Khepera Wellness

Located within

The Dance Institute of Washington

(3400 14th St NW). 

Khepera Wellness is a collective of yoga practitioners and teachers dedicated to sharing the power of the practice of yoga. We offer evolutionary yoga classes that challenge students to develop deeper understanding of the mind, body, and soul. 

 

#TRAPYOGA: Hustlers Welcome

#TrapYoga is what happens when you mixed heavy base, high energy, and a 4000 year old practice together. Trap classes are like no other yoga experience you've ever had. We use the music and good vibes to push your practice past it's limits and to new heights. Check out these features on the class done by Blavity and be sure to sign up for a class now before it sells out. 

Peep the full article at www.blavity.com.

Do Black People Do Yoga?

I'm asked this question all of the time. Of course we practice yoga. Black people do everything. The real question is:

"Why don't more of us practice?"

We talk about that a bit a discuss some efforts around Washington to get more people of color on the mat. 

Brandon and Lenox Try Capoeira

Reading Time: 7 min

This year marks the beginning of the first solo venture for my budding wellness company, Khepera Wellness. As you may have heard I'm joining forces with The Capoeira Spot in Ward 5 to offer yoga and wellness programming in April. I could not be more excited to get started!

 

Khepera Wellness was created with the intent of teaching students to use their bodies and minds in ways I rarely saw encouraged in other studio philosophy's.  I have always been the student that was pushing my body to experience more, finding that regular yoga class schedules could rarely hold my attention for longer than a few months. I wanted to keep transforming my mind and body through yoga. When I was unable to find many teachers in a single place that could challenge me I decided to learn to teach yoga with my unique voice and perspective. That was 4 years ago and now I am proud to be selecting teachers I know will compliment my vision for students. 

That same vision is what brought me to the doorstep of the Capoeira Spot in the first place. After scouring DC attempting to teach people higher level yoga postures with little success I decided that I needed to find students that needed my style of yoga if I was ever going to teach it successfully. Who was already doing handstands and back bends that could use some extra training? Who needed proprioception training? Who could use the joint strengthening that comes with an Ashtanga Vinyasa based yoga practice? Who doesn't mind getting sweaty? Better yet. Who loves to sweat? One thought came to my mind: Capoeiristas!

I didn't know much about Capoeira except that it reminded me of Rocket Yoga (the style of yoga I specialize in) in the same way that break-dancing did. Arm balancing, back bending and inverting are combined with a steady musical beat, rhythm, and transitions much faster than I was used to engaging in. Much attention must be paid to the movements of the opponent as the point of playing Capoeira is to expose weaknesses in an opponents movements by adapting your own.  Disguised as a dance, Capoeira was used to trick unsuspecting slave owners, much like American Negro spirituals sung by slaves. However, the information taught was quite different. The game of Capoiera involves music and movement allowing for it's lessons to come in the form of a martial art. Slaves were able to teach each other expressive movements for self defense and attack by mimicking them in a dance during the day and practicing them at night. 

Historical facts about the game piqued my interest. This practice familiar to me because of it's style as well as it's affinity for things that come naturally to me: rhythm, dance, power, and flexibility. A few weeks after agreeing to lead the yoga program at The Capoeira Spot I attended my first class with my son Lenox. My goal was to hone my natural abilities and the attributes that attracted me to Capoeira. I learned a huge lesson about the differences between yoga and Capoeira when I was scolded for being too tough on my 4 year old. A yogi at heart, I have a tendency to think of things literally and look to perfect the shapes of my body through a single lens: focus. Capoeira, though it requires focus, allows for students to be expressive first. Encouraging my son to play, laugh, and dance were the main objectives of the day and after a while I was able to appreciate the class for them. Now Lenox and I play Capoeira in our living room, using the game to communicate and encourage each other to learn and do more. 

I learned that day that I had not only found a new home to teach yoga. I am happy to have found this ancestral connection to share with my son. As I grow myself and my practice I know that Capoeira is poised to play a huge role in my life. I can't wait to see where it takes us next. 

