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OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 184

It's the start of the last month of the year so this Friday we are kicking off Wellness Month by sharing tips and tricks to get through the holiday season. Please join us and our featured speakers:



Casey Phillips:  Constant narrative, but oh my God, I cannot believe today is December 1st. Where did the year like accelerate to? But it has been a year and we appreciate everyone for being here with us on this Friday as we kick off the home stretches, how I'm looking at it as the end of the year, so great to see Kelli Rogers here. Cause Kelli, I was actually thinking about you this morning. I was like, I miss Kelli in the Friday call. So I feel like I beamed you from afar. How you been my friend.

Kelli Rogers: Good. Just been a busy couple of weeks in the last couple of Fridays. I haven't been able to join. So I'm happy to be back. Yeah, that's everybody's face.

Casey: Hey in the spirit of today's call, you're you're, you are a healthy human. As said, any, have you been going on any interesting hikes? You have any interesting health health things to share that you've come across that you find interesting for the group.

Kelli: No, just trying to stay on, that whatever little bit of exercise I can get every day, even if it's just a walk around the block, which I did this morning, because I don't have a whole lot of time. Just did a really quick early morning walk around the block this morning to at least get it up and moving and trying to hang in there with the holidays. I did make some healthier adjustments to my. Usual butter filled sweet potato casserole and stuff this year that nobody even noticed. So there you go.

Casey: There you go. No it's all about the little things and I don't know if anybody else feels this way, but I'm more of a afternoon exercise kind of girl, right? And it's so hard to do that in this time of year, because the darkness is upon it. It's really hard to cut the workday off at 3 30 or 4 o'clock to make sure you get that in. Folks, I know that I'm overstating the obvious, but the morning time is going to be the most obvious time to do it. So you have to wake up a little bit earlier and get some fresh air in the lungs. Let Kelli be your inspiration for the day. And Dr. Bell, what's going on? Why are you not repping the OneRouge shirt today? All your friends have it rocking, but it's cool, man. You look dressed and good.

Flitcher Bell: I'm sorry to be out of key. I have four other meetings after this one today. So I had to don't, to look collar things of that nature. And I'm like Kelli, I'm an early morning workout person. I wake up at 4 15 in the morning and it just helps get my mind, my blood, and just get my spirit, and it helps me through the day.

Casey: Awesome. There you go. So everyone has said just normal everyday humans doing the right doing the right things and making small decisions. And that's really going to parlay into our call today. Pepper. Now that it looks like the lights came back on and I gave you a little space. You ready to go?

Pepper Roussel: Yeah, I'm ready to go. I'm just standing by a window and I thank you for it. I am actually, I feel somewhat, I don't know, like an underachiever because my spirit doesn't wake up until 6. so Flutterbell is up and moving around and accomplishing more than I do all day before 9 am. Anyways happy Friday. Y'all. Welcome one Rouge family. So glad that you are here. We are kicking off wellness December because we can and we should there are a lot of different things that go on in the month of December, whether it be holidays or like we put in the reminder, there are lights everywhere, whatever it is that you celebrate, however, it is that you celebrate or on the other end of the spectrum. If you don't, because you have some sort of A block, a barrier, or something along those lines and we just want to give you some tips and tricks on how to make it through. So we've got some really incredible women who are going to be sharing with y'all just that today. And we are going to start with Elena Keegan. Elena, please let us know who you are, what you do and what we need to know.

