Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Love Lab: A Spiral Lab Yoga Retreat for Women


I know it's been a while since I've posted anything new here, but I'm back and I can't wait to share all the new things ahead. 

I am so excited to announce that I will be hosting a yoga retreat with my good friend and colleague Karma Mayet called, The Love Lab: A Spiral Lab Yoga Retreat for Women.  This amazing event is happening February 17th-20th at Garrison Institute in Garrison, NY. It’s such a beautiful space! In this time where racism, xenophobia and misogyny are a dividing line, at this retreat we will be contemplating LOVE as a healing force. For more information about the retreat please check our website, www.spirallabguru.com.  The Early Bird Special is on NOW! Pay in full by Dec. 15th for deep discounts. We hope you will join us in this LOVE movement. 

As we move into this holiday season and into the time of longer nights, consider giving yourself this gift of self-healing and join us in Garrison. There is no time to be silent and sit in the shadows or on the sidelines any longer.  It’s time to bring all of our magic to the forefront in order to make this world a better place.

Thank you for your love and support and stay tuned!   

Spiral Lab Presents
The Love Lab: A Yoga Retreat for Women
February 17-20, 2017
@Garrison Institute
Garrison, NY
The Early Bird Special is on NOW!  Pay in full by 
Dec. 15th and get deep discounts!

For more information/daily practice/Garrison Institute info/fees go to www.spiriallabguru.com

Garrison Institute along the Hudson River! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sovereign Hands: Gentle Yoga Series Vol. 1 NOW AVAILABLE!!


I'm so excited to announce that I now have a yoga DVD for purchase!  This is just the first in what is soon to be a series of classes.  I have to thank my Monday morning yoga class that I taught at St. John's Rec in Brooklyn earlier this year and also the folks at The Mat Project  for making this possible. The whole thing felt really serendipitous. You know how I like to tell a good story so here it is.

Monday, May 12th I went in to teach my usual morning yoga class. I have to tell you it was my favorite class to teach. Most of the folks in my class were seniors and can you say dedicated?  These folks were not playing.   I really loved it.  Anyway, one morning after class one of my students asked me if I had a yoga DVD. When I told her no, she asked me why not and said, "Don't all professional yoga teachers have DVDs?"  I chuckled and told her, "No," but that didn't stop her from telling me that I should have one.  I thought about it, kind of chuckled to myself at that she thought every professional yoga teacher had a DVD and started on my way home after class.

Almost as soon as I walked out of the building I got a call from my friend Bess. She called to ask me if I wanted to shoot a yoga video to put on her new fitness website, The Mat Project.  What??!!! Now you know I almost dropped the phone.  Was I not just told I should have a yoga DVD and now I'm getting a call not even 10-15min later about shooting a video.  OK Universe, I hear you.

I told Bess yes, but then I started thinking about how I would get it done. Who would shoot, edit, etc. Well before I could even go down that rabbit hole she tells me that she has a spot where we can do it and her husband will shoot and edit the video. Say what??!!  Well alrighty then! So before I knew it we were shooting the video!

We made a push to get the edit together before I left to go to play at Michigan Womyn's Music Festival because I was also teaching a yoga class there.  The class at festival was amazing! I will be sharing more about that soon, but now I'm so happy to share this DVD with you.

It's a 30 minute gentle yoga series. So for my beginners, folks returning to yoga after a while or if you are just looking for something a little more slow flow, then this is for you.

 I hope you enjoy the DVD. Just look to the right and you can purchase. Thank you all so much for your support!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Yoga Year In Review!

Happy New Year!

It was a great year yoga for me. Looking back it's hard to believe all the things I did. There is a lot to say, but I 'll keep it brief.

I jumped off the year teaching at Shambhala Yoga & Dance Center and I became an official teacher at Hip Dhamma. I stayed at Shambhala for a couple of months, but Hip Dhamma became my yoga home for the year.  Big shout to Rachel for making that happen and giving my first official yoga job.

I attuned my fourth student to Reiki Level I. Congrats to my girl Po-Hong!

This month I started teaching for the little people at Little Sun People daycare in my neighborhood with my girl Desiree. I was a little nervous, but I immediately said yes to the idea.  The kids were amazing and they really surprised me every week with what they remembered and how much they enjoyed it.  That was a wonderful experience that took me through June. [LSP Blog : http://bit.ly/1m5rYm6]

This month Po-Hong and I hosted the first of three blaKbüshe Wellness Days for the year.  It was a great success and we had a lot of fun!

