Episode 8 Collective Consciousness and Navigating Wellness Spaces with Reggie Hubbard
TWO BLACK GIRLS TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING PODCAST: EPISODE 8
I met Reggie Hubbard in a Club House Room online. The discussion we were having was about taking our yoga and spiritual practices online. Reggie was very clear about how much more productive and equitable online spaces were for Black Folxs and BIPOC practitioners. In this episode, Reggie shares his experience of being a large Black Man in white wellness spaces and in the world. He shares how he creates accessible equitable wellness spaces and practices that invite more consciousness and awareness for all of us.
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Speaker 1: (00:04)
[inaudible] Welcome to the two black girls talk about everything podcast, I’m Dianne and Im Dee. And we’re going to be talking about everything we’re talking about, yoga and fashion and just everything black girl talk about. Hey, are y’all thanks for tuning in.
Speaker 2: (00:28)
to the two black girls talk about everything podcast. I am beyond excited because I’m, Dee and I got an opportunity to talk to Reggie Hubbard, uh, who is an incredible activists online. Who’s got an interesting story, is a black man teaching yoga in what feels like very white spaces. And we have a conversation of what it’s like to show up on the mat in wellness spaces, as black folks. And he speaks to his experience in particular and how it was to transition from the, uh, physical space to the online space. This is a really interesting conversation that covers politics. He worked for Joe Biden, really interesting. When he was vice president, he talks about his talking to the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, and he brings that all together and how we talk about yoga and how we show up in spiritual spaces.
Speaker 2: (01:24)
Reggie yoga and meditation journey is born out of curiosity, forged in adversity, and has become a lesson in surrender to miracles that exist in the commitment of personal space and wellbeing. Adopting yoga discipline helped saved his life, and he’s committed to sharing these practices far and wide to help others, regardless of race identity, or an orientation or economic status. He has studied extensively with Faith Hunter, Am Ippoliti , a yoga Rupa Rod Stryker as well as a many amazing teachers, even mindful that his best teacher is himself. The eternal student, Reggie is a 500 hours certified yoga teacher and the founder, chief serving officer of active peace yoga through Active Peace Yoga. He offers Asana meditation classes to help others nurture peace of mind, creativity, equanimity, spirit, and physical health. He is all about helping everyone. So let’s listen in on a conversation that Dee and I had with Reggie, just a few moments ago to help us round out black history month. Remember all we’re all in this together. Let’s give it a listen.
Speaker 1: (02:41)
So here’s how it rolls. Reggie. We just started talking about everything. We just stopped talking. Reggie, meet Dee Dee, meet Reggie. Hi, Reggie. So good to meet you. And Reggie and I met on clubhouse. Um, he started talking with a friend of mine,
Speaker 3: (03:00)
Adrian Molina. Hey, shout out to Adrian. He introduced us. Adrian’s always like every day. Are you in clubhouse? Are you in clubhouse? I’m like, I don’t need any clubhouse. Yeah, go ahead. Read. Do you, what is it?
Speaker 4: (03:13)
So clubhouse has only worked for me in this instance where like someone’s having a conversation and then someone’s like, yo, you should come. You should come holler at me real quick. These are rooms that people are having conversations. And then someone’s like, yo, you should be a part of this conversation. And so the conversation that we connected on was something about yoga being online. And I’m like the future of yoga online or something like that. And, um, my friend Heather, because my entire teaching practice has like blossomed this way was like, yo, if anyone’s talking about this has gotta be you because like black hippie just exploded through the internet. Like he was in denial, pre pandemic pandemic, especially after George Floyd was killed. There were just like, yo brother, it’s you like? Right, sure. Right. But coming from the activist space, it wasn’t really that hard for me.
Speaker 3: (04:07)
So the reason I wanted to talk to Reggie, you said something in that clubhouse chat that is spinning in my head to this day, because you said your entire teaching of asana, postural yoga and yoga, and the yoga that you teach has always been online. And it was a much safer space for you. I think you said, as I think you said you were a 6.5, like you said, you were a big dude.
Speaker 4: (04:29)
Speaker 3: (04:32)
Six two. And that when you were coming into the, like the yoga spaces that we know are that are very white centered and while this is very white centered, that you felt much safer as a person of color coming into the space online. And then that’s when I texted you, I need to talk to you about this says two black women in the space. We can, we can attest to what it feels like to be often the only person of color in the space, or to be questioned on our teaching. People asking us for credentials or whatever it is, or just not feeling comfortable in the space, even though we’re in charge of the space in that moment, like we’re a teacher. And so I, that really struck a chord with me. And I said to Dee, we have to talk to him and I want you, I want to hear your experience of teaching online. Like I’ve been teaching online since 2012. So I want to hear your experience. I want you to relate that experience you talked about in the clubhouse, because I think it’s important for people to hear those.
Speaker 4: (05:26)
Yeah. So one, um, great to be with you. Great to connect. Um, I wore my purple shirt just for you, right? So got my purple active T-shirt on for the purple hair for the purple one. You know, we’re, we’re, we’re invoking St Prince into the space. Uh, so I, um, you know, as someone who could be confused, um, to the unenlightened mind as an American football player, um, when I would go into studio spaces, like it just wasn’t, you know, outside, I mean, my yoga practice matured in Colorado, which is definitely not the most diverse space. Um, but, um, as I traveled like domestically in the, in the States, even overseas, I just, in many ways in my life I’ve been the color line, you know what I mean? So I went to Yale university, you know, I worked for Joe Biden back in the day, like when he was vice-president, you know what I mean?