Elena Keegan: Okay, great. Thank you. And thank you for having me. And I want to acknowledge the One Rouge for all the amazing work you do to try to move the needle on the wellness of our state and elsewhere. And I, my name, I work, I have a product called Spiro Stretch that is designed to help people breathe and stretch. It makes it easy to stretch and breathe and do yoga with this. But as I begin, I want you to, I want to ask you, invite you to turn your attention to your breath and just notice how your breath is right now. Is it deep and full or is it just shallow right up here in your upper lungs? Raise your hand if it's give us a hand if it's shallow and just in your upper lungs, right? Okay, 99 percent of us. Thank you. 99 percent of us are breathing that way. And that's got to stop because what if I told you that the answer to helping people manage stress heal mentally and physically is already within us. Wouldn't we want that is, and I'm going to talk a little bit about that. And I also want to share why I even got into the health and wellness field. And in a nutshell, because I only have a short time it's because the early deaths of my father and my brother to heart attacks and diabetes. My father died at 51 with a heart attack, and eight days later, my 28 year old brother died from a heart attack. He was, my father was a doctor, and my brother was also in the medical field. When you talk about having sadness, in the holidays I can relate. Let's get back to our breath, because what I learned from that traumatic experience is that stress is the cause of most disease. And if not all of it, and we all, we've all heard that, but why is that why is stress cause disease? And the reason is because when we're stressed, we hold our breath. And if we hold our breath, we are cutting off our body's natural mechanism to heal and balance itself both emotionally, physically. And mentally, and so I'm on a mission in my life. I've dedicated most of what I've done to further and move the needle on increasing people's awareness of their superpower of their breath, your breath, not only relaxes nervous system, but it also cleanses the body. Most people of toxins that cause disease. Most people don't realize that 70 percent of the toxins in our body, leave the body through respiration. When we remove toxins, it's coming through the breath. When we lose fat, it's coming through the breath. It's from breathing. That's one reason exercise helps us lose weight. It's because the body can process because we're breathing more can process everything that's in the body. And so I sent pepper a little video. I don't think we're going to have time to watch it. So you can maybe pepper if you would include that link in an email so that people can look at it. That further instructs breathing, but just. Okay, thank you. I went ahead and brought a picture of our diaphragm because our diaphragm is the keeper, the gatekeeper of our breath. So look, can everyone see the long hoops? I've got this backwards. Can everyone see the lungs here? These are our lungs. We're only using this top part, but look how much we have. And we need to learn to do that. The diaphragm is this. It's connected to everything. Does everyone, can everyone put their hand right over their belly button? And with me with your mouth, like you're fogging up a mirror, I just in with your mouth. I want you to go and keep doing that until you have nothing left. And then when you're ready to breathe in, breathe down in towards your hand. Let the diaphragm go down. Breathe in just so you can feel your diaphragm. Now, close your mouth. Exhale through your nose. And then inhale into your lower lungs, middle lungs, and then your upper lung. Okay, so in general, that is what a diaphragmatic breath looks like. Your diaphragm goes down, it pulls open the lungs, and as you exhale, the diaphragm is going to go up, expelling the residual volume of the air in the lungs, thus cleansing the body. That same action massages the nervous system to make us feel better. If you take another deep breath, you'll feel it in your back. Breathe down towards your kidneys. That action, right there, sends a signal to your body. Everything's okay. You can relax. Even though nothing outside of us has changed. That's the superpower of your breath, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.I encourage everyone on this call to make it your business, to educate yourself on how to breathe properly, learn to breathe diaphragmatically, and most recently I've summarized it to just a four and four breath. Forget all, you don't have to forget them, but don't worry about knowing any other breathing technique except breathing in for a count of force slowly. And exhaling for a count of four slowly and then imagine that your lungs are divided into four levels. And so we're going to, I'm going to leave you with, we're going to do 1 or 3 rounds of 4 and 4 breath. So imagine, so when you breathe in the 1st levels at your belly button, you're going to fill up the bottom 1st, then the next level, then the next level. This will be your collarbone area. So everyone exhale with me for a count of 1 through your nose. 1, 2, 3, 4, watch Tina and then inhale, breathe into your lower lungs level 1. Breathing in level 2, breathing in level 3, and all the way up here, level 4. Notice your spine lengthen. Exhale, 1, 2, 3, 4. Relax your shoulders. Inhale, 1, 2, 3, 4. Exhale, 1, 2, 3, 4. Inhale, 1, 2, 3, 4. Or and just notice how you feel. Your breath is always in the present moment. Our minds can go to the future and past and keep us stressed. Or we have it's, and we're the gatekeeper. We have the responsibility. No one can do this for us. We can't have a healthcare system without a self care system. So I hope that I encourage all of you to make it your business, to take control of your breath and gain your own superpower that you already have. So I wish you all the best in the holidays and I'll be here for questions. Thank you.

Pepper: Thank you so much. That was fun. I don't know that I've been this relaxed. in A while. Anyway, next to Tina Ufford, Tina, please let us know who you are, what you do. How are you showing up today?

Tina Ufford: Hi, I'm Tina Ufford. And I am a in order of appearance in the movie of my life, a potter. Massage therapist and a yoga instructor and I came to the health and wellness world through pottery because I started off as a production level, high stress, must get lots of things done potter in my late teens. And so I was already starting to get curled up and strange in my body. By my early twenties. So I started going to massage and going to yoga classes, but there weren't really any yoga classes. So I picked up a bunch of books and started intellectually bookishly making my way through it. So I came to being a teacher, just really honestly and truly sharing my practice with people, like with my coworkers and with anybody else who wanted to join me, I used to go into work early and. Practice yoga on the lawn. So I feel like yoga is absolutely for every body, every single body. And I love the current conversations that are going on around, consent and your body, your choice. And I feel like that becomes even stronger in us as humans, the, my body, my choice feeling, if you are constantly locating yourself. In your own body, and you're really aware every day of how your body is, where your restrictions are, where you're feeling strong, and so you can be, working on that, regardless of what else is going on in your day, every day, and really claiming Ownership of your body and occupying your body. So one of my biggest loves of yoga is just simply helping people maintain where they are and progress from there every morning. And I admire everybody that gets up and does the early morning. My personal practice usually starts around. 7:30. But I love the idea of working out or walking or doing whatever you do early enough so that you're still sleepy and you don't talk yourself out of it. So I love doing things early in the morning, but I also really appreciate visiting these things throughout your day. All of us that are at, that find ourselves at desks or sitting or in a situation where you're in a same physical posture most of the day, taking regular breaks to do stuff like this. Like Elena, I want to just follow up and back up her breath work. That count of four and for everybody who works with our hands, I am constantly working with my hands. I want to show you just a little easy secondary way to monitor that breath count. So everybody bring your hands together and just fold them like you normally would if you were just interlacing your fingers and just notice which thumb goes on top comfortably. And then settle back in and just hold that around that diaphragm space, the bottom of your rib cage. When you're breathing in now, count with your fingers. Pop those first fingers up for your low belly. Pop the second finger up, second fingers up for your mid belly, third. And then pinky. So this is sneakily a hand stretch as well. If you're on your keyboard on your computer all the time, just bringing the fingers up and down as a little break. If you're reading something on the computer and you're not needing to type for a moment, matching that with your breath and letting that kind of help you count. Another thing secondarily, after a couple of breaths with that is to get up. At least once an hour. Those of you that are at a desk all the time and put those hands flat down on your desk. I encourage all of you to do this right now. And on that inhale, do your best to look up and pull that chin away from your belly button. And on the exhale, do your best to get those ears down in between your shoulders. And give those shoulders some space. Elena mentioned our superpower being our breath and our other superpower being our lymph system. The lymph system doesn't have its own pump like our heart and our lungs. Our movement is the pump for our lymph system. That's why the lymph nodes exist in places where we move a lot. So anytime you give yourself some just simple movement like that with your breath, You're doing a huge favor to your body and helping everything continue to circulate. So I encourage this in my pottery classes, everybody to look up and move a little bit before you go into focusing and concentrating on what you're doing. And of course, within my massage practice, constantly asking people to Breathe in to some discomfort. And as we breathe out, we shake things out and let things go. So I will continue to be here. I'm living in mid city and I love to answer questions and help people. Be in their bodies and be joyous in their bodies and be comfortable in their own bodies as they are right now continue to be.

