Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yoga Gangsters Visits an HBCU

Florida A&M is the first university that offers the Yoga Gangsters certificate. Terri Cooper, the founder of Yoga Gangsters offered students a free two-day workshop at FAMU recreation center over the weekend.

During the workshop about twenty students learned basic yoga poses and they became in touch with their own personal trauma.

Yoga Gangsters is a non-profit organization that empowers the youth in inner cities through practicing yoga.

Cooper started the organization after accepting her past dealing with drugs and an unstable childhood. She struggled with an addiction and she was a chain smoker. In her late thirties she was bartending on South Beach and realized her life needed to change.

“Yoga saved my life…I hit rock bottom for a moment. I found yoga and it helped me get my life together and it helped me find my purpose,” said Cooper.

Yoga Gangsters started after Cooper became a yoga teacher and she wanted to give back to kids who grew up with the same upbringing as herself. She started volunteering at jails and schools and her classes started getting bigger.

“I wanted to share it with kids just like me, kids that had a lot of abuse or trauma in their past and kids that didn’t know how to manage themselves,” said Cooper.

Kimi Walker, a FAMU alumna and student health services health educator took the Yoga Gangster training in Miami. Walker said she was the only African-American woman within her age group in the training. Cooper says most of the people in her training are yoga teachers, schoolteachers, case workers, people in trauma and people in non-profit organizations.

Walker said she was drawn to Cooper’s studio 305 Yoga because “They had a karma yoga program, the yoga of self-service, and apart that was her non-profit Yoga Gangsters.”

She said, “I called Ms. Tanya Tatum up and I told her I went through certification and I told her about it.  We have to bring this to FAMU. We have to get more African-Americans involved in yoga. ”

She said, “I thought FAMU is a really great place for it. I’m really excited that we’re the first university. I’m really excited that we’re the first HBCU and hopefully in the future they’ll be able to branch out to more HBCUs”.

Participates were encourage to push boundaries with their bodies and to become self aware with their personal issues. “We never allow ourselves to be in our emotions,” Cooper said. “Our society doesn’t allow us to process it(emotions) We start to pile it on.”

During training participates engage in an activity called the inner circle where the person can address their inner everyday battles through non-verbal communication.  This activity allows people to vent and realize that they are not the alone in their life experiences.

Brittany Claybrooks, a graduating senior in health care management at FAMU  from Detroit, MI said the training excited her and that she began to become more self-aware.

“I guess it forced me to relate to people but it also forced me to be honest about my situation to complete strangers and sometimes that’s not always the easiest especially since you’re on campus…,”said Claybrooks.

Walker hopes participates can bring the training back to their communities and share the training with others.

Cooper said, “This is the future of our program. If we can get this on more college campuses, I think that would be great. I mean that’s a dream come true and to be at an HBCU is even more profound.”

For more information on Yoga Gangsters, please visit yogagangsters.org.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Three Years After: Strabismus Surgery

In 2011, I had my first surgery. The type of surgery with anesthesia and I was scared, wondering did I do this for the right reasons and if I tried this procedure too late. Three years later my eyes are still straight with an occasional outward turn when I'm sleepy or stress. It's funny, before I uploaded this video I was heading class when a gush of wind blew into my eye. I hate when that happens because my eye seems extra sensitive now. So, it was annoying and it took forever to get whatever debris that was trapped in my eye. Then my eye turned slightly red at the point where they made the eye muscle cut. Ugh, that was an annoying point of my day but when the debris was out my eye wasn't red anymore. So, here's a video update. 

The "Am Eye Changing" Phoenix

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Webseries Are Better Than TV

YouTube has become another way to send a message to a wide variety of audiences. If you don't have the funds for TV or if your project doesn't meet the Federal Communications Commissions rules and you want the freedom of expression then YouTube is the best avenue. Webseries can tackle issues and shed light on issues that TV cannot fully tackle due to restricts or by being bias. TV produces and TV stations have yet to have a show that depicts minorities the way they see themselves instead of how the world sees them. This is what I enjoy must about web series they are relatable than most TV shows that depict minorities and they tackle the real  issues that minorities have with society. Webseries show the other side and give minorities a chance to control their own image, they are the other side to the story. The top web series that you should check out if you are not glued to your computer or social media are

Issa Rae's Awkward Black Girl

There maybe a black woman who was called an awkward black girl and maybe it's because she was witty, funny, sarcastic and she didn't follow the rules or you tried to defy the stereotypes. Then meet Jay and her sidekick/bestfriend CeCe.  Jay brings up those awkward moments you laugh about with close friends.

Black and Sexy TV's RoomieLoverFriends

RoomieLoverFriends is produced by actress and writer Issa Rae. The web series follows Tomiko and Jay who are roommates and things change when a night of passion gets the best of them. What happens when you sleep with your roommate?

2KLifeTV's Close Friends

Six friends who have known each other since college are trying to live life and find love. But how close are friends with love triangles, cheating and back stabbing. This series is as addicting as the General Hospital, soap opera. Watch out for who you think are your friends.

The "Webseries are changing" Phoenix

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Juicy J Twerk Scholarship: Reading is Fundamental

Last August, Juicy J, the Memphis rapper from Three 6 Mafia was awarding a scholarship but the name caused controversy. 

The "Twerk Scholarship" awarded a college student with a $50,000 check. The title alone would make students look elsewhere if they were not interested in twerking for tuition. Some may be desperate and upload a twerk video in hopes of winning the money. Others may look to the rules and dismiss the title. If you look on the website and read the rules submissions are for students (up to 25 years old) in school for the year 2014/2015 and they must be a resident of one of the 50 states. Juicy J uploaded a video on WorldStarHipHop.com explaining the rules. He told applicants to submit a video no longer than five minutes explaining why they deserved the scholarship. 

But most video submissions on Juicy J's website included twerking videos. So where did the twerking video submissions come from if applicants were not advised to twerk? 
Today Juicy J has picked the winner for the "Twerk Scholarship" but did she have to twerk? No, she did not the Florida biology student decided to read the rules. Juicy J posted a video of the winner,  19-year-old, Zaire Holmes. She will use this scholarship for the cost of her labs and medical school.  Look at her video submission. 

The "Reading the Rules"Phoenix

Check This Out
Juicy J Scholarship Submissions and Guidelines

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