m just going to let you know that I can’t slow it down for you. It doesn’t matter.
Speaker 2: (14:05)
I ran up five flights of stairs to get here, so I might be able to keep up, but yeah, I can’t slow it down for you. So just, you know, just do what you can. And he said, it just like that, like what’s so much disdain. And I was like, yeah, that’s okay. This is the game I play now. That’s okay. And you know, I’ve seen it on YouTube and I think I can do it. Like, I’ll just be okay. So just, yeah, I’ll just be okay. And that’s, and then I go in and I started warming up in like advanced poses that I can do just because I’m petty in that moment. And he walks by me and he’s like, Oh, and then the whole time he’s teaching, he’s saying stuff like, wow. Um, people here have really strong practices up. Wow. Like he kept saying stuff like that.
Speaker 2: (14:42)
I’m like, dude, how old are you? 30? I have been practicing longer than you’ve been alive. So stop with making these snap judges because I’m black or my body’s a certain way that I can’t keep up or I don’t deserve to be here. And, you know, and then at the end, he’s trying to talk to me about my practice. I’m like, I don’t really have, and I just kind of like bolted at the same experience where people move your mat and move their mat. People stopped talking when you enter the room and there’s a certain air of discomfort. And I can only imagine that that is amplified as a black man.
Speaker 3: (15:19)
Listen, I had, and I literally just had this experience this week, this week, you know, I just, you know, Atlanta we’re at various stages of reopening. Right. And so, you know, there was a studio I had been getting text messages or emails about is like, come try us for a free class. And I’m like, cool. I’ll just come try it. Cause I just need to go move my body. And I need to, you know, I just need to do it when in same experience automatically making a, someone just kind of like walking in now, why are you here? I was like, I’m here for the class. Like I’m, I’m here for the class. It’s like, Oh, okay. Again, first time doing yoga. No, I’m actually, I’m a yoga teacher. So, you know, I’m. Yeah. And so even the conversation just in, you know, I get past the person checking me in, in the class, you know, no conversation, you know, with me around the class, after the class, how did you experience the class?
Speaker 3: (16:13)
All of those things. It’s just one of those it’s you just feel it. And again, somebody came down and asked me, do you like, do you mind moving your mat down? So me and my husband can be together. It’s like, since I got here 15 minutes early, like I hear only one purpose, but it’s one of those things it’s like to even ask that kind of question for me, it just feels like there’s not a valuing of you being in that space, right. That it’s like, you own this space because you’re a regular and that you’ve been here or that you don’t see people that look like me in this space, um, that you feel comfortable enough to even ask those kinds of questions or to approach, or even just be that way in terms of movement. And so Dianne I’m, I’ve done that too. I’m the kind of person like, Oh fine. You don’t think I can do this. I’m a, I’m a, I’m going do these poses. Like I’m going to do. And it’s again, not the yoga, not the yoga thing to do, but you know, it’s not, but I’ve done that. Like, I’m like, okay, you think I can, I got you in this half moon. I got you with some Crow. I got you in there. I got you in this. Right,
Speaker 2: (17:11)
Speaker 3: (17:13)
But it’s, it’s one of those things, like it’s hard not to, to observe and acknowledge. Um, and they wonder why. I think it’s one of those things, especially I think thinking about the year we just had last year, right. Where, you know, so much of this racial unrest has been brought to the forefront. You know, you got a lot of those wellness brands throwing up the black square, talking about how they support the community. And you know, if you know the community, you know, like the work’s not being done or that the environment, isn’t a safe space, the way that you talk about it. And so it’s kind of disheartening that the space moving in that way and you know, for me as somebody who’s moving through the wellness space in various ways, it’s it, it makes you look at certain brands sideways, even when you get requests and asked to do things, it’s just kinda like, I’m not, I’m not sure. It’s like, are you asking me to be in the space because you value me being in the space. Are you asking me to be in this space because you need to tick tick off this box.
Speaker 2: (18:14)
That’s right. Exactly. I want to go back to what you guys were talking about, being in your, you know, your experience in your studio is, and I want to kind of tell my story. I went to a yoga studio for many years and I actually, um, I feel like it took a few years for them to be comfortable to ask me what I was. And when I told them that I was black, they told me I didn’t look black. Yeah. And I never went back. I was done. I, I was, I felt like it felt good until that day until I didn’t write until it didn’t. And as black folks were so used to being dismissed in regular, um, not regular culture, let me correct myself there. We were so dismissed in we’re so used to being dismissed in dominant culture or things, not when things are being created, that we’re not even considered when they’re creating something.
Speaker 2: (19:11)
They’re always creating it for the dominant culture. We’re always an afterthought unless we’re creating things for ourselves. I think we’re so used to being dismissed in that way that we don’t maybe notice it initially when we came into this space, like when you came into Bikram, um, or the yoga space, it was so foreign, right? Like he hadn’t done yoga before. Maybe you hadn’t thought about it before you came into this space. And because you were caught up in this new experience, you didn’t notice what was going on around you. Yeah. I feel like Shawn, did, he touched on that, right? You’re so new. You’re so tunnel vision. You’re into something new you’re learning. You’re it’s, it’s, it’s cool. You know it, you know, or whatever, and you don’t feel,
Speaker 3: (19:55)
In a minute, your, your guard goes down. Like, because again, once that novelty wears off and you’re like, Oh, I actually liked this as a practice. I might invest in a, in a 10 class pass. Right. You start thinking more about getting into it. And then you start to notice those little simple things. You know, there was even one, a studio where they so it was a studio where they didn’t have a front desk person. The teacher was the front desk person. So of course they locked the front door and there was a lobby in there. And of course the bathrooms in the lobby. So it was even one where I got approached weirdly about during the middle of the class, I was like, Oh, I needed to go to the bathroom. So I got up and went out and there was like, Oh, did you, did you mess with anything in the lobby?