Speaker 4: (06:19)
Like I’m used to being the freckle on the face. I’m used to that, but the yoga space was completely different. And not only was it non diverse in terms of, um, like melanin, but it was also non-diverse in terms of gender. The challenge for me was always, um, and I had a situation where, um, I basically had to, like, I had to teach white people about lynching, honestly, because I was in a studio space where long story short someone was like, people feel uncomfortable around you let’s have a conversation about that. And I was like, okay, let’s unpack all of this. Um, you know what? I come into class, those rocks that I set at the top of my mat, those are my prayer beads. So when I’m setting that up, that is my Puja. That’s my offering of myself to the practice, which has nourished and nurtured me may, may the fruits of my practice benefit others.
Speaker 4: (07:19)
That is what I’m doing. So y’all white folks come in here so you can rush through it and go drink wine afterwards. Like I’m cleansing and healing here. So that’s number one, number two, I was like, have you ever heard of like strange fruit? So what that means? They’re like, uh, I was like so strange through connotes when people would throw assumptions that people who look like me and we will be hanging from trees. And those assumptions normally were codified from the statement of just like, boy, you scare this white woman. So you tell me that people feel uncomfortable around me. You’re invoking something that I don’t think you’re ready to have that conversation. And they were like, Oh, well, that’s not what we meant. That’s not what you stop, stop that you, you said you wanted to keep it real. And like I’m invoking like centuries of history to inform your perspective.
Speaker 4: (08:20)
So number one, refund me my money. Right? Number two. Don’t you mention the word lawyer again, like I went to Yale, my lawyers are better than yours. And lastly, like blood and peace to you. Thank you for the opportunity to practice patience and grace. Yeah. Oh. And then the woman started crying and stuff. And I was at the end, when that happens, welcome to the practice of yoga, SIS, like you wanted to have a truthful conversation, black hippy dropped knowledge and then gave you prayer hands. And that makes you upset. This is the practice you’re outta here. And you own the studio child, please get out of here. So that was my predominant experience in studio spaces. So as I became a teacher, you know, um, let me, I’ll stand up for you. Like, I’m a big boy. I’m a big dude, right? Like we loop de loop.
Speaker 4: (09:17)
I used to be a ballet dancer back in the day, Vinyasa style didn’t really work for black hippy You know what I mean? Like a more of a hopper style. I need to go from pose to pose. Like my Prince classes are flowy and wild and free, but the classes I teach are accessible. So we’ll hold share. Then we’ll do this then we’ll we’ll, we’ll do it all again when we’re fluidly. But the studio space just was never very welcoming. You know, whether it be because of a gender perspective or a size perspective, or, you know, another thing I heard you all talking about not being seen as teachers, when I became a teacher, I would be in the front end. Sukasana them have the set up next to me? Where’s the teacher. Yeah. I’ve had that happen too. I’ll tell y’all. Well, we never held plank posts so long. I was like, y’all trying to be, y’all trying to make Reggie X come out. I’m trying to be peace and love. You know what I’m saying? Seriously. Right. So that’s where I was coming from with that. So whether it be because gender stuff, or size stuff or race stuff, or the combination of all of those things, the studio space never felt comforting. So online, this is my dojo. Like this is my space, you know what I mean? Like we got Marvin over
Speaker 3: (10:35)
Here. I see Bob Marley back there too.
Speaker 4: (10:38)
We got Prince Prince and Marvin Gaye. Yeah. That sign of the times got a little spider plant. You know what I mean? Got my little like Indonesian, like, like
Speaker 3: (10:49)
Marvin, Marvin Gaye from hearing you for a minute, he looked like Bob Marley from it, from back here and I haven’t got my glasses on, but that’s amazing. I mean, I, I feel you and Dee and I have had this conversation in a previous podcast about teaching as black women, how you’re instantly dismissed and everybody needs to know what’s your lineage and who trained you and how like, and I’m just like, really, you don’t ask any other teacher that you come in, you sit down and you take the class. And it was really interesting to me, for you to talk about how, how much better the online space was for you, because you don’t have to deal with that. And I liked, I kinda liked that level of distance that the online space gives me. I still feel community when I’m teaching online, but I still, I like that level of distance where I’m not getting that creepy energy because people are somehow uncomfortable.
Speaker 4: (11:38)
Yeah. And that’s the other thing too, you choose to come to me now you find me. Right. And so like, when you come to me, I’m like, you’re coming to me for a reason. So there’s more control from that. And I’m glad that you brought that up because that’s probably more subconscious aspect of that is just like, if you come on my schedule and it says Prince wild and free, you know, that it is going to be Prince based and wild and free. So you come into that. So I don’t have to tiptoe around like whatever, you know what I mean? Or if I say hatha breath work and Nidra, then you come and like, that’s what you’re getting. Like when you would have like a steady in a studio, you would sub at a studio, um, you, you did kind of have to tiptoe to some extent, like, um, you know, because the one thing I’ll also share is that in my 500 hour training, I taught in a space, lovely people, but I just wasn’t their style.
