Love is a by-product of freedom; it is the overflowing joy of freedom, it is the fragrance of freedom. First the freedom has to be there, then love follows
*This is the continuation of Getting Free in Philly.
Partner Yoga and Thai Massage
On the first night, we began with Partner Yoga led by Jamilah and Myles Turner (aka BigMala Namaskara). With each pairs’ mat facing each other, we began in seated postures that focused on the sharing of breath, touch and energy. This was my first class taught by two teachers. It was interesting to adjust my attention to the gentle and firm direction of their voices. Ending the class with a double tree, a sense of support and play, we all laughed as we felt the discovery and exhilaration of getting into the posture.
We were all warmed up from Partner Yoga so we were all ready to experience Partner Thai Massage with Jean-Jacques Gabriel. I was with my friend so after staring into each other in the eyes during partner yoga, thai massage was a piece of cake! Since the class was intended for beginners, Jean-Jacques walked us through the sequence of deep hip openers, baby-like massages, and assisted twists. So relaxed, I was not sure how I would drive home until I realized that I was not the one driving-but my friend.
On the second day, my friend and I arrived at noon to practice with the incredible Adrianna Adelé who has developed the popular class called Namaslay. What I loved more than shimmying my hips to Beyonce while in chair pose, I deeply related to what Adrianna relayed in the beginning of class. We all can potentially attest to how Beyonce is perceived as the epitome of beauty and class. She glows. However, when we look in the mirror, do we embrace our own image with wonderment and awe? I cannot say that I do but I have in recent years taken the initiative to smile more and just love myself. So with that, we flowed with the sounds of Queen Bey and embraced our inner goddess.
After Namaslay, we transitioned into Kemetic Yoga with Back2Source Kemetic Yoga. I had never experienced this form of yoga before so I was quite intrigued. Recognizing that yoga evolved in different parts of the world, Kemetic Yoga reveals its origins from north Africa, Kemet. I enjoyed the slow, intentional movements. I felt every movement, every breath. As we moved through the poses, I felt that I had traveled through time and positioned myself within the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt. Don’t let the slow pace fool you, my arms were noodles afterwards so I was quite ready for a break and participate in self-reflecting journaling.
Yogetree guided journaling
Following Namaslay and Kemetic yoga, we transitioned into a journaling exercise with Hello Helanah. We took the time to get to know our fellow yogis in the room by introducing ourselves and share what we enjoyed about this experience so far. We turned towards ourselves and described everything that we felt defined us whether it was where we were from, the things we enjoyed and/or things we saw for ourselves in the future. In our journals, we were guided to drawing a tree, from the roots (past) to the bark (present) then limbs to leaves (future). At each position of our respective trees, we placed our definitions and that was an enlightening experience to look at my individual growth. We don’t often take the time to understand the science of ourselves so this was a great opportunity to take a look at our journeys.
Yin & Yang
The last session ended with Jean-Jacques (yang) and Jazmyn (yin) exploring the final balancing of energy of this inaugural experience through gentle postures to more challenging sequences. As the sun was setting, our bodies were strengthened and our collective breaths joined in bliss.
The event culminated with a final ohm and Ase. Soon after, Get Free Fest opened up the marketplace with vendors sharing their handmade products and healing services.
Get Free Fest was an amazing night and I certainly look forward to future, local events led by these self-care pioneers in the Philly community. For any additional information on this event and vendors, feel free to visit http://www.getfreefest.com