Speaker 3: (20:34)
I was like, I had to go to the, did you ask the other, the woman that left out before me? Did you ask her that? Right. So it’s stuff like that, that it’s like, we think we’re coming into these spaces where, when we think about yoga, we think about it being the union, this yoking, this bringing together where you think that the work is being done, and you want to let that guard down and you’re still met with the same sort of resistance you’re met outside of those doors. And that’s where it becomes the work’s work becomes very heavy because, you know, I’m coming to escape that I’m coming to work through that, or I’m coming to pour into myself in a different way only to be met with a different level of resistance that maybe that white woman or that white man on the mat next to me isn’t necessarily meeting in that way.
Speaker 2: (21:23)
And yet they’re the same people putting up the black square. They’re the same people like, you know, using the stock images that they can find of black folks doing yoga on their websites. Like they’re those same people. And I just, I cannot, I cannot.
Speaker 3: (21:38)
That is, that is a trigger for me because I’ve gotten catfished by studios that have, have used. Like, and if there’s studio owners listening to this podcast, if your studio make up, is not comprised of black people naturally do not. Okey-doke folks by putting up folks like the one or two black people that do come as all the graphics, because you’re going to create a false sense of safety for those folks that are coming. I’ve had that where I’ve gone. And I’m like, Oh, I’ve been to this studio for about, about two weeks now at different classes. And I’m not seeing, not near black person in this, in the studio, but it’s, again, you’re grabbing stock photos or the one time a black person came you’ve you, you got them in a whole bunch of different poses, and now you’re using them for your social media marketing in that way. And that’s so deceptive. Uh, and, and again, and that can, that oftentimes ruins people’s perspective on entering yoga as a practice because they just don’t feel safe. Right. And we can’t, I just think, especially now, nowadays, that level of safety is so important. It’s so important for these spaces to be focused on that in a really organic and natural way.
Speaker 2: (22:55)
Absolutely. When I think of Audrey Lorde quote, um, around, uh, self care, being a revolutionary act. When I think of that quote, I often think her as a black woman saying that to me, what resonates with me is she knew that we were supposed to just survive. Like we weren’t supposed to thrive or survive because there’s always been, um, somebody either trying to kill us or oppress us, or, you know, warehouses in impoverished areas, we weren’t supposed to thrive or survive. So her making that comment is a revolutionary comment because we, when we don’t feel valued as a culture or as an individual, then we don’t value ourselves. And we don’t invest in self care. And we need our leaders to say that this is something that is worthwhile. And the other, the other point to that is when we do let our, we need the white folks to do their work and to pick up the Slack and to be good allies. So we can let our guards down and have those moments of self care. Because if you let your guard down and take care of yourself, who’s keeping the rest of the rest. Like my feeling, who’s keeping the rest of us afloat because we’re here holding each other up, holding space for each other, creating these opportunities for each other to practice, um, and moving the conversation forward and fighting all these things. It’s almost like if you let your guard down, who’s going to continue the struggle while you’re trying to take on. So yeah, that’s right.
Speaker 3: (24:27)
Yeah. I think that’s really important. I think, you know, what I’m excited about is that I feel like in the last few years, this idea of rest moving into like the center of culture I think is, is, is happening in some capacity. And you know, for me, I can I speak from example this quite often, like, I’m the kind of person I’m a mover shaker, I’m a doer, right. I’m a creative at heart. And I know sometimes I can tie my own worth to my own output. Right. Is that I’m creating, you know, I get one of those weird, yeah. I’m in those weird spaces where sometimes if I’m laying and I’m just relaxing, I’m like, Oh, you’re not being productive. You need to get up and do something. Right. And I think it’s important that we start challenging that sort of mentality that, you know, rest is a part of the process.
Speaker 3: (25:15)
A rest is a part of how we fight and rest is a part of the revolution. Rest is a part of the creative process. Rest is a part of the leadership process, right? Because we need that space to start to integrate back in and recharge ourselves. So that one, we are as full as we need to be, to circle back out and do the work that we’re designed to do for our communities, whatever that looks like for us, whether that’s, you know, for women, whether that’s for black folks, whether that’s for folks, that you’re able to serve your community in the best way. And that can only happen when we sit down and rest, it can only happen
Speaker 2: (25:50)
A hundred percent. And I wonder if it isn’t our collective conditioning, um, throwback from our enslavement that our worth as enslaved human beings was directly connected to the amount of output that we did for, um, the people who owned us at the time. And I’m wondering if that isn’t something that is connected deeply into our tissues, DNA memory. I believe that DNA memory and, and yeah, I think it’s also environmental would, is that what you would call it when you see your parents doing it? And then you see they’ve seen their parents doing it and it just kind of trickles down, right. A hundred percent. It’s like, yeah, go ahead.
