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.