Pepper: This is great. Listen. We have P. Tuck in there. Tuck in the chat. Oh my back, but in a good way And I honestly admit, I sit at a desk most of the day and I shrimp, which actually does other issues. Thank you for that tip and trick. All right. Next we've got so, Laura, if you wouldn't mind letting us know who you are, what you do and what we need to know about your 5 minutes starts.

Laura Johanna: Hi, everyone. So sweet to be here with y'all. I am zooming in from New Orleans. I am one of the directors of a yoga meditation and Dharma center here in New Orleans called Sama Studio. we're a fully donation based space, so we don't charge for any of our classes. And we haven't in the 12 years that we've been around. And Our hope with that is really that these practices become fully accessible to whoever desires them, and we really see this practice of yoga, not just the physical piece, not just asana or pranayama, but the entire structure and philosophy and practice of practice. Mindset and belief system behind it as designed for a very specific purpose. And that purpose is that we are, you could say and this problem was the same in, 2, 500 years ago when these ideas were first beginning to circulate as they are now, which is that we live in a world that has a lot of suffering in it. And we experience that ourselves, like life can be hard and this time of year, as pepper was saying at the beginning of the call is we can really feel that, oh, it's more stressful or, oh, I'm seeing, maybe family that's challenging for me, or I'm having like, memories that are hard for me. And the goal of all of these practices of their fundamental route was to give us a pathway out of suffering and to. Help us with different practices and tools and teachings to figure out how to break that cycle. And not just for ourselves, but for everyone around us. and so part of that is. Not just dipping into classes or doing things when times are hard, but really creating a foundation all the time, um, where this just becomes your baseline, that's one of the reasons that we really wanted to make this accessible for everyone. So there's no minimum donation or anything like that. We do also have, since I know that you all are mostly in Baton Rouge, a lot of virtual offerings. Most of our classes are hybrid, which means that they take place in studio and online. So you can zoom in for free. We also have some classes that are virtual only but most of them are a combination of the two. And then we do actually have some community members that live in Baton Rouge and who are. Periodically drive in to take classes and workshops and retreats with us. But when we like try to break down as many of the like obstacles that we experience of like how much effort it can take to get to our practice to sit on the cushion every morning or to get up and move our bodies the fewer barriers we have between that. And the more we make that a non negotiable in our life, the more likely we are to start integrating that. And so when that happens, it's Oh, I'm not just like in a stressful moment going to try to remember what I'm supposed to do or Oh, now it's, December. So now I need to like, get my act together. It's more if I can do that consistently all the time, then in that stressful moment or in that activated moment, it's already there. I don't have to think about it. It's now just part of my default. It's something that I've trained. And I don't have a movement or a breath practice. I believe in all of those. I advocate strongly for all of those. And the only thing I would add is don't just do it when it's hard or when. It's stressful, don't just do it in December, do it January through November. So that in December, it's just a lived experience that you're familiar with in your body. And part of that is, is really getting to know ourselves and all of the challenges that we have towards getting ourselves to the practice. So I'm super happy to be on this call. Thank you so much for the invitation. I'm looking forward to discussing more and learning together. Thanks everyone.

Pepper: You know what? I feel absolutely seen. This is not just for this is not just for December where you need to get your act together, but those of us who are just trying to get our acts together are still just trying to get our acts together. Thank y'all ladies so much. The. Words of wisdom, the tips and tricks question already popped up in the chat. And thank you, Laura for for letting us know that there are virtual options to your studio. Are there do we know of any options of free classes in Baton Rouge that might be child friendly asking the question for obvious reasons, but also because we like to make sure that, we're helping to remediate poverty.

Elena: I have a class. The last Wednesday, the last Tuesday of the month at West Baton Rouge Museum. I know that's not Baton Rouge, but it's close enough the last Tuesday of the month in West Baton Rouge Museum. I teach a free community class and we do have children in there with their parents, which is really sweet. And this December, it happens to be. Before Christmas before the 25th this month only, but the rest of the month, the last Tuesday of the month, West Baton Rouge Museum free class open to complete beginners. All levels feels really nice. And I teach it.

Pepper: That's phenomenal. Thank you so much. And so I love the idea of the free class. And I also, I'm all about movement as well. The question though are there any sort of limited mobility options if you're doing yoga? I've seen people doing, crazy twisty things. And I don't have a okay, I am old, but I don't have a lot of other limitations on my mobility. I just, I wonder like for folks who may, what do they do? Can they join? Or is this not for them?

Elena: They can come to that class but I do know that the red shoes has chair yoga. Many places have chair yoga. They're not free, but they do have it. And this is exactly why Pepper, I created the Spiro stretch tool. This connects your hand to your foot. You can do it in a chair. Really I encourage people to do it in bed right before they go to sleep to reset their muscles and their nervous system. I'll just show you real quick. People are like, what do you do with that? It connects you. You can you connect your hand to your foot for people who feel that believe that they are too stiff to do yoga and like Tina said, if we're not moving our body and clearing the pumps, so to speak, we're going to have, we're going to have a clogging of issues. Yeah, Casey's got a spiro case. You want to tell us how you. How it, okay, good. You can it's it just helps make yoga more accessible. Even a person without a hand can use it. Someone who's recovering. It does. It's many things. There's 60 ways to use the spiral. I won't give you a commercial, but this is perfect. Makes it accessible.

