Welcome to Black Yoga Society’s Meet The Community! Every Monday and Thursday, we feature a member sharing their spiritual journey and discussing all their wins and losses along the way. If you’d like to be featured, contact us.
I’m an Afro-German woman. My father was in the military when he was stationed in Berlin and met my mother. I grew up there, in this magnificent multicultural city. I moved to the United States with a basketball scholarship to Saint Augustine’s College in North Carolina. At the time, I knew I wanted to be a therapist and so I majored in Psychology. As an athlete, competition and strength were my vehicles for achieving my goals and led to being accepted into the Counseling Psychology PhD program at Virginia Commonwealth University. The rigor of that program was tremendous. Class, research, practice… the schedule was incredibly demanding for mind and body. For our last year of training, I completed an internship in Chicago and graduated with my doctorate in August 2013.
“Through that intentional time with yoga and in nature I was able to hear my own voice.”
The spiritual path I’m on now feels like it emerged from that point. I took my first job as an Assistant Professor and moved back to North Carolina. Almost immediately upon my arrival, my body was sending me signals that something was wrong. I was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and had to make significant changes to my lifestyle. As part of those lifestyle changes, I delved deeply into my yoga practice. I was always curious about yoga and taken classes here and there. At this time of emotional and physical chaos, yoga gave me a secure base. I practiced 6-7 times per week in addition to light cardio and intentional time with nature. Through that intentional time with yoga and in nature I was able to hear my own voice. The hustle and bustle of graduate school quieted. The expectation of advisors, faculty, and supervisors faded away and I realized that I did not want to be a professor, I needed to be a therapist.
I left my job as a professor 9 months after starting, a decision many people didn’t understand. I returned to Chicago for a postdoctoral position and made it my mission to focus on building my life as a therapist. I started my private practice, which I called “Grounded Power Psychological Consulting.” Yoga continued to accompany me. Anything with yoga in the event title, I was there! I tried all different styles, teachers, and venues. I recognized that yoga was the balance I needed for my competitive drive. My softer, flow-like energy was cultivated through the practice, and I became more myself.
Through all of my exploration, I felt like a very welcomed guest in most orientations of yoga, until I practiced Kemetic Yoga for the first time. This ancient Egyptian approach and philosophy resonated more strongly with my identity and my soul than any other practice of yoga I had engaged in. Kemetic Yoga felt like home. My journey was further elevated by my Kemetic Yoga teacher training in Egypt with Master teacher Yirsir Ra Hotep in November 2017. Practicing movements and postures informed by our African ancestors while feeling the energy of the temples and sacred grounds changed me profoundly.
My Kemetic Yoga training was the most recent significant addition to my personal and professional identity and I feel like my full self is integrated into my professional endeavors. I changed the name of my practice to “Grounded Wellness LLC.” I hired additional clinicians and health coaches, so that our services reflect what I know to be true about the mind-body connection.
We now offer therapy, self-care workshops, sport and performance psychology services, Kemetic Yoga, and health coaching. Each part makes sense for my journey, and I feel so fortunate to now have a team to spread this message. The balance that I promote is reflected in our logo, a rendition of the West African Adrinkrah symbol system, dwennimmen, or “rams horns” which encourages the balance between strength and humility. I am certainly still growing and evolving, and feel grateful that the pieces of my journey and my purpose can be expressed in how I serve others.
Connect with us at www.groundedwellnessllc.com and subscribe to our newsletter! Find our listing on Black Yoga Society here: https://listings.blackyogasociety.com/listing/grounded-wellness-llc
If you want to see more “Meet The Community”, click here.