Join us for capoeira beginniners classes on Monday's and Wednesday's at 7 pm by visiting The Capoeira Spot's schedule. 

Join us for yoga all through the week by visiting our Mind Body Online website and reserving your space. 

Monday Meditation #1

Reading Time: 10 Minutes


"The mind can go
in a thousand directions
but on this beautiful path, 
I walk in peace. 
With each step, 
a gentle wind blows. 
With each step, 
a flower blooms." 

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Find more from Thich Nhat Hanh here.

The mind can go

Without any prodding our mind travels to different places. Thoughts come and go, fluctuating in form based on both our conscious intake through the senses and our subconscious reaction to the life that feeds those senses. Our unique ability to abstract thoughts into patterns that are often as harmful as they are useful makes for a wild ride as the mind traverses through life's unpredictable experiences. 

In a thousand directions

The emotional responses that we have to life's experiences motivate our daily decisions and direct our behaviors. The ways that we feel about things motivate us to take action (or not take action) even though we don't always understand why those feelings are present. The path the mind takes when guided solely by the emotions is unpredictable and can therefore have a multitude of results. 

but on this beautiful path,

The "beautiful path" TNH introduces negates the sporadic movement of the reactive mind. This path according to the author's beliefs is the Buddhist Eight-Fold Path. Though he references a specific religion here it's important to understand that mindfulness is the ultimate jewel to be gleaned by the religious and secular alike. Mindfulness practices are not limited to Buddhism, however, and should be integrated into one's daily focus no matter religious affilition. 

I walk in peace. 

TNH finds peace through mindfulness practice, as the Eight Fold Path directs us to remove our attachment to emotional responses to life and appreciate the present moment as beautiful and unique. Yogis practice mindfulness by holding the body in particular positions and keeping the breathe steady. When you focus a soft gaze on an unmoving point in these positions medititation occurs and the mind quiets. 

With each step, 

Mindfulness requires one to be conscious of the moment in order to realize it's unique beauty and full potential. Each breath taken is a step in life's path. Breaths taken without thought (and the underlying emotions that create those thoughts) allow us to experience things as they are.  

a gentle wind blows. 

Shit happens. Simply put, life throws wood on the emotional fire constantly. Whether it be problems at work, school, home or in your own body the emotions are constantly pulled and pushed in the "1000 directions" TNH mentioned earlier. He reminds us that something will be present to distract us from our practice of mindfulness with each breath. The mind feeds on thoughts of the past and the future as they provide room for speculation. Conversely, the breath feeds on the present moment as it is all that it can rely on. In time the mind becomes so absorbed in taking in new experience with a clean present-focused lens that it has little time to stray into distracting or destructive emotional responses -- It has little time to sway in the wind. 

With each step, 

Following up the reminder of life's inherent unpredictable happening that accompanies each breath, TNH reminds us that there is a level of control we have over our response to distraction. 

a flower blooms. 

Flowers, like snowflakes and moments in life, are unique. Seeing a flower bloom in the sun or snowflake falling in night is seeing a moment in time that contains so much. It's not the mystical appreciation of God or life's creation that we appreciate in the end. It's when we're able to take time and appreciate that those things happen with or without our noticing that proves fulfulling. In those moments realize that we are apart of a life that is much bigger and more beautiful than our emotions can allow. By taking things for what they are and appreciating them for being different we find ourselves. 

What practice do you do to help clear your mind? What reminds you that life is beautiful? Comment Below!

Rocket Yoga 100 Hour Teacher Training

Video Time: About 20 minutes

The past few weeks have changed my life for the better. I was blessed by 76 donors with the funds to take a trip to Rincon, Puerto Rico to study Rocket Yoga with David Kyle. The experience was one I'll never forget and can hardly describe. I channeled my experience through my iPhone (as much as the beach and two-a-day 2 hour practices would allow) to capture the feeling and the events that took place over an unforgettable 11 days. 

Check out my experience on "La Isla Del Encanto by clicking here."

Interested in curating an event expereince? Shoot us an email at kheperawellness@gmail.com and we'll make it happen.