Pepper: It's not so much about thinking that I can't do things. It's really about knowing how far away my feet are from my hands. Most of the time, but as we are moving through, right? Looking at Concept or really promoting the concept of movement and breath and making part of an everyday activity. How do we do that? It feels really hard because I'm not your belt. Yeah, I'm 415 for anything in the world. Maybe a flight anyway. How do we incorporate this in a regular day? What do we do? Tina, you want to answer? Sure, that's for all of y'all.

Tina: Yeah, I live with a partner who is on his computer mandatorily for Eight hours plus a day and he actually at times where he's really concentrating on something that he actually wants to do you know, and he'll get lost in all kinds of Pathways he will set a timer. He will just simply set a timer And it seems like the silliest thing to do, but it also all of us who are over scheduled and juggling multiple lines of thought in our schedules, I know that some of us have to schedule. Time off and schedule a day with nothing and schedule lunches with friends. So it's the same thing that I was talking about earlier, like taking real ownership of what your body is and does, and really occupying your space. We all need little reminders, so if you can find it in your phone or have a separate little timer going on, where like, when you're really in it, in a computer working situation, every 45 minutes. There needs to be a little ten minute. wAlk about of some kind that might be when you go to the bathroom or get a snack, but it also can be getting those arms up. It's so funny how big of a deal this is. And some, there's a line of thought about power stances, like, how we stand when we're really occupying a space versus how we stand when we're feeling, apologetic or less than or something like that. That the body stances just give your body signals. Like Elena said, that things are okay, that you're in charge or that you're not in charge and that you're not okay. We curl around. So just things like putting your hands on your hips for a couple of moments, taking your arms up overhead. If you put any of those things together with walking around, arms up overhead, walking around, it's the weirdest. tiniest, like simplest thing. But if you do that three times a day, it will just change you. And what do you have to lose?

Elena: We don't even need 10 or five minutes, one minute. If everyone just clasped their fingers, push their arms up and just lengthen their spine. Just stretch up everyone anyone who's on camera stretch up lean to 1 side take a deep breath and press your diaphragm down. We're opening the spine. We're bringing our awareness back into our body. Inhale. Go the other way. Oh, we're still under a minute. Coming up now, just turn to your side and grab your chair and look behind you take a deep breath there right into your spine signaling the nervous system to relax and then inhale back to center. Do the other side and then you're done. You'll feel a sense of presence and renewed energy because you have opened up the channels of energy and so this is a skill that just takes practice like everything else. I like to say stack your habits. If you have a habit of doing, include stretching as one of them are breathing and stretching, but I really love what Laura said about this is an all day thing. And so any way that you can create a structure. scaffolding for yourself to remind yourself. I'll put this in the chat, but my app is just being renovated. It's called my awareness coach, and it will send a ding to your phone at the interval that you choose. I'm going to put that it should be ready in about two weeks. It's free. It'll be on the app store, my awareness coach, and it's not just for stretching and breathing.

It's for gratitude, whatever it is you're trying to cultivate in your awareness, gratitude, positivity. There's just so many things we could talk about this all day, but yes.

Pepper: Yeah, that's the point, right? We're starting off and letting people know that even though this is a difficult time of year for a lot of folks, that there are some options, right? There's a request for contact info. If y'all could drop your classes, your information in the chat, I'd appreciate it. Thank you. Caitlin for doing the moves, even off camera and sorry. Laura, sorry, I had, I grew up with people whose first name was Johanna. Anyway so Laura you mentioned incorporating these sorts of things into your daily, into your every day. And so I am personally a victim. Of learning things and then forgetting about them until I need them and I want to pull them out then and I don't know that they work as well. So what sorts of things can I be doing? Even if it's just a little thing in order to incorporate. These moves, right? Yes, the breathing, which is super great and wonderful and awesome because I like breathing. It keeps me alive. Yes, the moving, because it gets me from place to place, but it also releases stressors. What are you thinking? What would you tell those of us who are you relegated to our desks 8 hours a day who don't have 10 minute, 15 minute breaks every hour in order to move around.

Laura: I love this question because it comes up all the time. It's I think an age old question. And I think the answer varies for everyone, of course, and we'll all have different things that work for us. The conversation that I usually have this around is with meditation, Oh, I can't seem to stick to my daily meditation practice. But you could insert it. Whatever you want in there, going to the gym, going for the walk, doing asana, doing pranayama, and one of the things that has helped me the most in all of my the morning practices, you could say, or the things that I have found make a difference in my life that I know I need to do, but I don't always feel like it. One of the things that has made a really big difference to me is to just make the. Personal decision that thing is a non negotiable. Think about for me like I can't imagine leaving my house without brushing my teeth first, like it's a non negotiable or having a cup of coffee like no matter how early I have to leave the house like I will make sure that there are like certain things that happen. They're just like, it's impossible for me to get going or to leave without doing them. And we have to make the decision that even like just a five minute something is a non negotiable. And what that does is it takes out all of this The sort of internegotiation that we can do to talk ourselves out of things like, oh, I'll do it tomorrow or, oh, I'm too tired today. So if we just decide I'm doing it no matter what it's, there's no room for debate. I think that's really helpful. A second thing I'd say is to have different versions of this thing for you. So you might have a version that's like a full size version when your morning is going ideally and you have lots of time and then also have a version in your mind, like something in store that you can do if you just have five or 10 minutes in the morning, like it doesn't have to be an all or nothing, find the thing that you can do, on a morning where you don't feel great or in a morning where you're running late so that it's not all or nothing, but you've got something every single day that you can do. And yeah, I think I had a 3rd thing, but we'll leave it at that. Those are those would be my recommendation.