Speaker 3: (26:33)
Yeah. I, wasn’t going to say, I think when you think about enslaved folk, it, you know, to stop working could be life or death. Right. And just to even think about like, my earliest memories of my mom is, is being a hard worker. Like my earliest memories of my dad is having multiple jobs. Right? Like, it’s those kinds of things that we see, like, man, I’m tired, but I got to get up and go in for this shift or I’m going to work a double because I need to help make ends meet. It is ingrained in who we are on top of the fact that you, that you layer on this whole idea of like how capitalism feeds into that. Right. that, that grind culture of, we all need to always be doing no sleep. Like I used to do that in college. Like give me a red bull, I’m up all night doing work.
Speaker 3: (27:21)
It’s like, now there is no way if listen, if it’s not done by seven o’clock, I’m like, you know, you know what, that’s going to have to move to tomorrow’s to do list because I have nothing for you past seven. Right. And it’s those kinds of shifts that we have to make the know that, like, we can’t run ourselves ragged because you know, whether you’re working for a company, whether you’re doing whatever your output is, it will drain you. If you give it the space to do that. Right. Like it will do that if you allow it to. And so we have to sometimes create those boundaries, create those, um, those barriers for ourselves in our own level of, uh, preservation. Now, Shawn, how would you, how would you call other black men into the space of wellness? Good question. We can come back to that. Cause I want to talk about sound healing too. [inaudible]
Speaker 3: (28:23)
Because I, you know, I think back to, you know, again, the work that I do at Morehouse, right. Um, and one of the things that in the leadership work that I do, cause for me, I always look at mindfulness and leadership as an interconnected, you know, sort of space. Right. And for me, I always work with my student leaders about like, how are you taking care of yourself? Right. And so I look at that space of self care is going to look different for everybody. Wellness looks different for everybody. So it’s, how do you now find your lens of self care, the practices that speak to you, um, and start to delve into that. So whether that is meditation, you know, that might be your jam. Maybe yoga is your jam. Uh, maybe, you know, weightlifting is your gym, whatever it is, finding out and creating that space to explore.
Speaker 3: (29:09)
But I always try to tell folks to be open-minded. Um, because I think sometimes we think everything is a one size fits all. Um, and that isn’t always the case. And so, you know, I always tell my students to explore. It’s like, if you’ve never done a yoga class, try it. I mean, take all those preconceived notions that you’ve might have no matter what you’ve seen, what you’ve seen on yoga journal, where it’s like, it’s just thin white women or any of those other places that you’ve been, take that out your mind and just try to practice. Right. Um, and I think in sometimes dealing with black men, we, there is a feminine aspect that sometime is attached to yoga. Um, and I think sometimes it helps to see folks that look like me or look like other black yogi’s doing the work even spokes that are a bit larger like me, you know, I’m a plump guy.
Speaker 3: (29:54)
Um, but that also helps showcase that, you know, this practice isn’t just for thin white women, this practice isn’t for athletic built men that this practice can be for you, no matter what your body size or shape is. Um, and then also there’s a style that might work for you because maybe, maybe Vinyasa isn’t your jam, but you might like love yen, right? Like for me, yen and restorative or my thing, um, I love to explore as practices for some of the other ones, but in terms of teaching and sharing it’s those other practices. So for me, I think the number one thing is to be open, to explore. And I think in that exploration, you can get some really nice downloads and really nice insights about what will actually speak to you. Maybe you’re like, I explored that. I don’t, you know, yoga is just not my thing. That’s cool too, but at least you’ve given it a trying and didn’t let some preconceived notions kind of block that.
Speaker 2: (30:45)
Yeah. I love that. Yeah. That’s cool. That’s a hundred percent Shawn and I met at the, um, melanin yoga. Um, is it the melanin yoga project, right? It’s no good project. I would say the melanin yoga program, but it’s the project and it’s, it was in Texas Houston. Was it Houston? We were in last year. Can you believe it like around this time, last year, maybe last week or the week before in February, just like right before the pandemic hit. Like when I see those pictures of all of us, like practice and hanging out in that really small space and breathing on each other freak out because I’m amazed that none of us caught it in that moment. Cause we were all up on each. It was a small space because the, uh, the festival was supposed to be at the university at a university and they had an explosion at the university.
Speaker 2: (31:39)
So she, um, so, uh, Davina had to move it really quickly to this space and she found this really cute space downtown, but it was a small space and we were really all on top of each other. So I mean, when I look back at those photos, I’m like what? I see that, um, we made it and I remember doing that rooftop class and whenever I do a, um, it was like the first time that I could really explore, um, some old school hip hop because I opened with, um, with biggie, biggie, biggie, can’t you see? Like I just loved that we could all be there. And that was the first time in my life, in my life that I had been to a yoga space where everybody was black. That was the first time like everybody, um, you know, the demographic was like, it was the exact flip of everything I’ve ever seen where it was like, you know, 97 black people, let’s say I’m just throwing a number up there.
Speaker 2: (32:34)
And three white folks, like it was weird to actually see a white, a white person in that yoga space. And that was the first time in my life that I felt like I could fully let my guard down, play the music. I wanted to play, say the things I wanted to say. And it was just amazing. And you, um, Shawn and I met cause we were presenters and we stayed at the same house and it, I was so grateful that I had met you first, when you had come in. Because I think if I hadn’t met you first, when we came in, um, we wouldn’t have had the same experience. Cause we had two really famous yogis in our space. And sometimes you meet people, you meet online and they seem one way online and then you meet them in person. You’re like, like I never want to be that for somebody else who can see me online.