Speaker 4: (12:35)
And, um, they were just like, so would you be interested in teaching here? And I’m like, I don’t do like Surya A-B I mean, I do it one week and then the next week I’ll do this. It’s more like, so Faith Hunter is my 200 hour teacher. Faith is like, I love, yeah. I love to see Goddess, you know what I mean? So whatever comes out comes out. And, and some days it’s Vinyaya, some days it’s Hatha, some days it’s true Vinyasa, which is breath and movement align. Right. As opposed to just like gymnastics and I’m gonna do all this other crazy stuff. Right. So that I’m, what am I, 500 hour class. They were just like, you know, people are asking for your class. I’m like, I’m not really comfortable with, because like, I don’t want to teach it in your studio. And then you have your complaints about it because my style doesn’t fit your clientele. Right. So like I’ll organize, Faith taught us this too. I will organize my classes. So, you know, you’re, we’re, we’re building like we’re building something here as opposed to being so haphazard, which is, you know, not, it, it also opens you up to that little, you know, suggestion box thing on the bottom, like leave comments. I just wasn’t cut or whatever it is. Right. Cause we all, we all know what that means for us. A hundred percent wasn’t comfortable
Speaker 1: (13:51)
And Reggie. And how does that, how do you feel that has that having that barrier, that energy barrier being online, how has that enhanced your teaching skills, your practice yourself? You know,
Speaker 4: (14:05)
That’s a beautiful question in that. I’m so I’m such a yoga geek. Like the past week I’ve been in like kosha training with Yod Stryker and my friends, like he’s Rods by he’s like, koshers with Rod and mindfulness with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brock. So like that was the past seven days of my life. So online, I have to touch your heart.
Speaker 1: (14:33)
Speaker 4: (14:33)
I have to give you my best. Right. I have to somehow use energy, which we all are. Right. So use my energy to connect with yours and draw you in because every one of their mama’s on, on the computer. So not from a formative aspect, but just have such a generative loving, like irresistible quality that is transmitted through the ether, into your heart. Like, I don’t have the, I don’t have the, I can’t do physical assists. And to some extent I have to like give you a vibe where you feel comfortable practicing the way you feel. So what I’m doing is using my energy to be really nerdy about it. So like, so the energy body I’m basically projecting out. So you feel safe in your safety comes back to me. And we just have a bubble where I talk philosophy and we do breath.
Speaker 4: (15:28)
And then you do whatever movement calls out to you because another critical component that I’ve heard positive feedback from, is that the way that I teach, we have usually a universal warmup. We’re all doing the same thing. Then I start to encourage like your thing, right? We all have the same background. So what is your body calling out in you? Do you want to work on balance? What inversion and I’ll offer the A, B, C, or D, and then by the end, I’m like, so you’re, so we had the same foundation. We warmed up our scales. Like you’ve been working in your section now, can we be the symphony? Now I can only be the orchestra. So for the final three or four minutes of class, like if I play music, even if I don’t play music, I’m like, what is calling out to be expressed? And what it does is people, they usually close their eyes and they just it’s this whole energetic vortex of like freedom and creativity, which is hard to pull off. But, you know, rather than me being okay, so left leg has, is right to the blah, blah, blah. You know, cues have got to be more spiritual.
Speaker 4: (16:41)
Yeah. Right. And you have to be precise with your cues for sure. But you also have to hold space.
Speaker 4: (16:49)
And like, what I found is that people now it’s, um, and to your point, Dianne, the embodied practice over zoom in your house is why I started teaching in the first place is so you can live this practice in your life. So when someone says some dumb stuff to you, you can, you know, I, I usually have a warm up like this, where we used to be pop locks or this, that, or the other. And I was like, y’all when I’m on zoom meetings that are too long at work, I cut off the camera and do that.
Speaker 5: (17:18)
Speaker 4: (17:21)
Oh yeah. Embodiment. Or someone says something sideways to you and you know, in the world, cause that never happens. Right. Shoulders back and down and health through the nose, navel to spine and exhale out the nose engaged. Right. So people are like, you say that a lot. I was like, that’s what I did during the impeachment of Donald Trump. I’d be in these strategy meetings about ready to call someone to 13, 14 letter password. And I’m like, I really shouldn’t call you a in Capitol, but I really, so what can I do to keep it together, shoulders back and through the nose, out through the nose. Well, blah, blah, blah. You know what I mean? So the cues that I give are derivative of lived experience and that’s something that you can transmit more. And the other thing that this, this form being opera is narrative.
Speaker 4: (18:11)
If you can’t spend a yarn, this ain’t for you. It’s true. That’s a hundred percent, right. So story telling and that energetic bubble of like creativity yields to, I mean, I got this text earlier today from a class I taught on the heels of my so mindfulness and kosha training. So my classes today, everyone’s just like, right. Um, this woman was just like, you were so in tune with what we all had, what we all were feeling that was amazing. I’m like you, the body and you all know this, but it bears repeating is the biggest receptor. It’s an antenna. So at higher levels of practice through this medium, you’re receiving all of this, then what do you do with that information? How do you, how do you take that and then offer it from heart
Speaker 3: (19:04)
A hundred percent and do it in a really engaging and authentic way online. And you spoke to one of my, about one of my idols. I have been following Prince since 1982. Um, yeah, I had the first album I ever got a Prince was controversy and I was playing it on my dad’s stereo in the basement. And my mother came flying down the stairs and was like, you need to turn that down. So your brother and sister can hear all the things like, you know, if there was a lot going on in that album. And it was funny because we are friends with Annie Moyer who owns sun and moon yoga studio, who is also another huge Prince fan and has named her dog Prince as well. And, uh, I’ve been in Minneapolis three times and all three times I’ve gone to Paisley park and only made a fool of myself once.