Pepper: That's brilliant. I love the idea of a pint sized version of getting me up and moving and doing things that are good for me because I know that they are. And sometimes I simply do not prioritize myself. But as I look at the zoom window, I see a lot of folks who work with folks and support folks who are going through it. Yeah, just to be completely blunt, right? So dealing with folks who are unhoused folks who are hungry folks who have kids who are facing issues folks who themselves are dealing with the justice system. Are these things that. That they as support service can do or right? Because I am often like the support folks or is this something that folks who are going through these issues can do? Are they different? Same? Help me.

Elena: Can I answer that? Yes, they're that they are the support folks. I Like to say that when there is a crisis going on. Sometimes our mind thinks something outside of me has got to change until so that, to be okay. But the truth is that until we become conscious into our bodies in our breath, and maybe there's a support person saying, let's take a breath. Let's just take a breath and really get them in their bodies in their moment and just putting a hand on a shoulder with maybe can't touch. And saying, okay. Let's just breathe and let's just see how we're going to get through this together. But that breath is so important because the mind is what's tensing and contracting the body out of stress. It's a biological response. So I'm just going to keep coming back to the breath because until that's in place, there's no better, there's nothing you can do around diet and, all these other outside things that we do. If your breath is not flowing, then nothing can flow through us. Mentally thought wise, emotionally and physically. So that is to me, in my opinion, the always the best place to start is with the breath to calm, get present. And let's see, how can we address this together? It's going to be okay. I'm here. I'm here to help you. Let's breathe and person can and start to see options. We're in that fight white mode. It's hard to do anything else that the breath opens up, wax presence to do things. And, I'm a firm believer until that's in place and it's non-negotiable, And we educate our children to breathe upset, to have a headache or, that makes believe.

Pepper: So please don't misunderstand. This sounds like a lot of hippy dippy stuff. like I would be sitting around with my yogurt and granola in the morning, stretching and listening to weird songs and playing with bowls. Is this For the weirdo tree huggers only? Or, thank you, Caitlin, who just did yoga and granola with blueberries. Is this just for the tree huggers or is this something that everybody can do and incorporate into their daily lives?

Tina: I want to say, absolutely. When I was 19 and starting to have physical body problems already, when I went to my first massage ever at 19 or 20 and had, older massage therapist. Be in wonder how jacked my body was already and knowing that I was coming from a place of must make and do to survive, period. That's why I'm here. That's why I'm breathing. That's why my body exists, to make and do, and make money, and make things. Everybody who thinks that's why we're here, the opposite of hippie dippie is what? And I didn't feel myself as a hippie dippie person when I first started getting massage, but I knew that I was in pain. And unfortunately, a lot of people come around to the place where they're allowed to be vulnerable because nothing else has worked. And before we get the big lesson of being walloped on the head by something big that shuts you down, your body is a soft animal that we inhabit and it will get you to sit down and stop one, one way or the other. And there's nothing hippy dippy about that. Like Elena said, her people checking out early. I've had a couple friends check out early from physical problems. And, it's from a business point of view, your inner business manager that drives us all to manage these big heavy schedules and all the people and all the things.

From a business point of view, you have a limited amount of resources every day. And you have a limited amount of breaths. We don't know what that number is. You have a number of breaths that you're going to have on this planet and why not use those resources fully and completely to the best of your ability, and being at the desk and being in a hunchy position and being in a scared position. And being in a constantly helping position all of those positions have the time to breathe 'cause you're already breathing, but you have the time. Those moments of mindfulness, if you set an, if you set an alarm every hour or every three hours or whatever, like Elena was saying, it doesn't have to be a 10 minute thing every time. You can see how already, how much we can get done in a minute. One minute, and there's nothing hippie dippie about that. It's already happening. We're already breathing We're already in full possession of our bodies. And when you're advocating for someone else to Help them get better get to a better place if you're advocating for someone else or you're needing to advocate for yourself It's like part of the tool belt of advocating for yourself Is taking a breath and moving your lymph system. Your lymph system belongs to you. Nobody else is gonna move it for you. You're in charge of it. And for the sound vibration and all of that stuff that seems real hippy dippy if none of you ever sing in the car or sing in the shower, Then I can understand that sound vibration would be a new concept, but for those of us that sing in the shower occasionally or sing in the car occasionally, you've witnessed already how good that makes you feel, and it's the same. It's just in a less lyrical way. Any of the sound vibration stuff.

Elena: And those of you who don't sing, it's been shown that humming. Also calms in and activates the sympathetic nervous system. So if you just go, you can feel it behind your neck and behind your back sending vibrations to relax. It's a hum, is a way is a hack is a quick hat to feel better. So that's why there are so many little hacks, but the breath is the King, the Queen. I should say bad.

Pepper: Yes. The queen. Also I have heard and want to know more about the connection between yoga and breath. I don't think I understand exactly how this works. If we're standing around and we're breathing in deeply and then you're telling me to move. Do I stop breathing when I start to move help me? What do I need to do? What do I need to know? Okay, I'll follow you, Tina.

Tina: Okay. Like Elena was showing us with that diaphragm, we naturally expand when we breathe in, because we have to. The breath, the air occupies. Space, right? So we're already expanding when that breath is coming in and then we're contracting as the breath goes out. So the part of yoga and yoga means yoke to bring these two things together. Whenever you're breathing in is when you're going to be doing something that expands you. And when you are breathing out, you're going to be doing something that contracts you. Does that help just really?