My friend Monique teaches yoga at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City in the summer time. She was a way for a few weeks on an artists retreat and asked if I could cover her classes. I said yes of course and that was also a wonderful time. The park is right on the water, which was a blessing on those two hot Saturdays that I taught.  I biked from Brooklyn to Queens those days. It was a trek and one week I nearly melted on my bike, but I would do it all again!

On the Fall Equinox I hosted my second and final blaKbüshe Wellness Day of the year.  I am so thankful to Julie Brown and Dayanara Marte who came out to speak to the people and all the practitioners who volunteered their time and gave the gift of healing.  I also want to thank Freebrook Spaces for opening their space to me.  We will be doing more wellness days in 2014.  Stay Tuned!

I had an idea so I ran with it. Yoga for Unlocking Your Inner Creative. I put together a daytime yoga workshop and evening show in Philly at my girl Malika's Soft Illusions fine Art Gallery.   I shared an bill with my girl M'Balia and it was an all around amazing weekend.  I can't wait to bring the workshop back to that city.  It was a big push and not without its minor snags, but all in all everything from the weekend was well received.  Looking forward to the next one!

I was offered a position to teach yoga with the NYC Parks and Recreation Department at St. John's Recreation Center in Brooklyn! I just started and it's going well!

As I closed out the year so did Hip Dhamma.  As I said before, I am so thankful to Rachel for giving me a place to teach and practice this year.  Although Hip Dhamma is gone form 375 Stuyvesant I don't think it's over. I'm sure we will see Hip Dhamma in another incarnation very soon.

I also attuned my 5th student to Reiki Level I. Congratulations Peta-Gaye! 

As I stated above I was offered a position to teach yoga for the Parks Department, which began on Jan. 5th. I'm really excited to see where this leads and the best part is that it's right down the street from my house! I will be there Sunday-Wednesday and I will leave all the times below. You must be a member of the gym to come to class, but the prices are the best in town. A One Year Membership is $150 and 6-months is $75

I am also going to begin teaching at Third Root Community Health Center in Flatbush/Ditmas Park beginning January 15th.  I will be teaching Every Wednesday Morning at 11:15am-12:30pm. More details below.

Finally I am excited to be offering Private Yoga called Yoga for Unlocking Your Inner Creative based on my October workshop.  The practice is designed specifically for creatives who are facing blocks or those how would like to reignite their creative passions.  If you or someone you know are interested in private yoga please email me for pricing and availability.  I am also open to working with other specific needs. Please inquire.

Happy New Year Everyone!  It's going to be a great 2014!


St. John's Recreation Center
1251 Prospect Place b/w Troy & Schenectady
Brooklyn, NY
Open/Beginner Level Classes (all classes 1 hour):
Sunday & Monday 10am
Tuesday 6:15pm
Wednesday 7pm
Fore more information:

Third Root Community Health Center
380 Marlborough Road
Brooklyn, NY
Open Level Class:
Wednesday 11:15am-12:30pm
By Donation

Yoga For Unlocking Your Inner Creative 
Private Yoga Pricing & Availability
Please contact me at sovereignhands@yahoo.com

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Yoga for Unlocking Your Inner Creative THEN Chill & Burn! (Philadelphia! October 5th!) Register Now!

Saturday October 5th
Sovereign Hands Presents:
Yoga for Unlocking Your Inner Creative: 
Yoga Workshop & Artist Conversation
w/Shelley Nicole, RYT, Reiki Master and 
Abstract Expressionist Diane E. Vaughn
Soft Illusions Fine Art Gallery

4226 Main Street, Philadelphia PA
11am-1pm, $40
For more about the artist Diane E. Vaughn www.softillusionsgallery.net

Free Wellness Goodlie Bag for all Participants
All Levels! Please Bring a Yoga Mat
Register now at www.unlockyouryoga.eventbrite.com

Yoga for Unlocking Your Inner Creative is a collaborative event blending yoga asana in alignment with opening your creative centers and visual art. The workshop is designed to unlock blocks that may be hindering you from moving forward in your creative process or even just taking that dive, heart over mind, into your creative bliss. The asana for the day will also be in alignment the art exhibition in the gallery space.  Following class there will be an artist conversation/Q&A with gallery owner and artist Diane E. Vaughn and Shelley Nicole.

Come back in the evening for Chill & Burn; a live musical performance with Shelley Nicole's blaKbüshe and Philadelphia's own M'Balia

Red Butterfly Music Presents:
Chill & Burn

Feat. Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe & M'Balia (www.mbalia.com)
Doors 7:30pm/ Show 8pm
$10/ $7 with school supplies

Purchase advance tix at www.unlockyouryoga.eventbrite.com or
pay at the door either way we can’t wait to see you!