Speaker 3: (19:50)
Like once I, the one time I only almost got kicked out. Uh, cause the first time I went to Paisley park, his ashes were in, um, when you walked through the front door, it has like a pyramid and his ashes were up in the pyramid. And they’re not there anymore. Last time I went, they weren’t there, but they were up in the pyramid and you feel, you feel Prince, you feel his energy. When you walk into Paisley park, you hit him like a door. Like you can literally hear him whispering in your ear, honest to God. And so I walk into Paisley Park and I literally lay down cause his symbols on the floor, in the front for you there, I literally laid, in honest to God, I literally laid down, head down, my mom and him had the same birthday. And so I literally laid down on the, on the floor and take it all in. And then of course they tell me to get up because I really, this was a few, this is five years ago. They told me to get up and I’m like, okay, sorry. So I get up. Um, I went last year.
Speaker 4: (20:42)
I’m not the first person who’s done this.
Speaker 3: (20:45)
I was trying to figure out ways to hide, because there’s rooms you can go into and look at his stuff and I’m sure other people do the same thing. Cause I need to get up to his personal living quarters. Like next time I go, I’m going to buy that tour. Cause you can get a tour and go up into his personal living quarters and have his chef make you a meal. So that’s what I’m going to do next. But the last time I went or the first time I went, uh, I was on the tour with a bunch of people who I think just came to Minneapolis and it was an afterthought to come to Paisley park. And you know, the, the tour guide is all like, um, who knows blah, blah, blah. And like me and people are like in line going, how are you related to him? I’m like come to the park and not know I hear him in here. Like when we go to,
Speaker 1: (21:29)
Let me go into Graceland, talking about who’s Elvis
Speaker 3: (21:35)
And you go into his studio and you get to hear some music that he was working on when he passed. And literally I’m standing in a studio and the, you know, the production area, like you’re standing outside where the musicians are and he, the glass where the, you know, where the, the table and all that’s happening is behind this glass. And if you look real careful, you can see him sitting behind that glass like Paisley park, you feel Prince in you, you are forever changed. And you know, I, there’s no way I’m going to Minneapolis and not going out. I mean, it’s out in the suburbs yet. It’s a pretty expensive, um, Uber ride, but it is
Speaker 1: (22:08)
Worth every penny.
Speaker 3: (22:11)
If you ever get into Dee have you ever get to go to Minneapolis you must go to
Speaker 1: (22:14)
To go to Paisley Park I,
Speaker 3: (22:16)
And yeah. So the last time I went with my friend, Jackie and she had the same reaction. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (22:20)
I looked down and she’s kneeling on the floor on the Prince side. I’m like, okay, it’s not just me. Seemed like it was just me.
Speaker 3: (22:32)
I mean, I love that idea that you’re infusing Prince music and letting people have their own experience of the practice. And I think that’s really important that we give autonomy back to our students. I think that’s part of the practice of letting people be free. And part of the practice of Moksha or liberation is allowing people to have their own practice without my lens or my influence. Right. And that’s going to happen
Speaker 1: (22:57)
With it being online with your students in their home. They’re going to be, I got my space set up. I I’ll flow. Like I’ve never flown it off in a yoga space, right on your own.
Speaker 3: (23:10)
I feel it might be a lot more accessible for people of color and people from other identities that are constantly pushed in the margins when they can be in their own space and just have their own experience. And we as teachers giving them permission to do so, because I think we’ve been trained that we have to listen to the teacher and it’s only right in the way that the teacher says it’s right. And that postural yoga can only be done one way. Do you know what I mean? Like Vinyasa is the only way or Hatha the only way or yin is the only way or whatever it is, but we can infuse all those things into a practice because the yoga is not the right. The yoga is the, is the living skills that you learn from the philosophy and all the things that you move out into.
Speaker 4: (23:55)
It’s the totality of that embodied experience. Right? So like one of the things, you know, and you’re just picking on, on what you said is that, um, that’s just what I’ve been offering. Right? It’s like, since the pandemic hit, I’m like, well,
Speaker 1: (24:06)
That’s what I got.
Speaker 4: (24:10)
So like now, um, when people who are newer to my style when I’m like, so now what do you got there? Like, did you just cue that? I can do what I feel like doing right. You’re warmed up. Like you broke a sweat. We have touched every, I mean, we’re all yoga nerds here. So like my warm-up, we touch every joint. We touch every muscular group and I check, we touch all the chakras. Like we, like, we are lit, relied up. So when I say flow, do you get right? Because to your point, that is what we need in this earth right now. That’s what we need in this life right now. Like, you know, the rules, they never worked for the majority. They definitely didn’t work them for minority. So now all bets are off. So do you, that’s my
Speaker 3: (25:05)
Motto in yoga, I say,
Speaker 1: (25:15)
And what’s wrong with that? Right, exactly. And I call it, I learned this from
Speaker 3: (25:21)
One of my teachers when I took my 200 hour teacher training. Her name was, uh, her name is Nancy McCoachan and she, um, had this thing called Yogi playtime. So she do the same thing. We would all warm up together. We’d all do whatever necessary poses. We were hips, open shoulders, open chakra’s align, all the things. And then she would set aside like 15 minutes in a class of Yogi playtime. And, you know, the hand standers would run to the wall and be jumping around in their advanced arm balances. And somebody inevitably would just be laying in Shavasana or child’s pose or something really restful. And she would just walk around the room and let people do whatever. And I took that from my 200 hour teacher training and incorporated it into all of my teachings because I am all about accessibility and accessibility.