So we are, we always are moving because we are breathing. So when you're doing yoga, you're just accentuating the movement that's already happening in your body. Cause people say that all the time. I deal with so many beginners and people who are starting their yoga practice in their fifties and sixties and seventies that are like, I'm not breathing, right? I'm not breathing right. And I'm like you're still alive. So you're doing something right. So let's just work with that what's already happening and let you continue to expand and contract with the natural movement that's already happening.

Elena: Thanks Tina. And so one of the things I learned in my yoga training is that thousands of years ago when this form of the science of mind body wellness people did the. The yoga postures, most people think of just the postures, the Hatha yoga they did that in order to relieve the tension from their body so that they could sit for meditation. Now people have, you put that in the thing, Pepper, that meditation is hard for you. If you're holding the belief that it's hard for you, then it's going to be even more difficult for you. If you begin to realize that you're connecting with your own essence in your breath, Is the key to your well being and also the key to you expressing who you came here to be, then it wouldn't be so hard. It's like you want to run to it and open your gift of who you are. And that comes through sitting in presence. So you do the postures so that you can sit in presence. And I'm using the word presence because I know there are a lot of different ways to see this part of us, the energy that's in us that leaves when we die. Whatever you call that vital energy, because we're a physical body and then we're an energetic aspect to ourselves. The energy that's flowing through us that animates us. So to not to ignore that part of ourselves and always have our attention outside of ourselves is to ignore the gift that we, each of us are. Is and so yoga and meditation is you do the postures to relieve the tension from your body so that you can sit and become one with yourself and the earth or whatever you want to call and that is, is probably the most important thing that a human being can do. And if all of us did it, then our planet would be a way more compassionate, loving, peaceful, harmonious place.

Pepper: And now we're back to being hippy dippy. Yay! Laura, I think it was you who'd actually brought up this whole concept of of meditation. And I do say not entirely jokingly that met clearing your mind is a difficult thing or my mind clearing my mind is a, there's just a lot of stuff going on in here. And so what. How do we even get there? And better yet, do I want to meditate? Yeah, this idea of being in better contact with who I was meant to be. It's my spirit form and it's wonderful and all, but I'm not so sure. I'm like why would I do it?

Laura: Yeah, I think if you are not sure, then it's good to try it out and see I tell people if you just feel like you need to meditate because somebody told you to you just think you should don't worry about it, these aren't practices that you should force yourself to do really, it should come from a place of I believe in this I really think this is going to change myself and My world. And if we don't have that type of connection to the practice, then it's not going to last. It's just going to always feel forced. So for people who, don't necessarily want to or don't feel like it has worked or it might not be the right practice for them at a certain moment in their life. I think that's fine. That said, I think that all of these practices are revolutionary and were designed to be that way. And, no, your comment about having a lot of thoughts is how all of us move through the world. And especially today, we have such an onslaught of stimulus and information and sensory overload all the time. And December is. Amped up with that, because we've got shopping to do and we've got holiday parties and there's just even a more heightened sense of this like stimulation that is coming at us and meditation is not about having a blank mind or dumping out our thoughts or becoming, spaced out. We're really trying to cultivate a very specific, clear, vibrant. A live mind that has the ability to focus on what we choose to focus on rather than just ping ponging around our being attacked by information and entertainment and work and, but actually to have the capacity within us to, to have single pointed focus and to choose what we keep our attention on. And so yeah. We decide to do that and then immediately a distraction will arise and that's just normal. So that doesn't mean you have a bad meditation practice. That means you have a normal untrained mind. It's just the way all of us are going to experience it until we develop a different kind of mind. And so ever and over, there's a beautiful, there's so many beautiful resources out there. Sharon Salzberg always says begin again. Begin again over and over. You just that is the practice is to recognize when you've gotten off of the object and you begin again and you begin again. And it doesn't matter how many times you return to the object or begin again. And your practice. It just matters that you returned one more time than you got distracted. That's all that matters. So if you got distracted 100 times, as long as you come back 101 times, like you're doing that effort. And then the things that evolve out of that are stunning for our lives.

Elena: Laura, that was beautiful. Can I just echo that? Because she said, begin again. That is, that's a huge takeaway from today. No matter how stressed you get, just begin again. Take a breath. Say, okay oh, wait, they talked about breathing today. Let me try that begin again. Begin again. Everyone all 3 of us yoga teachers. Why do you think we got into yoga? We're stressed. At least I was, but begin again. Begin again. Begin again. That was great. Laura. Thank you.

Pepper: So what I hear y'all telling me is that if I stretch and move my body and I breathe deeply and allow the stress and anxiety to quell my, to, to settle with my mind, that then I can sit in meditation and it will help me focus on one thing that will allow me in my every day when I'm not doing that stuff to just be more efficient. Is that?