Speaker 2: (33:20)
And then you meet and you’re like, Hmm, you know what I mean? I mean, everybody has bad days and everybody has travel stuff and people are multi-dimensional. So, you know, I’m not always happy. I’m not always go lucky. I will cuss you out. If you’re a bigot, I will cuss you out. If you say something, I am that I am petty. I’m all these things. Right. So, you know, I hope when people meet me that they see that I’m genuinely all these things. Um, but I was really like, I got disappointed. So I was grateful that I had met you and you and I had bonded so well. And the first reason we bonded because you spell your name exactly like my brother’s spouse’s name. And I was just like, and it was such a good experience to be amongst all these people of color and just to completely let your guard down, like, you know, you didn’t have to censor yourself.
Speaker 2: (34:06)
There was no code switching. It was just we’re here. You know what I mean? We didn’t have to, a lot of times as black folks, we have that, what do we call it? That, that dual consciousness or that dual where we, where we have to be palpable for white folks. And we also want to hang with our black folks. We live these two lives and in a lot of the anti-racism work I’m doing, I have white folks. The number one question I’ve had so far is tell me about code switching. I’m like code switching is survival. What is it that you need to know? If you, if we code switch in front of you, that means you’re not part of the club. Yeah. I’m just saying we don’t a hundred percent trust you because if we don’t code switch, then we feel comfortable not to be ourselves. But if we’re code switching in front of you, we don’t feel comfortable. And so we have to present this way and it goes all the way back to survival. And I can’t tell you how many times people ask me about code switching, but that was the first time in my life that I felt like I can just be me.
Speaker 3: (35:05)
Yeah. It was definitely a, uh, a beautiful experience. Like I, that was one, one, your class was probably one of the most fun yoga classes I have been in. But just that experience in general that entire day was just magical in that way that it just was like, and I don’t, it’s a weird thing. And I know that’s something that, you know, navigating in the wellness space is something that part of my own internal work of not feeling like you have to like put on airs when you’re in certain spaces around certain folks, because sometimes, and I’ll say I’m a knock this ball back in their court too. That sometimes when you present at the front of a space, right. Sometimes you feel like you almost get challenged by folks in the space. Right. That it’s almost like, well, can you tell me about this?
Speaker 3: (35:54)
It’s like, you’re just here to enjoy the class. Like, I don’t think you’re trying to challenge that. Do I, do I deserve to be at the front of this room? But I think that that’s a dynamic that I don’t know if people talk about that much. And I know I’ve experienced a lot of times when I’ve done sound baths, when I’ve done yoga classes, that there’s, there’s one or two people that are like come up at the front, in the beginning or at the end and they get real inquisitive. Like, so how long have you been doing this?
Speaker 2: (36:20)
Yes. Can I set up the bowls? Take a deep breath? Yeah. They want to know all the credentials, your age. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (36:39)
Yeah. And that’s something that for me, I’ve had to, you know, it’s a little dare, I think in the virtual space, it hasn’t been as much, but when we were in person, that was something that I had, I was really struggling with. Cause you know, it’s one of those things. You’re like, how do I approach this without one getting out of pocket? But she was like, you’re not going to like either you want to lay down and get, do the sound bath or, or you going to leave or like, like if you don’t feel, and again, I think it’s a comfortability thing. It’s like, you’re not used to seeing someone like me at the front of the space. So, you know, it’s, and that’s the thing where this whole compassion thing sucks because you understand both sides, right? You like, I get it like you’re, this is how you’re processing. But at the end of the day, sometimes you’re processing, um, can have an effect on us. And we take that baggage on with us right after you, might’ve asked your question and been on with the rest of your night, but sometimes we’re still holding on to that.
Speaker 2: (37:34)
A lot of times, we’re still that I remember when I owned by yoga studio, the amount of people that would come in and go, you’re the owner, how long have you owned this? When did you start practicing? And you know what? I want to go Bish my mother taught me yoga when I was three. You know what? And in this moment, I’m whatever age I am. So most of my life, what else, what else you got? And then now I’m in that mind space at the front of the room with that energy of being questioned about my ability to teach. And one of my friends said to me really recently, people need to realize that and that not only do you talk about anti-racism work and equity work, but you’re also a good yoga teacher. So you can also be hired for other things other than that. And that’s another thing that we sometimes just get reduced to, um, teaching white folks about their teacher, white folks, about racism teacher, white goes about their attitude. Like we get reduced down to that. A lot of them, you just become a yeah.
Speaker 3: (38:36)
Yes, yes. And that thing, I think in the virtual space that maybe that’s the flip side of it, that has been something I’ve been struggling with. Because for me, it’s like, yes, I’m interacting with you now, you know, as a, as a practitioner, as sound as a yoga teacher, any of these wellness hats that I’m wearing, it’s like, but outside of here, you know, like I know how to put together certain things. I know how to put together conferences, festivals, all of these things that they assume that you’re coming here very singularly right. In this one way. And that’s all you have to bring to the table. Um, and it’s sometimes it’s got, it might be a little slight flex that has to happen to say like, you know, no, I’m actually more than just this and I actually can help you for what you’re working on. Um, if you just kind of yield in that way. So yeah. That’s something that the, that, that is been working on, uh, working through.