Speaker 3: (26:05)
Can’t be what I think you need, especially if you’ve only met five minutes ago or we are interacting online and I’m not seeing the totality of your body or you feel like, you know, I’m not ready to kind of be in the space. So I’m going to turn off my camera and just listen, because I’m an auditory learner and I want to close my eyes and I want to be in the, vibe that way. I don’t want to be distracted by the camera. I can’t see you. So I want to give people permission to have their experience of yoga and not what I think their experience of yoga should be. And I think when we get up and caught up in like the guru principle of stuff and we lay all our power at the feet of a particular guru whose dogma, sometimes it limits what we think our, we believe our bodies can do or what we think or what we believe the Asana means to us or what we think or what we believe the philosophy means to us. We narrow our minds and we become really caught up in that cyclical oppression, because now at the head of this particular lineage, it’s this belief system. And if you step right to left of that belief system, because it doesn’t apply to you now you’re somehow the problem.
Speaker 4: (27:05)
Right. And you know, the other thing I would offer is that like, um, to your point I taught today, I was like, so whatever you’re naturally inclined to do, don’t do that because like your comfort zone is the limited viewpoint that we aren’t even aware of sometimes. Right. So like, people are like, I’m like, yeah. So what you’re naturally inclined to do have proudly, I’ve been in mindfulness training for the past six days and I’m going into Vipassana next week. So pray for me because,
Speaker 3: (27:40)
Because I know I can’t do vipassana. I can’t, you’ve done it. You’ve done the, Oh no. Okay. I am Reggie. I know who I am and I’m not that person yet.
Speaker 4: (27:53)
I’ll email y’all on the 13th and let you know how I did or whatever. But like, I am, I’m just like, so I’m aware that what you are used to doing is sometimes not what you need to do anymore. That’s true. But if we don’t offer the space to explore that, then people get caught up in what they’re comfortable. And comfort is cool when it pertains to safety, but not as it pertains to progress, progress and growth, a hundred percent exactly.
Speaker 3: (28:22)
How do we bring these practices to, uh, communities of color? How do we break over the barrier that keeps community of color out of, out of these spaces? What are some of your thoughts?
Speaker 4: (28:32)
Reggie? I see that two ways. One is that, um, so one of my, one of my white friends in the space is just like, you’re the it thing now. I was like, Oh, well, it meant I’m just getting started, baby. You know what I mean? You know,
Speaker 3: (28:45)
Thanks since Floyd, George, George Floyd died. Right?
Speaker 4: (28:53)
Yeah. That’s true. And what I know about culture is that like, why people go back to sleep? I’m sorry, it’s going to happen. However, while you’re awake, hear these words, right. So what I’m doing now is wow, there is an awakening in the consciousness. I’m everywhere, everywhere by choice. Because when people see us, they’re more inclined to think about it. It’s on thing from a mapping perspective. Right. So if I show up like this, like all the time
Speaker 3: (29:32)
For those of you, this is a podcast you’re not seeing, he’s picking out his fro, making it as round as and beautiful. Remember where Prince had his baby fro. That’s what it looks like. So if
Speaker 4: (29:42)
I show up in a interview like this, yeah. And as teacher
Speaker 1: (29:48)
Speaker 4: (29:49)
There. Oh my God. Yeah. Black hippie, whatever. Right. Or, you know, so that, that’s the macro level. The other level is that. So one of the interesting things that happened this weekend is that, um, in, in the mindfulness training is that they talked a lot about like diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Um, and we have to take that somehow. Like, so I come from an activist background. So like work from Iran, like Britain, presidential politics for awhile. And we have to be kind of activists in our work. Right. So remind my friends, you know, everything. So I did something for wanderlust this month. And the last meditation I taught, I got like into like the elders space and was just like, I hope that you have paid attention for the past four weeks. And could you please remember that black teachers exist on March the first?
Speaker 1: (30:41)
Thank you. Thank you.
Speaker 4: (30:44)
Can you please remember that I’m still black and teaching and the profundity that you heard for the past four weeks is still available to you and not just from me, but from X, Y Zed, iota Delta. Right? So, Oh, yes. I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, but guess what? Like I got into work, I got in trouble, quote unquote, at work one time. They’re like, you know, you always remind us of your qualifications. I’ll say, because if I don’t, you forget that I exist. And so like, stop it. Right. So similarly, those of us who have any measure of platform have got to be unapologetic and being like, could you remember hello? Right. So we went from a macro, like example to like us using like us to remind other folks in the last thing I was there. One of the last things is that, um, we have to go, it’s kind of like, I call it the underground railroad approach. You know what I mean? Like
Speaker 1: (31:44)
Speaker 4: (31:48)
Do it in a way, whether it be organizing classes or, you know, one of the things I’m going to do more of is like, I’m going to teach teachers. Right. Because I have something to offer different, like from all my lived experience. And when I am the teacher of teachers or running a program or assisting in a program, I know what I’m looking for.
Speaker 1: (32:10)
Yeah. A hundred percent, a hundred percent.
Speaker 4: (32:14)
Those are, those are some thoughts. And then, you know, I keep, you know, it’s kinda like, I’m going to tell you a little bit about my yoga story. Like, um, people were on me to do yoga for like 10 years before I tried.
Is it becase they call you the hippie. Is it, is it that
Speaker 4: (32:30)
I was, I was like, no, I mean, I was peaceful, but I would just get hot in a second. You know what I mean? I know that I
Speaker 3: (32:40)
Speaker 4: (32:41)
So like loving grace, loving grace,
Speaker 3: (32:45)
Totally peace and love and you too. That’s me.
