October 7, 2019

My skill set and capacity gained in previous careers informs how I co-lead my yoga studio, @sacredchillwest. The learning curve is steep in some places. I also work with knowledgeable accountants, a mindful business coach, and another studio consultant who has owned six studios. I say this to say that I invest on the yoga and business side of doing my work- continually.
I am learning how to sustain and grow a yoga studio. I don’t mentor people in that area.

I have 13 years of experience teaching yoga in many capacities: part time, full time, in my own studio, as a respected trainer, a retreat leader, festival presenter, and in a plethora of other spaces. I know the layers of what it means to teach yoga and carve out your own unique offerings as a teacher. I understand what it means to start with the resources you have. I do mentor yoga teachers along that path- the contours of that journey are set in my bones.

If someone is saying they can give you advice on how to open a yoga studio + run one, ask some basic questions:
Do they have a website for their studio/ a place that you can gleam more about their work and the impact of it?
How long have they been in business?

Some follow up questions: Who is their teacher, mentor and/or coach? I believe every Teacher needs a Teacher. Every Mentor needs a Mentor. Every Coach needs a Coach.
Do they have verifiable and working social handles for their business?
Who are their students and what do their students have to say about their experience?

Yoga teachers. Let us be discerning in who we invite into our visions, goals, and dreams. Ask questions of people who are posting the most and being the loudest on some of the support groups and entrepreneurial online spaces that we participate in. Research who folk are and their work- dig deeper.
In our hunger to reach more people, share work we love, and create in a way that is sustainable + honors the effort we put into training and being a student/teacher of yoga- let us not grasp for the microwave & a quick way to satisfy our deepest desires.

Or as my Memaaw would say, “don’t fall for no wooden nickels.” The short cut is the longest way in this work, ya’ll.

Shift and rise.

September 16, 2019

Running a yoga studio is some of the most challenging work you can possibly do while raising a family. Layer in navigating personal oppression and marginalization while walking out one’s purpose to create space for others who are oppressed and marginalized to have space to heal. The challenge becomes exponential.

What folk see from the outside looking in… transformative trainings, revolutionary retreats, the expanding power of chill… All of that is not 10% of the story.

The sheer grit. The fortitude. The willingness to commit deeply and profoundly despite the risk of failure at most every step and turn. The summoning of inner power to dismiss hesitation again and again.

It takes trust that what you are creating is bigger than your doubts, risk of failure, or ego.
Trust that what you are creating is bigger than right now.

It takes deep love to hold so many people through their joy, their cracking open, their surrender, their truth AND their entitlement, their untruth, their resistance, complaints, and limited capacity or unwillingness to see what it really costs (energetically, financially, and beyond) to do the specific work that running a small business/ studio requires.

More days than not, I meet the challenge with reverence, clarity, brave hope, and quiet joy.

Just like everybody else, I am human. I have days where I feel like I need to have a word with Ganesha/Jesus and nem- about the obstacles being too many, and not the way.

Sacred Chill West will officially be three in October. This year has felt like both the longest valley and steepest climb. I’ve found myself in a broken down chariot, on the edge of many unfamiliar and dark roads. Wondering how something so purposeful could be so challenging. How a vision I hold so clearly, can be so misunderstood.

Then miracles come.

Dara, a studio owner I’ve never met “randomly” reaching out to say “I see you. I see the work that you are doing. Whatever this moment is offering you ‘put the situation in the hands of Infinite Love and Wisdom’”

Danielle, (a student, teacher, and business owner) I met while leading a Starshine & Clay Retreat emails “out of the blue” to say:“Thank you for honoring what has been divinely gifted to you on so many levels. Being in a lineage of Baptist preachers, along with having a heart for ministry and service myself, I also know that so much goes on that people do not see, know or understand. From first hand experience, I know that there is much that you, your family, your close loved ones/friends go through in living as you live and doing this work. Be encouraged because you are touching so many lives. Your legacy is unfolding.”

And then I hear a whisper of wind call out to me.

I know who and what is unwavering and real.

A shift begins. I rise again.

Not your urgency.

September 8, 2019

The Lordt is continually working with me on this one. I back slide in my knowing from time to time.⁠

It’s like this though:⁠
Folk who don’t have, honor, or maintain their own boundaries have no capacity to respect yours. ⁠
They haven’t built that inner muscle.⁠

If we are not mindful, that lack of boundaries spills into interactions- tries to become a force, banging up against your sanity, integrity, relationship…. all the things.⁠

These days when I observe that someone is leaking out and unconsciously or consciously offering me a handful of mess. ⁠

I bare witness and acknowledge what is actually going on without making anyone good, bad, worse, or better. I root down into my feet. I inhale/exhale with awareness at my heart. ⁠I quietly say to myself. “I see you…and all of that.⁠ I see you. and none of that leakage is mine or will become mine.”⁠

Or sometimes I simply say real loud-⁠

I told y’all The Lordt is working with me on this one.😂⁠


Who were you?