Speaker 2: (39:30)
Yeah. Can we, Oh, sorry, go ahead. It’s been a really interesting to navigate yoga spaces in this new reality of online, because it gives you all this other stuff to unpack, but I wasn’t prepared to, or wanted to, but then my Musk, because I’m like, Ooh, I’m feeling some kind of way in this moment. Right. So Sean, how did you get into sound healing? I’ve been like sitting here going, it’s my jam. I love it. I am right now researching different companies for bowls. So when Dianne set this up, I thought, Oh, I can’t wait to talk to you.
Speaker 3: (40:04)
Yes, yes. Uh, sound healing. How did I get into it? So, um, here in Atlanta, I, you know, I was exploring yoga, trying to figure out I was like, I always knew I wanted to share mindfulness in some sort of capacity. I didn’t know if I was going to go down the route of a yoga teacher, but you know, in my exploration, I ended up connecting. Um, a friend of mine’s friend was doing a fundraiser she owns, and her name is Danielle Hall. She works here in Atlanta, um, with sound embrace, um, which is a sound healing organization. And she was putting together a fundraiser for essentially the fundraiser was designed to raise funds, to send sound practitioners into social work spaces, to provide sound healing, not for the patients, but for the social workers to help them replenish recharge so that they can approach their work, um, from a, a fuller perspective.
Speaker 3: (40:57)
So, you know, from that perspective, I’m like, sure, I’ll buy a ticket and let me go. I expect. And the cool thing was this soundbath was at a planetarium, right? So not only were you getting the sound bath, like you’re up looking at the stars. It was just an amazing, amazing experience. There was like eight or nine sound practitioners all over the room. So it was just, I was held in that experience. Um, after that, you know, I’m just in my mind, I’m like, okay, someone point me to, who needs to teach me how to do this? Cause this is the way this is, this is the way, like, this is how I want to show up and do the work. So I ended up, um, I interviewed Danielle on my podcast right before the fundraiser. Um, and then I ended up reaching out to her and I’m like, Hey, do you have some, like, do you teach this?
Speaker 3: (41:45)
Like, do you have a training coming? Um, this was in, uh, this was in December, uh, that January, she had a, uh, a training class and our apprenticeship program, um, that started and I hop right on in. Um, and ever since then, for me, sound has always been something that I’ve had a deep connection with, even from a music perspective, like noticing how music, how sounds can shift your mood, your emotions, and all those different ways. You know, even when you think we listen to our favorite song, we get those goosebumps and those kinds of things. It’s like, I think it’s sound is something that we might take for granted because it’s always around us, but it’s such a powerful tool. And so, you know, ever since then, I’ve just kinda been running with it as a practice because it’s been the one that I think has helped me gain so much clarity.
Speaker 3: (42:30)
Um, just in my own personal life. You know, at that time I was working through like a breakup, uh, with my partner looking at figuring out my career shifts. So it was like a space of rural intersection. Right. Um, it helped me navigate through that space. And so knowing that power, I was just like, yeah, I want to share this with other people. Um, and so ever since then, I’ve just kinda been sharing the practice, um, moving out in that way, doing my own research, taking other trainings and now at a place where I’m sharing that with other people, um, in terms of trainings and workshops to one, not only, um, educate people on the power of sound healing, but then also help empower people to pick up the practice themselves.
Speaker 2: (43:10)
Amazing. So are you going to be doing teacher trainings around sound, sound teaching, like full on thirds and things like that?
Speaker 3: (43:22)
Yes, yes. Right now I’m actually doing one in conjunction with, um, my best friend’s yoga studio St. COFA yoga in Maryland. Um, we do one that is a conjunction of energy and sound healing. Um, so it’s like a, it’s a two-part cert that we do. The first part is like an intro where it’s like, yeah, even if you’re not interested in a certification, it gives you the foundations of energy healing, foundations of sound healing. And then we do a part two for folks that want to move into that, um, a little deeper in that way, but eventually down the line. That’s my that’s my goal is that was a full-out, uh, sound healing sort of, uh, training and certification program. One that is integrating, how, what does it mean to be a facilitator of space? Because I think that’s, what’s really important, I think, and I think this goes back to my experience with yoga studios and classes is that like, people can be an amazing yogi.
Speaker 3: (44:15)
You can be an amazing yoga teacher, but if you don’t know how to hold space for the people that are in that room for the people that are in your zoom, uh, for the things that may come up to make people feel welcomed, to feel comfortable, I think sometimes that talent can definitely get, I’ve been in a lot of places in a lot of classes where it’s like, you are a talented teacher, but this class was terrible because of how you held the language you used, right? The way you move through the class, the not honoring people’s boundaries, not making people feel welcomed that that blows all that talent out of the water. So for me, it’s, it’s leaning into a program that helps people become better facilitators. So that, that, that meshing of that great facilitator, that grace great space holder is matched with some really amazing talent that will take you that much further in that way.
Speaker 2: (45:08)
I know, right, man, I was just like, where do I, that?
Speaker 3: (45:14)
And a lot of that’s come from the work that I do on the educational side. Right. I do a lot of trainings and, um, you know, developmental workshops, um, you know, I’ve been working in higher ed for Oh shoot over 12 years. And a lot of that work has been in training and development. And, you know, a lot of that is about how do we create that space for students to feel comfortable, enough to learn. And a lot of that has been stuff that I’ve taken from that space that brings it over into what’s happening in the wellness space to make that level, you know, creating equitable spaces, right. That we know that isn’t always the case for, you know, marginalized communities that show up.