Speaker 4: (32:49)
Right. Like peace love. And you talking to me. Right. So all of that, like in like a minute, you know what I mean? So just like, I can relate, like, you know, Reggie, you know, you should try this yoga thing. Uh, and I was like, I ain’t no white girl. I ain’t gonna do no yoga stuff, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. On this thing. And they kept at me and they kept at me. And eventually I was like, so being a little bit more specific, I had applied for two amazing jobs and made it to the top two for both and got neither
Speaker 3: (33:35)
Stacey Abrams moment there,
Speaker 4: (33:38)
Night of the soul, you know what I mean? Just like journal entries and like all the things. And, um, then I made a checklist. I was like, okay. So once I got up or like the tears and all that other stuff, I was like, okay, I’m going to do things that only lower. My blood pressure are beautiful and artsy.
Speaker 3: (33:59)
Um, that’s Dee in a nutshell, Dee’s that chill vibe. She does artsy stuff. You should follow Dee you should follow Dee that he just described you. D did you feel that he just described you in? It’s like,
Speaker 4: (34:16)
And she was like, you should come with me to yoga. And I’m like, lower blood pressure. Beautiful artsy. Cool. And so I went and like, I didn’t know that it would become all this like brands. I didn’t know. It will be all this thing, but I know that me saying yes to that has been like the thing that is like completely transformed my life from years ago until now. And I’m very explicit when I share my story, because number one, men don’t emote like this. I’m completely, I’m acutely aware of that. So, Hey, I’m trying to give permission through my example of what the power of yoga offers for your body, your mind, your emote life, your entire experience. So for me, I, in addition to the one way I talked about, um, I just, when I went to share I’m raw, like raw open, like, you know, like I told you, like, I first started practicing to not curse out my boss, you know, like she was black.
Speaker 4: (35:20)
And I was like, I really can’t say that, Oh my God, it was right there. Like that, that I’ll try this yoga thing again. Right. So people that’s real to them, especially people of color, because like the, the, the languaging that we use. Um, and I’ve seen you talk a lot about this. Like the language is not even accessible. Yeah. So what I did on the wanderlust platform, and I told them, I was like, you sure you want to give me this much autonomy, because like, you sure, um, I talked about self-love or I talked about joy. Like they want, they everyone’s upset right now. And I was like, so let me tell you about resilience. Like black and Brown folks have had to be joyfully defiant because the master culture was here to oppress us. So we had to be happy. Cause y’all took everything else away. You ain’t taking my joy. Yeah. A hundred percent. And so that was my one meditation and on Valentine’s day, right. That was number one. I was like, you
Speaker 3: (36:17)
Sure. A hundred percent, but that’s good. That’s
Speaker 4: (36:20)
Awesome. So the second one that was on Valentine’s day, a washer, does it hate, will never make America great. And I talked about love and like radical love and service to other people, which is what the elders have done for us. That was like, so can we, cause this is how black and Brown people think, right? Like the, Oh my goodness, love yourself. Can blah, blah, blah. I ain’t worried about no self care. When a cop can put his knee on my neck, I’m trying to stay alive right now. You know what I mean? This love and like garbage doesn’t really say that in to me. Whereas if I talk about self love, like Audra Lorde talks about as like, as a radical act, that’s where we’re coming from. So I love myself, not as refuge for the world, but to engage with the world more presently, more fully and more powerfully. So that’s how I language my black history. My meditation’s. So for black and Brown people, they’re like, this is brother. Holy. Wow. Right. And I, I’m blessed to be able to articulate in a way where white folks don’t run away.
Speaker 3: (37:28)
I think there’s, there’s an energy to you. And there’s a sense of, um, I don’t want to call it whimsy, but this interesting comedy, the way it feels to me that you share yoga as the same way, I get educated by DL Hughley. Like what have you like whenever, he has a way of telling stories of black folks and talking about racism and all those things. I listened to his book on audible because I like his voice. And I follow him on Instagram. And he was talking about, um, white people. What was the name of his book? It’s like white people’s things. White people say to stop getting black people killed or had a title like that. It’s somewhere around here. But I find the way your delivery is very much like that. There’s a little bit of humor. You’re saying it. You’re, you know, you’re saying it and you’re almost joke, not someone’s jovial, but there’s a friendliness to you that I think disarms white folks.
Speaker 3: (38:16)
And so maybe they’re more apt to listening because when I teach about anti-racism work, I do it with a little bit of humor because I want them to stay engaged because if you make them feel too. Yeah. Or if they have to be in their feelings for too long, inevitably one of them gets fully in their feelings. I just had this happen this past weekend, a woman got fully in her feelings and came from me like in the last 15 minutes of an anti-racism workshop I was doing, she fully came or me and completely centered herself in the conversation. And I had to take 16 breaths. I counted before I put her on, before I was ready to put her on blast in front of everybody,
Speaker 1: (38:52)
Like, okay, she’s feeling some kind of way. And now she’s invoking her white privilege in this space. And now she’s centering her story in the space. And then she’s telling me that I can’t speak on my experience as a black person, for which I have a doctorate. So that’s so that all three of us here have a doctor, a doctorate in our own lived experience. I can’t speak on this, on how it intersects with whiteness, because somehow your feelings are hurt because you haven’t been heard in some gun away.