Laura: I would say that efficiency is not the goal of meditation. It will be a beautiful side product that probably happens, but it's not the purpose. So I would just make that one little point of clarification for my own sakes. We're going to feel less stressed and more peaceful and more focused if we do all of these practices. But again, I don't think that those are the point. The point of all of these practices is to start to uproot. The causes of suffering in ourselves and in the world around us. And that is if we can hold that as our main motivator, then we'll never have to talk ourselves into doing these practices. We'll just be like, Oh, yeah, I don't want to suffer anymore. I don't want to be unhappy. I don't want to be rude to the cashier. I don't want to yell back at my partner. I don't want to fill in the blank. And That's that. These are practices that have been passed down for centuries that say they can help us achieve that, that can help us break out of that suffering. So that is the goal, not to be more, a more efficient worker or to be like more focused when we write emails and that those things might happen. And it's wonderful. But don't stop there. Let yourself like really imagine the big thing. What if I had a completely different type of experience? Experience in this world. Is that possible? And I would say that those type of like revolutionary practices are like at the root of all of the scripture

Tina: And I'll also offer like a counterpoint to that just the other side of that coin, in this modern day and this will age me, so I'm gonna do it anyway. When we used to have to think about defragging. A computer where we're like clearing kind of the staticky stuff out and compressing the information that's necessary that's in there. One of the first times that I successfully meditated, I could almost physically feel. That had happened in my mind because of that begin again, see myself following a thought salt, trying to solve a problem and coming back to relying on my breath. And relying on the fact that that is an important, that is an important piece of information, it will come back later, right now, here's what I'm trying to do, um, flexing that muscle, and allowing yourself to detach from those thoughts as they move by it, it really does, for me, anyway, create more brain space. For creative thought to come through, like you're saying, Laura, just the other side of that is the machinery that's going on in here is flooded. We all know this, the stuff that's coming in is at an all time high. So when you're giving yourself even three minutes. I'm not going to do anything and I'm not going to hold on to any of these thoughts. Let's just see what happens. Give yourself a blank slate, a black screen before the movie comes on and see how many times you can return to that blank slate. And it's just a muscle. It's just another muscle that we're flexing to clear space.

Elena: One more thing. Thank you. Tina is three things, three points to everyone. We all have stress and things that can cause us stress and sadness to the solution is within us. And three, it takes practice. Just, we all have it. We're not alone. The solution is within us and it takes practice.

Pepper: Oh, you guys make me want to be a hippie. Thank you so much for being here this morning. I really do appreciate your time, your energy, your tips and tricks. The holidays being what they are the. State of the world being what it is, I am excited to be able to use some of these. Except for the walking around with my arms up. I think that's a little too far, but excited to be able to put some of these things into practice up to and including joining some of these classes that are going to be available online. So thank you all so much. And Casey.

Casey: Yeah, I'm just gonna jump in real quick. So first of all, it's not hippie stuff. Today's session was underwritten by the Republican National Committee. And so it's for health is for everyone. Number two, because people are not going to they're not going to self promote. I would like to ask Elena to please put the link to the SpIro in the link. In the chat folks, it's it makes all the difference in the world when you're an inflexible human starting out and it sits right neck if it's near your eyesight, right? It's like they tell you what like put out in on your counter what you need to eat. That's healthy You eat what right? So if you see it out, then you'll use it and then number two you can wait most of us procrastinate until you're completely, your shoulder and your neck and your back is jacked before you go and Try to get work. That's okay. Our friend Tina. There have been many times, folks, we have MLK Fest coming up, right? So that's there have been many times that I have been flat, laid out, can't get up, can't do anything, still have to carry ladders, bigger paint buckets. Tina is the one who has allowed the walls to keep working with my effort over the last decade. She's the best body worker in the city and and she is and she is hilarious at the same time. And just remember the edge of her elbow isn't actually mean spirited. It's just there to make it go away. And she's amazing. And Laura, it was great to meet you today. I said. I can truly say I've never actually heard of a model like yours. And if more people operated in that spirit it's like when Radiohead gave their album away and you could just pay whatever you wanted to. They actually made the most money that they've ever made on an album when they did that when they did that. So it's just an interesting way to approach the work. And I just want to thank you all for being here. Pepper, you continue to amaze us in 2023. No Friday is the same. It's always a different experience. And the deep breaths today were much needed and much much appreciated. So thank you all for the space today. And of course, I believe that Pepper is getting the wind up for community announcements for this weekend's activities. So I'll do my best Pepper. What you got, right? Nina, what you got? I know you got something going on at the museum this month. What you got?

Rodneyna Hart: Yes, we've got lots of things. Go to our Facebook page. It covers everything a lot more thoroughly than I would be able to. But the thing that I'm most excited about is tomorrow we're doing a partnership with Be Our Pride. And we will be putting on a free gala for AIDS awareness. It's, A lot of things that are near and dear to my heart public health and wellness being able to support our community queer interests, just making sure that everyone is seen, everyone is supported and like I said, it's free, so if you want to dress up, wear red tomorrow, come on through I think that it will be a even with such a heavy topic, it's Going to still be a source of joy. Please come through. And then, we've got our lunchtime land yaps. We've got upcoming cool stuff. The next lane gap if you just want to hear something cool is all online. That makes it really accessible to a lot of people these days, but go to our Facebook page, follow us. Let's do fun things and keep being awesome. Thanks, y'all.

Casey: Hey, what time tomorrow?

Rodneyna: Tomorrow night time, so like seven, I think. But again, check the Facebook page. I'm really bad at dates and times and names because, that's exactly what you want in your history director.

Casey: Let's just say that you excel at so many things it wouldn't be fair for you to be great at that. Okay, that'll work. Reverend Anderson, good morning.

Rev. Anderson: Good morning, Casey. There's a lot of things going on this weekend, but I wanted to remind everybody today is World AIDS Day. And so Baton Rouge Metro Health will be doing a wonderful event at the McKinley Alumni Center at noon today. Also starting with November 25th, but going all the way to December 10th is a recognition international day regarding domestic violence. And it is super important because we have one of the highest domestic violence rates, but so does the rest of the world. And one of the things that we have to recognize is that there's something called 16 days of activism, is that all of us can be part of the solution. And so if you go to my Facebook page, you go to the UN's page, great information about this. But I can't encourage everybody enough. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but every single day in this parish, somebody is in jail, somebody is running away, somebody is victimized and sitting in an emergency room because of this epidemic. So it is critical, and my last thing I wanted to mention is that we had a wonderful event yesterday. And one of the things that we have found out is that many people knew that families were being kicked off of Medicaid and Medicare. The numbers are frightening right now. And so we are asking everybody who interfaces with populations that could be eligible to reach out to navigators.for a healthy Louisiana about seeing what you need to do to help make people aware that they need to reach out so that if they have to be renewed, they can be renewed. And if they're eligible, they can get their insurance. We're going into 2024 and that is when they are going to finish the massive renewal. And we want to make sure everybody gets insured if they are supposed to. And with that, I just want to say, have a wonderful weekend.