Speaker 2: (45:50)
Hmm. I think that’s fantastic also. Um, so did you start out as a sound healer first and then picked up yoga? Is that, is that, yeah,
Speaker 3: (46:02)
I always joke and say I walked into the world backwards. Um, so I got, I got cert before I actually get my YTT so I, yeah, I, uh, sound healing first. Um, I did a yoga nidra teacher training after the sound healing one and then, um, did yoga teacher training. Uh, so yeah, I definitely kind of came in the opposite direction, but, um, for me it actually made sense because I still lead with the lens of sound healing. Right. That for me, the yoga was great, but the yoga was designed to how do I get people to feel into their body, to now lay down and rest into yoga nidra or now rest into a sound bath? Um, so yeah, that’s, that’s kind of, it made sense after I thought about it, but I feel like I definitely walked in into the world a little backwards,
Speaker 2: (46:51)
I think makes perfect sense. Yeah, it makes sense. And I think it’s a really interesting entry point. Like, you know what I mean, that this caught your attention first and you could see the value of bringing this to communities and that’s where you started. And then, um, yoga is an afterthought because I feel like a lot of 200 hour yoga teacher trainings are really just about teaching people how to teach an hour long Asana class in a studio. Like, I don’t feel like there’s much beyond that and, or, you know, that I find that really limiting, but I think when you come to it from a different lens, like I’m actually here to heal, right? Like you came with as a sound healer, how do I get better at healing bodies? I add this to my repertoire. I add this to my training. Whereas I find like a lot of people were coming to teacher training, um, are often like, Oh, I just, you know, I want to work in my favorite studio or, you know, I really like yoga and I just want to share it.
Speaker 2: (47:44)
And it’s just like the Asana. They’re not interested in learning about, um, the deeper stuff or, or they say they are. And once you get them into the deeper stuff, the work around say racial equity or the work around, how do you create these spaces? How are we good facility facilitators the seat of the teacher? Because the seat of the teacher is a powerful seat. It’s a powerful, you have so much influence. And how do you want to, you know, how do you want to shape that influence? One of my teachers is Dr. Gail Parker. I’m sure you’re familiar with, with her. And she used to say always, uh, she used to come and teach parts of my teacher trainings when I used to run them here in Windsor. And she used to say our job, or she still says our job as yoga teachers are to help shape and shift consciousness.
Speaker 2: (48:32)
So I always go into that, right. I always say all the time, right? I always want to space with that intention that I’m here to shape and shift consciousness. And when I was presenting that in teacher trainings, there was a lot of this blank stare. I’m like, I just want to learn a flow. And it really hurt my heart that people weren’t willing to do this deeper work that all they were interested in was doing hand stand in the middle of the room or doing, putting a flow together or working at their local gym. And it was just, it was shocking, which is why I gave up teaching 200 hour teacher trainings. I taught them for 10 years. I taught 22 teacher training. Yeah. And then I was like, you know, I need to do something deeper. You know what? I need to do something more. I really want to create leaders. And that’s how I look at yoga teachers. Don’t you want people with a full lens of compassion and empathy and an understanding of something bigger than themselves to be leading a class and being creating spaces that feel equitable.
Speaker 3: (49:30)
Yeah. You touch all of that. All of that. You know, and I think about that, cause I think back to my 200 hour, right. And my 200 hour was that it was I’m teaching you how to do a 60 minute class like that. It wasn’t, it was nothing more than like, I’m just teaching you how to not even have, I’m not, won’t even say how to hold space. I think that’s giving it too much credit. I’m teaching you how to, how to give out Asana for 60 minutes. Right. That’s that’s what it was. And I feel, I love my, you know, I struggled with my entry into yoga because I’m like, Oh man, like I didn’t come in the way everybody else came in in that way. But I’m like, I actually appreciate that because I think back to what I got out of my 200 hour, there is no way I would have felt comfortable being in front of a room with the lens that I walk into this work with to hold space with just my 200 hour, there is no way.
Speaker 3: (50:23)
There’s no way. Um, and so I’m appreciative of having sound healing, training of having like the work that I did with Tracy Stanley in the yoga nidra training training, like my meditation teacher training, all of that stuff. I think, you know, provided that much more, I think lush experience then some of that. And so I know, I always think back to, I hope that people are seeking that level of training afterward that level of development afterwards, to continue to grow. Because now it’s hard to go into other yoga classes and I’m like, Ooh, this is Ooh. Like I’ve gone to like LA fitness yoga classes. And I’m like, Oh my God, why didn’t you, why didn’t you just cue it like that? Why would you say that? Because literally like, I’m like, are you looking around? Cause you say everybody is struggling. You’re not going to say something to help the, the aunt over here. That’s clearly not understanding your, your, your thing. Like, and so it’s, it’s hard to be in those spaces when you see that, when it’s like, I don’t know why I did this to myself. Why did I come here? But I come to this class,
Speaker 2: (51:22)
Plus once you take a yoga teacher training, you’re forever spoil. Like you ruined it for you because now you can’t go to a regular class and go, I would not have sequenced it that way. And um, why are we putting our foot here? And can you, you know what I mean? Like a hundred percent, right? You have this little bit of knowledge because when I go to yoga classes, now I pull up my mat in the top, right corner next to the wall. Cause I’m really bad at balance. And I need the wall to like reach out and just stabilize me. So I always like to be at that corner of the wall. And that way I don’t look at anybody else because I’m like, w w why is it, why is it, why isn’t she you cueing in that foot with that? Hey, Hey, why aren’t you, why are you over here helping this person?