Speaker 1: (39:16)
Yeah, no. Yeah, no. So the whole thing Blew up, fell apart, fell the ashes. I said, what I had, I said what? I said, she said what she said. And then I said what I said, and then, um, everybody’s in conversation. And then all the white people on this call are like, they don’t know their faces fall and they don’t know what’s happening. And the black people on this call are in the chat box going well and on mute and them’s up. Well, you were okay. When this happened, like deconstructed into a huge mess. And for five minutes, I was like, Whoa,
Speaker 1: (39:54)
Speaker 3: (39:56)
Okay. She said that. And then she said that, and then I had the organization emailing me. And they’re all like, cause it’s, it’s run by two white folks and they are lost. They are lost in the sauce. They don’t know. And they have black people who volunteer for this organization who are like, you shouldn’t have let this happen. And she shouldn’t been able to do this. And where were the allies? And the whole thing just kind of fell apart. But I think these are productive things like I’m grateful to see that happen in that space because now we know who let’s just call her Karen. Now we know what Karen is feeling right now. We know how Karen is, um, chooses her identity. She’s she’s white when it’s convenient for her or she’s another, um, you know, she’s a white passing person. So whatever ethnicity she is, you can’t see it by looking at her. So she invokes that when it’s convenient. Right. And that’s what happened in the space. And it was just, I was grateful. The whole thing fell apart in the moment. I was
Speaker 1: (40:53)
Like, not happy about
Speaker 3: (40:55)
It, but five days later, has it been five days, five days later, I processed it. And I’m like, that’s good. This gives everybody something to think about, including the person who ended up.
Speaker 1: (41:06)
Yeah. I was just going to say that, right.
Speaker 3: (41:08)
She had to sit with her discomfort and then she tried to lay it on me and I didn’t pick it up. Like you like what your dad says, Dee don’t claim it. I didn’t claim it. I heard you. I heard you in my head.
Speaker 1: (41:18)
Don’t claim that that’s her. That’s her stuff. Yeah. And so I said it back to the organization.
Speaker 3: (41:26)
That’s why these conversations happen. These are why black voices need to be centered in these spaces. That’s why people who traditionally get shoved out of the conversation need to be pulled back into the conversation and sent and experiences centered so that you can see the impact you have when you pull this kind of garbage in this. And the fact that you don’t give credit to black creators, black artists, we get one month, a year and half of you complain that somehow this is privileged that we get to learn about our own history one month out of the year. And I just think it’s ridiculous. Like every black history month I’m like 15 other things. I didn’t know. Like that was never
Speaker 4: (42:03)
Taught to me yesterday. Your post yesterday blew my mind, Betty Boop and like all that other stuff like that one got me. Like, I’m, I’m pretty, I’m pretty hip and keen on that. But then I was like, Oh, of course, of course, of course
Speaker 3: (42:19)
I knew about Betty boop. A long time. It hurt my feelings. The first time I heard it, I might’ve learned that about like five or six, um, black history months ago, but it never fails. And I’m like, we created that too. Like, you know what I mean? Like it never, it never fails. And I just, and then there’s always that one person who’s like, how can you guys get a whole month? I go because you get everything else. Like the other 11 months out of the year are all about white history. Pick up your money and take a look at it. There’s your history every year,
Speaker 4: (42:49)
Speaker 3: (42:50)
Just to open up your wallet and look at the coins in your wallet, look at the people on your money. That’s your history. We have a woman of color. We have a black woman, a black Canadian on our $10 bill. And it’s only taken us forever. Um, a couple of years ago, couple years ago, maybe three or four years ago. Uh, Viola, Viola, Desmond. Um, I still, I got handed one the other day. Like, Oh, every time I get it, I put it away. Like it’s $10. It’s adding up. But every time I’m going to get an extending, this, her face is so beautiful. But I mean, how long is it going to get you? Is it going to take for somebody to put somebody else on your money to acknowledge that America is built on the backs of indigenous people in the back and the blacks on the backs of enslaved Africans? Like when are you going to acknowledge that in your history, in your everyday history? Right? Because black history is collective history. Black history is all of our history, but we have to have our own month because otherwise we wouldn’t get recognized at all..
Speaker 4: (43:47)
Right. Yeah. And it’s just one of those things I want to reflect on your story and that, like, I’m glad that it fell apart because you got to show up as like empowered black leader. Right? Like, man, that’s cute. Right. This is my, this is my house. You can take that outside. Okay. Oh yeah. Now I deal with that. Right. So like they need that experience sometimes. And I’ll share one thing. I had a job review at one point where someone’s like, you know, you come across as intimidating. I was like, why don’t you just call me? N I G G E R. Just say it
Speaker 3: (44:27)
In front of it too. Right? Like make sure you get it right, right. Not a E R
Speaker 4: (44:32)
To say it. Right. And then, you know, their mouth dropped and they got emotional. I was like, are you saying what you just said? Yeah. But they had never had someone buck up at them like that. So my Baltimore came out. I’m just like, in my review, you ain’t gonna tell me this. Like you come across as, you know, you come across as racist
Speaker 1: (44:55)
Period. Right. Stop
Speaker 4: (44:58)
I’d venture to say, that’s the only time that they’ve ever had that experience. Because what we normally do,
Speaker 1: (45:05)
That’s our dual consciousness. Right. And you start backing up.
Speaker 4: (45:08)
Right. But yoga, because there’s not, there’s, non-duality at some level. I’m just like, no, like you called me, you’re racist and I’m not taking that. Like, would you say don’t claim it. I’m gonna take that one. Don’t claim it. That’s yours.