September 1, 2019

Who were you before the world told you who to be?

Before studio owner. Yoga teacher. Mama. School teacher. Home owner. Wife. Graduate. Road Tripper. Traveler. Devoted daughter and sister.

Before any of that, Writer was the word I whispered in my dreams. “Make me a writer, God and Fairy people” was the first wish I tossed pennies in fountains for. I hoped it would come true.

I was four and completely in love with reading when I realized the words on a page, those small curved black bodied things were scribbled together and created by someone.

When I realized that humans could make books, I wanted to be a human who did that.

I grew up hungry, dusty, and trailer house poor.

The adults in my world knew more about surviving than I did.

They told me “you caint eat them words, baby.” “Stories ain’t fed no body we know.” “Get your education and get you a good job with surance.”

Does everything have to make us “bread?” When your Ancestors and mama nem have survived off less than crumbs, the answer is yes for generations.

That “yes” owned me. us.

so I jumped into that wishing fountain and took all of my pennies back. Pushed writer into a safe corner within me where she wouldn’t be touched by a world that would ravish her, including my own mind.

All these years later and feeding my self so many things that ain’t never left me full. I remember.

The gift of yoga nidra- the “peel back”, the laying bare, the undressing.

The remembering what I feel like underneath all of the shit that I show and people see. My practice has been shyly touching the hidden skein in my heart. unraveling a holy thread of memory and truth.

The four year old girl who loved words more than jumping rope, now & laters, bubble yum, and them cabbage patch kids; she’s wide awake. I remember her.

And so this summer I created a space, an altar- in memory. And in honor of who I am. I created a space for me to come to. To unlearn.

To become.

And there’s no pressure.

I don’t need writing to yield “surance” as my granny would say. It’s about more than “bread”. It’s salvation and soul food.

I simply need to assure my inner four year old that she is worth the effort and offering.

I release expectations of what I must do with this gift, what it must do for me, and what that name means.


I Practice, imperfection. In the words of Outkast, “Now that’s liberation.”

I choose to show up to my altar with devotion each day. I choose to sit there and listen until I hear that pig tailed Black girl brave enough to be half starving and still spending pennies on making a wish- I wait to hear her laugh and say “you returned, you came back for me-

you remembered.”

self love

August 19, 2019

Some times, the Inner Wisdom comes through and then there is nothing else to say.

Like these words. They emerged out of the void. I waited for Inner Wisdom to say more. I kept listening.

Honey. Chile.she simply repeated herself:

You can only keep someone trapped who does not love themselves. Deep, strong, courageous self love is a prerequisite to freedom.

I am held.

August 16, 2019

She is not smiling. Her arms are down and her hands face me, palms wide open. I see all of her deep openings and the rivers that have woven through each wound and cracked place within her. Where the rivers merge, a pool of light radiates from within her.⁠

We face each other.⁠

But why won’t she smile at me? Am I not welcome? Does she not want to see me in this space? Am I taking too long to become. Is she impatient with my “hanging back” at the threshold? Are her palms open to push me across? ⁠

I want her to welcome me. To approve of my presence. To tell me I am good. That I made the right choices. To congratulate me on my ambition and drive. I am waiting for her to smile at me. Her smile will tell me all of those things.⁠

She looks at me. ⁠

I am skin. bone. vessels. and a fabric of sheer tissues in her presence. Her gaze goes clear through my body to soul. She moves in closer to me. I see her eyes open into mirrors. She exhales. I soften. I feel her breath in my mouth. ⁠

And I realize, she is me.⁠

She is me, in our future. She is not smiling because she is waiting for me to honor all of my wisdom, to defy every condition and bond that no longer serves her, me, us. She is waiting for me to fully recognize the light that I see in her, is my own.⁠

She is my future and reflection.⁠

I can stay hidden, small and stuck. I can stand here and hold on to all of my stuff. It’s heavy, yet so comfortable and known. ⁠

There is no way forward unless I put this shit down.⁠

It takes a while. One by one I let the things go. Her light allows me to see in the dark as I fumble through all of the things. To surrender the conditions I’ve been clinging to so long that I’ve mistaken them for identity. To let go of ambition and ideas about “success.” Who am I without this armor? Those definitions? That mask? That costume? That belief? ⁠

This is not easy. Weightlessness is uncomfortable when you’ve carried yours and everybody else’s stuff so long. ⁠

I lift my feet to cross the threshold. She offers her hand as compass and guide. Then, she smiles.⁠

The way forward is boundless, when I let go.⁠

I am held.⁠

-Empowered Wisdom Yoga Nidra Reflections⁠

Subscribe to our mailing list

Studio Updates & News

Subscribe to our mailing list

Sign-up to be the first to know about new retreats, trainings and classes.

* indicates required