Support the Children of Philadelphia!
Bring school supplies for the kids 
and get in the show for $7
Your consciousness will thank you!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

blaKbüshe Wellness Day/ Fall Equinox Celebration! Heal for the Music!

Hey Everyone!

On September 22nd, I will be hosting one more wellness day to raise funds for my forthcoming album with my band Shelley Nicole's blaKbüshe.  All treatments during wellness day will be on a sliding scale from $25-$65.  So please come out and support the music while healing your body, mind & spirit.

Thank you so much and here are the details below.  I will update the information as needed.


blaKbüshe Wellness Day
Fall Equinox Celebration! 
Heal for the Music!
Sunday September 22nd
Freebrook Spaces
375 Stuyvestant Avenue 
Brooklyn, NY 11233
Reflexology, Massage, Thai Yoga Massage, Reiki, Tarot: 25 mins 
Each service is $25-$65 sliding scale
Short talk about the Fall Equinox
Credit cards accepted but CASH is preferred
Raising Funds for the Shelley Nicole's blaKbüshe Album Project!
blaKbüshe Wellness Day Facebook Invite
Come Celebrate the Season with Us! 

A/C Train to Utica Avenue or B25 Bus to Stuyvesant Avenue

Make an Online Appointment

blaKbüshe Wellness Day Schedule
Guest Speakers
2:30pm - Dayanara Marta: Fall Medicine and Stepping Boldly into the Season
3:30pm - Julie Brown: Cleansing in the Fall Season
4:30pm: Shelley Nicole: Abundance Rituals for the Fall 

Cameron 12-4pm
Jameelah 12-4pm
Anna 4-6pm

Thai Massage
Omena El 12-2pm
Tinuola 2-4pm

Reiki/Energy Healing
Kaweria 12-4pm
Hakhi 4-6pm

Crystal 2-5pm

Po-Hong 12-2pm

Crystal/Chakra Readings
Kufunya 4-6pm

Tarot & Astrology Reading
Stefanie (Tarot) 12-3pm
Hakhi (Astrology) 4-6pm

Passionate Living Coaching
Abiola 2-6pm

Make an Online Appointment

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Accidental Private

I started teaching class on Tuesday nights at Hip Dhamma because the usual teacher had a conflict.  I didn't and honestly still don't know how long that class slot is going to last for me, but for now I'm enjoying every moment of it.

Last Tuesday was a slow night. I got to class early, set up the room and then came back down, sat and talked to Jasmine the Hip Dhamma office manager and waited for students to show up.  I think I might have told you in the past that Hip Dhamma is located at Freebrook mansion, which is a great space that holds many events and they even tape Boardwalk Empire there from time to time. So the class where we teach is up a grand staircase on the 2nd floor.

As I sat and talked to Jasmine the time slid by and next thing we knew it was 7:15pm and class is supposed to start at 7pm.  From that we gathered that no one would show up that day.  I was getting ready to go gather my things when a familiar face walked through the door. It was Felicia (Not her real name. Honoring her privacy.).  She told me she was going to come to class and she was true to her word, which I love! At first she wasn't sure about staying for class since she was the only one, but I feel like if you came all this way, let's have class.

After changing her clothes, Felicia made it up to class. She was not totally new to yoga, but had not taken many classes at all. Felicia told me that the other classes she took were really not the best for her so it wasn't very enjoyable, but she wanted to try again.  That really made me excited. Here was a chance to really change someones mind about yoga and possibly reintroduce them to the practice.

Since it was just Felicia and I, I modified the class. I took her through some pratapana (warm ups) and at that point I could tell that I was going to have to slow the class down and make sure that she got exactly the attention that she needed. I had a whole plan and was going through all kinds of poses, but I knew that may or may not happen that night.

For the next 30-40 minutes we made it through Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), low lunge and Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana Eka). Then we closed moving through Staff pose (Dandasanana) to seated forward fold (Paschimottanasa).  Then we ended with savasana.

Taking time to move Felicia through the poses was so great! When teaching class although I take my time, it's also often about getting through the plan. This time I really just let the plan go and it became intuitive.  I have sort of been waiting for that moment in a way. I usually write down my plan for class and I keep it in a book beside me. Sometimes I look at it and sometimes I don't, but that day I just closed it and I because mindful of my students needs and worked from there.

After class Felicia said she loved it!  It has renewed her faith in yoga and she was going to bring a friend next week! It was really a great class and I'm so thankful for that chance happening.

I can't wait to see you all at class. Now you know that even if you are the only one there, it's going to be an amazing time.