Speaker 2: (52:01)
And I’m going to have to, I’m going to have to blindfold you. If we go to a class, I close my eyes because I’m perpetually in that teacher kind of I’m the same way too. I was like that when I was a personal trainer, like, you’d be like, you know, put that down. You’re not doing that correctly. And I have to be like surrender the teacher to become the student. I always have to say that to myself when I go in and now I’m super picky about where I practice and who I practice. I am super picky. I just don’t go to everybody’s class. And it’s all my energy, 10 minutes into the class when I’ve made a fatal mistake. Um, it’s all my energy, not to just roll up my mat, go peace out folks. I’ve got, I can’t, I can’t do this. I didn’t cover this. So I spent a lot of time practicing by myself in my, in my, uh, in my basement, right in my, it. Luckily I have a yoga studio in my house, um, that you can see all my filming stuff in the back here. But, um, yeah, I do a lot of stuff by myself. And, uh, you and I are both on yoga international and I there’s some key teachers on that platform that I’m like, okay, they get it. I can practice with them, but I’m super picky.
Speaker 3: (53:09)
Yeah. That’s one thing it’s like, it’s hard because you know, I come from like, I, and I forgot where I’ve heard it from. And maybe I read it somewhere, but it’s like, as a teacher used to teach to the room. So it’s like, even if you know, you have this, like, I have this magic sequence in my head that I want to get through. It’s like, if, if you notice that who’s in the room today, that sequence isn’t for them, it’s okay to adjust. And it’s hard when you’re in spaces where it’s like, Oh, you’re just going to go through this, regardless of what’s happening behind you. Right. Like you’re just to, you know, especially like, and I’m sure y’all have probably been in spaces where you’re like, Oh, I wish you would adjust this part. Cause like, they’re going to hurt themselves.
Speaker 3: (53:50)
I was like, Oh yeah. Like, yeah, it’s just, it’s hard. I that’s, that’s something I struggle with. It’s like now I noticed, I think in the last few months, I’ve been much more particular about, um, who I’ve taken classes with. Like, especially in the zoom era. Like I there’s been times where I’ll just stop taking the class. I won’t sign out, but I’ll just leave the zoom up. Yeah. And I’m just like, let me, let me turn the music down. Let me just, and I’m just, yeah, I’m not gonna finish this. Cause this is not for me. But you know, you have to be very particular. It’s like, yeah, yeah. I’ve, I’ve struggled with that too.
Speaker 2: (54:30)
I think I, you know, that is so true. Or if by practicing along to somebody that I tested out, that’s new. Um, and I’ll be like, Oh, so I’ll just go ahead. And because it’s zoom now, right. I’ll be off on my own tangent. Right. You know what I mean? I’ll just go ahead and do something else and I’ll look back and I’m like, okay, they’re doing something I like, I’ll roll back around. You know, I D and I both are like on our, on the Peloton app. And I appreciate like the weight training and the cycling and all that stuff, but I can’t get on board with the yoga on Peloton. It just feels like another workout. Do you know what I mean? It doesn’t feel like something bigger than let’s just sweat really hard on our Mats. And there’s a lot of really great teachers on that site, but I’ve taught, I’ve taken one and I can’t get through the whole thing.
Speaker 2: (55:14)
I can’t get past the first 10 minutes of Peloton yoga. I just can’t do it. I don’t know what it is. I’m like, Hmm. I’m going to switch over there to, you know, yoga international, or I’m going to go on YouTube or I’m just going to do my own thing. But I had yet to get past 10 minutes. Cause it does feel very like we’re just here to work out, but it feels like gym to me, that’s a gym yoga. Yeah. I know a lot of great teachers that teach at gyms. And so I’m not saying there’s anything wrong. It’s like, for me, it’s the atmosphere. Yes. I can’t walk past the weight room and grunting and then walk in. I don’t know. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (55:46)
Sometimes it depends on what you need. Right? Like sometimes I know if I need, I need some, like, I need something to touch my soul, a very spiritual, energetic base yoga. I know there are places I can go. And there are times where it’s like, all right, maybe the gym yoga is what I need. Right. Because I’m trying to, like, I want this in place of my workout for today. I just it’s again, knowing what you need and that sometimes yeah, that, that helps. Cause there are times where I’m like, like earlier this week when I went to that studio, I won’t name that. It was like, I was like, I need a hot yoga. I need hot sweaty yoga. I just need to feel in my body. I don’t care if you’re not talking about my chakras being aligned and all that kind of good stuff. I just need you to get me through this flow so I can feel into my body today.