Speaker 1: (45:23)
I got that from Dee that rolls around in my head all day. Now I’m like, Hmm. Not claiming it. Something that was like, Hmm. Not claiming it. And that I heard you in my head last week when the whole thing, the whole thing descended into total chaos. I just watched it. And then, because if you take it, if you take it personal, like I always look at it like this. She was that way. We’re going to go back to your story. She was that way before she showed up, she didn’t, she wasn’t Jewish appear. Exactly. Right. Have it learn from it and apply what you have learned. That’s right. A hundred percent. So as we come up on almost an hour, tell us where we can practice with you. Like I’m coming to your Prince Class. We’re like, how do I find you? What are you doing next? Where are you in the world? How we, how can we be in your vibe?
Speaker 4: (46:19)
Well, thank you for that. So number one, uh, www.active peaceyoga.com, Reggie global on Instagram active peace, yoga on Instagram. Like those are my main, my main, uh, my main, my main spots. Uh, the next Prince class will be on around April, so
Speaker 1: (46:36)
Right time for my birthday then,
Speaker 4: (46:38)
And like his passing. Right. So we always commemorate the passing. So sometimes it snows in April. I was like, why are you at the die in April Prince?
Speaker 1: (46:48)
Perfect. Every single way.
Speaker 4: (46:54)
Yeah. Yeah. Went back for a second. But yes,
Speaker 1: (47:02)
Speaker 4: (47:11)
So thePrince class will be there. I’m um, so next week, uh, I’m part of this thing called the wellbeing project, which is actually pretty cool. Um, Parker, Palmer, Sharon Salzberg, me and a sister out of Oakland. I’m forgetting her name right now are going to talk about somatic awareness and like global activism spaces. Right? So basically my ridiculous life experience, I did my 200 hour training and 300 hour training while flipping the house of representatives and being the lead strategist on impeachment for Donald Trump. So I got my teacher training while in the resistance, the reason why I can speak to yoga as discipline, because like the discipline practice of yoga allowed me to like, be a conduit for some wild stuff. Right. So now how do I take that and share that with other people? Right. So, you know, one of the things that I’ve done in my activist career, um, the first half of it was the wrong way.
Speaker 4: (48:09)
Right? So like curse everybody out, like eat, you know, like have bourbon and cigarettes for breakfast and then like call someone, lunch. You know what I mean? So like, it just like all that. So like, so that was the first half of my political career, the second half, you know, at the end of the past four years, I’m just a little bit tired. Thank you. You know? So not like, Oh my goodness. And frazzled, you know, I could take a long nap every once in a while. Cause what I’ve been through, but these practices have sustained me. Um, I’m now in deeper training, like I said, with Jack and Tara and rod and other folks. So like how do I share this wisdom with other people? So we’re doing it with Sharon Salzberg and Parker Palmer next week. I’m on the 9th of March. That’s my son’s birthday.
Speaker 4: (48:54)
Um, what else? Always something in the mix, you know what I mean? So, uh, so caught up, do you post all that stuff on the gram? Um, also, I mean, in, in true Prince fashion, because like the two patron saints of active piece are Prince. So this lotus, is black prayer hands and purple Lotus that’s purple rain. That’s three that’s, uh, Swara. Like that’s all beauty, divine wisdom. The other patron Saint is, and it’ll be perfect. It’s the flame flame logo. Nice Jimi Hendrix. Right. So when he was at Woodstock talking about let’s go, right. So this is my activist side fire center, right? So we merged like personal power and cosmic beauty. That’s active peace. So activepeaceyoga.com. I keep all that stuff there on the Instagram and yeah, the springtime, I think will be pretty, pretty, pretty planned, but yeah, Prince for sure. We’ll be in mid April.
Speaker 1: (49:55)
That’s awesome. Awesome. Well, we’re going to link to all that. I’ve been making notes as you’re talking, we’re the link to the all that in the show notes, you, my friend have been fire. It’s been a real pleasure to talk to you. And it’s a real pleasure as turns up as I am like, are you, are you a, you’re an air, are you an air sign? Yes. That makes sense. Because you were turned up just like me, like all the things you say, I’m like, Ooh, I got in trouble for that too. I always said that too. Oh yeah. That’s funny. I can feel it. I can feel that fire in you that air in that water, in that fire. So I appreciate your energy. I appreciate you showing up as a black man in wellness spaces and speaking. Right. We need more of that. Right. It’s just beautiful. And thank you for talking to us, Reggie, we’re going to support your work. Don’t forget. Don’t forget to follow him on the gram. You can follow up and find him in the show notes today. And thank you for being here at two black girls. Talk about everything.
Speaker 2: (51:00)
Hey, was I wrong? That conversation was fire. We want to thank Reggie for joining us on the two black girls. Talk about everything podcast. Don’t worry. All the references that Reggie made to his spiritual teachers and the things that he loved will be included in the show notes. Dee and I had an amazing time talking to Reggie. I don’t know about you Dee, but I learned so so much. So as we round up black history month, remember that black lives matter past February 28th and that these stories and these celebrations of the accomplishment of black people are important to celebrate all year round. So if you’re interested in supporting that movement of elevating lives of people who are traditionally pushed to the margins of the society or underrepresented, your first step is supporting the work. So you showing up for this podcast is step number one, you sharing rating, liking and comment and commenting on our podcasts is another way you can always go out there and support black creators support, underestimated creators, because that’s how we get to the place of equity for all of us. Thank you so much for listening in to the podcast and Dee and I will see you next time.
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