Friday, April 5, 2013


Over the years I have practiced many types of yoga. My very first yoga class was at Integral Yoga on 13th street in Manhattan.  It was a great place to start because they have a designated Brand New Beginners class.  So there is no worry about looking crazy your first time because it's everyone's first time. It's a class full of virgins so to speak.

I practiced there for while until I joined a gym in Brooklyn near my house called the Training Academy. It was on Waverly Avenue, owned by a black woman named Laura Gorriaran-Goodwin,  and it had a boxing ring. I have to admit, that's why I really joined the gym. As many of you know I am a Sporty Spice so to stand inside of a regulation size boxing ring was like going to sporty heaven for me. So I joined and started taking kickboxing!  

Just before I joined this gym, I had been going to another in Brooklyn that shall remain nameless.  I took a couple of yoga classes there, but they were pretty bad, especially after going to Integral. I thought I would never take yoga at a gym again, but when I joined the Training Academy, something told me to give yoga one more try.  

Now two major things happened while at this new gym.  I realized that I had a shoulder injury. Something I had suffered at the other gym, but to this day I don't know exactly how it happened.  The other thing is that I found out I had a hiatal hernia.  I tell you folks, the wheel doesn't stop turning. But let's get back to yoga. 

At the Training Academy I started taking Kundalini and Iyengar yoga. Talk about two different styles, but I really loved them both and I had two amazing teachers.  Simran taught Kundalini and Debra taught Iyengar.  I feel so blessed to have met these women because this is the time in my life where I feel that yoga saved my life.  

When I learned that I had the hernia, the doctor tried to put me on meds indefinitely. Without getting into too much detail I'll just say that the breathing in Kundalini made it so I never had to take one pill.  Then later when I had my shoulder injury, it was the Iyengar that helped me ease back into practice and have proper alignment so I wouldn't hurt myself again.  

As time went on and yoga became more and more popular in NYC I found myself in a ton of vinyasa classes. Everywhere I went it was just vinyasa. I enjoyed them for sure, but I felt something was missing.  As time went on I got lucky again and found some new amazing teachers at a studio called Area Yoga.  First was Tina, then Keely and Shira.  I put myself on a 30 day yoga challenge and they were amazing. They really restored my love of yoga and Keely was the first to encourage me to think about teacher training.

Fast forward to teacher training.  I almost went to Laughing Lotus, but the Goddess saw fit to send me to Kripalu.  I am so thankful for that, but the emphasis at Kripalu is not on flow or at least not a vinyasa style of flow as I knew it. At first I thought I might miss the flow, but while training and then after when I starting teaching classes, I have really grown to love a slower paced, breath and posture focused practice. So that is what I have been teaching, but last Tuesday (3/26) I decided to sub for one of my fellow teachers at Hip Dhamma.

I wasn't sure what style of class she taught, but I soon learned that her class is vinyasa.  I knew I could do it, but up to this point I had never taught that style of class.  So before heading to the studio, I got on my mat and home and mapped it out. It all came back so fast, but I wanted to also make sure I wasn't losing the Kripalu philosophy in it all.  I know how it is when you are a sub in any kind of class. You really have to show and prove because often times people who come to class are coming to practice with "their" teacher.  You all know what I mean.  Well...here goes nothing.

I got to class and met Mack.  He is one of our new karmis at the studio so he set up and the room and he informed me that he was also going to take the class with me. Then slowly people started coming in.  Soon Chris, who I hadn't seen in a while, shows up.  Also I had a woman in class who had never taken yoga before.  Now I really knew I had my work cut out for me. I just assumed that most of the people there would have at least taken yoga before. I guess you know what they say happens when you assume.  LOL.

I opened class as I usually do. Pretty slowly, was a little talk and some breath work. Then we turned up the heat.  Even though I have pretty good yoga language, moving faster I really had to be super mindful and keep an eye on my newbie.  Tough!  Usually when I teach class I do all the moves or as many as I can with the students, but this time I really couldn't. I had to do some and then really keep an eye out. At the close of every class, while the students are in savasana, I give them Reiki. There were 7 people in the class so I took time and  I made sure I sent energy to everyone.  I wasn't sure how people felt about the class at that point, but at least I knew that the folks would be feeling good after their shot of Reiki. LOL

When class was over many if not all of the students told me that they really enjoyed the class.  I was so thankful.  At some points I really didn't know how it was all going to turn out.  A couple of students wanted to know what time I teach on Sundays so they can come!  That was really great.   Since graduation, every time I am asked to teach and I know it’s something that I have not done before, I say yes.  That is what we were taught at Kripalu and so far saying yes has really worked out wonderfully.

So, In the spirit of Kripalu, I declare that  I am a vinyasa teacher! Yes! Give Thanks!