Speaker 2: (56:27)
Yeah. I feel that way about core power. Like we don’t have core power here, but I feel that way about core power. When I’m traveling on the road, I’ll put specifically seek out a core power because I’m teaching a workshop in my feelings and we’re talking about all this heavy stuff. And I just want to go to core power and have them turn up the heat and make me do whatever. Like I just, I go, I specifically seek them out because I’m like, they’re not going to say anything problematic. Like they’re just not, but they’re not going to say anything deep either. Like they have, they have their set routine. I’m good with it. It works for me. I know what I’m getting. It’s like Mc. yoga. Right. I know what I’m getting. I get, I buy the combo, a deadline, whatever I get.
Speaker 2: (57:06)
And then I leave. So that’s a really good point. But I have to say, I have become super selective because my time is so precious. That’s something I can’t get back. Right. It’s something that, that ha that is finite for me. So I really need to, I need to really be selective of how I’m going to spend this time to the best of my ability. Yeah. I feel, I feel the same way. I feel like my, my practice for me is like you said time, and for me it’s a very spiritual time. So I am very selective as to who I allow to guide me. Yeah. Well, Shawn, we’re coming up on the hour Epic to talk to you. So good. So much fun. And I’m looking forward to, I don’t know if everybody, I don’t know. I haven’t seen it advertised yet, but this, um, but Shawn and I are doing a retreat weekend on yoga international. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (58:03)
Speaker 2: (58:05)
Yeah. No. Yeah. I believe it’s like the third week of March, like the week of March 21st. I can’t remember it’s in my calendar, but we should be seeing advertisements on it shortly. But yeah, we put together a two days self-care retreat and he’s going to do sound healing and we’re going to do some Yoga together. We’re going to, yeah, we’re going to have, we’re going to share our recipes and smoothies and I’ve made up, but like a facial we’re going to do. So it’s just a, like, like a stay at home retreat. And the good thing about it is it’s done in like modules and sections. So if you need to take a little break in the middle there’s time to like take care of your family. If you have to do that, if that’s part of your self-care process, but Shawn and I are doing a two day retreat on Yoga National, I just, I can’t say amazing. I’m excited to see you on yoga international. We need more of you on yoga.
Speaker 3: (58:56)
Thank you. Thank you. And I always say, you know, I’m, I’m excited. I’m glad that we were able to meet when we met. Um, thank you for, we need people like you that are in these spaces advocating for other people to be in these spaces. Cause if it wasn’t for you, I don’t know if they would have seen little me during the work that I’m doing. So I really appreciate, you know, you vouching and, and just inviting folks into the space to do the work for me. And I think I said this to you with like a while ago, you know, it’s always important. Um, when people kind of walk their, you know, they walk their walk, um, when they’re talking to talk and you’ve definitely, you know, since I’ve known, you have been that person that has been, you know, in line with perfect alignment with the work that you’re doing, um, and really executing on that way. So just thank you. Thank you. I really appreciate
Speaker 2: (59:44)
You are so kind, thank you so much. I got to say that when I took your sound class at the melanin yoga project, I took pictures of you and I sent it to Dana right away. I said, he needs to be on your internet. Like instantly. I was like, everybody needs to be a part of it. And representation is important. Like we don’t see people who look like us on the regular centered in these spaces. And I think it’s important for us to say, it’s, it’s good for us to center other, other voices and other body types and other experiences because everybody else learns from that who we’re centering now has been overrepresented. It’s time to center more of it’s time. And we all rise when we sent her all, when we sent to people of color and people who are most at the margins, the people are, who are discriminated against the most. We all learn so much and we all rise together. So I always feel that those voices need to be centered in our voices, need to be centered, honest to God, how can I have this platform and not use it for something other than just promoting myself? That’s ridiculous. Like that’s not the work.
Speaker 3: (01:00:49)
It’s not, it’s not, but that’s some people’s work. That is, that is what some people are doing out here on the streets. So, you know what I say, that trust me, I’m in observance of, of, of what’s happening. And, and I appreciate you using your platform in a way that is, um, you know, in alignment and honest and authentic.
Speaker 2: (01:01:08)
Thank you. I appreciate them. And we have Shawn where, where, Oh, sorry, Dianee. No, I’m going to say Shawn, where can you, where can our listeners find you?
Speaker 3: (01:01:16)
Yes, they can find me at one D thank you. I’m just excited to meet you. Like gotta keep chatting. Like this has been amazing. Um, like this didn’t even feel like a podcast interview.
Speaker 2: (01:01:35)
Yeah, no, it’s been a blessing to talk to you, Sean. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (01:01:37)
Yeah. You’re welcome. Folks can find me, um, on my website, which is just Shawn J Moore.com. Um, and then, um, I’m really active on Instagram. So that’s, uh, @ShawnJ_Moore um, and those are the best places to find me. Um, I’m pretty active and I keep my web website pretty up-to-date. Um, so any of the sound bath offerings that I have coming up, um, or any yoga classes or yoga nidra classes, um, are typically posted there.
Speaker 2: (01:02:09)
Perfect. We’ll share all that. And I will, I will link to all of that stuff in the show notes. So you’ll be able to link to Shaun’s Instagram and his website and all the people that you mentioned, Danielle Hall and Tracy Stanley we’ll link to all the resources that are available so that more of us can, can take in the goodness that is Shawn.
Speaker 1: (01:02:36)
Thank you so much for tuning into two black girls. Talk about everything podcast. We really enjoy talking to Shawn and we look forward to sharing more of his work with you. If you’re enjoying the podcast, can you do us a favor and head over to Apple podcasts, like subscribe, rate, and share it. It really helps people hear more about this podcast.