Casey: As always thank you, Reverend Anderson. Appreciate you and Tia, I just wanted to make sure and give you a little space to get off, come off mute because I know that you've been meeting with a lot of our partners in One Rouge and just make sure that every week people hear your voice, know who you are, and if they haven't got a chance to meet with you to bring more people into the into the community they can schedule some time with you for some hot tea, deep breathing and stretching.

Tia Fields: Absolutely. Thank you for the space Casey and everyone else for those who have not met me. My name is Tia Fields. I am a new community advocate with One Rouge, and I'm here to connect the people with the resources and the resources with the people and that's it. Happy Friday.

Casey: Cool. So anybody that has not had a chance to sit down with Tia, She would love the space to be able to get your thoughts on how to strengthen the coalition work and more humans that need to be at the table. And just quite frankly, if you would like to get to know another rad human that's been actually pushing for progressive advocacy in our city for quite some time. She brings a lot to the she brings a lot to the table. And so anyway, we're thankful and really grateful to have her as part of the team. And yeah, that's it. Pat LaDuff. Speaking of someone who is also a rad human. Good morning, amazing person.

Pat LeDuff: Yes Tia, I can't wait to meet you. Welcome aboard, and I just wanted to say that our tree planting was scheduled for today 6 to 9, but because of the weather many of the events were postponed rescheduled that tree planting will happen Sunday, rather than on a Friday 5 to 8, And that's going to be December 17th. And if you're still interested in donating toys or bikes, just give us a little more time to collect. So bring it on. And that's the real North Baton Rouge. So I need you guys to help us push North Baton Rouge. That can't be anything before Evangeline, right? And when you're talking about North Baton Rouge, make sure that it's not mid city, but it is indeed North Baton Rouge, so that we can get funding in the true North Baton Rouge and not divert it. someplace else in the intent of North Baton Rouge when it's not North Baton Rouge. Thank you.

Casey: This opens a whole fun conversation. We'll, that we'll circle back to. Hey, where's the location for the tree planting and what time?

Pat: Scotland Plaza which is the B Scenic Highway and Scotland Avenue, right at the Southern Corvette Cafe.

Casey: Awesome. Awesome. And I do want to also lift up that Southern Cafe, there is a artist talk on December 14th with Ashley Oh, that I would like to encourage everyone to come out and attend. And next time that you go to the Baton Rouge airport, you will see the latest walls mural. In the area between the rental car and baggage. And that is by Ashley Oh, so highly recommend that you support that creator. And then Pat LaDuff in the real North Baton Rouge it said we met with our friends at Breck yesterday and we're bringing so many trees to North Baton Rouge, my friend and I said in the coming years, and let's just keep building together. Appreciate you, Pat. And all that you do.

Pat: I had one other thing, if I could we have had a special request for my art. from our Children of the Village for a real reindeer. Now, I know that's really out of the park, but I want to announce it to everybody that has any influence at all. Bring the live reindeer to North Baton Rouge.

Casey: I don't even really know what to say to that request. It was like, I feel, I fancy myself as a fairly resourceful human. The only thing that comes to mind is Pat Tuck and his connections to LSU Ag and Southern Ag. And maybe I don't know.

Patrick Tuck: I'll reach out to a few people. Reindeer is not my normal thing. It's normally hogs and stuff, but I'll try.

Pat: Maybe we'll put some antlers on the hog. Thank you, guys.

Casey: Yeah, thank you. There's so many things to say. But let's turn it over to our friend, Marcela.

Marcela Hernadez: Hi, good morning, everyone. Thank you for today's session. I absolutely love it. It sounds horrible what I'm going to say, but I always forget that I have a body. And that exists and that I have to breathe. So today's session was amazing. I really appreciate it. Thank you. I also wanted to say we are having today a toy giveaway. We're going to be giving toys to kids at 5 p. m. But then also next week, if you know anyone who is interested in donating toys as well, please come to my office or call me. I'll be more than happy to go and pick them up. And then we're also collecting jackets, sweaters, and anything to cover up. We're trying to get as many coats as possible for those that are in detention. So we're just trying to see if we're able to go to one of the detention centers and give out coats. So if you're interested in either donating coats or toys, please let me know. I'll be more than happy to meet with you somewhere, pick them up, or brainstorm about some ways of getting them. Thank you. Thank you. The toy okay, the toy drop off. If you're gonna drop it off, you can come here to my office. I'm at the Family and Youth Service Center. I'm putting my cell phone in the chat so you can call me and you can, we can coordinate. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Casey: Awesome. Thank you, Marcela. Any more community announcements? Samantha, how's your bike rides going? We haven't heard your voice in so long. I almost forget the songbird toad.

Samantha Morgan: Oh boy. We meet every Monday at 6 PM at the electric depot. And during the winter months, we tend to go get hot chocolate on some of the colder night rides. So that's always a fun little trip. And we are definitely going to be over the next couple of weeks riding around and looking at Christmas lights. So if you feel like getting your body in motion, come join us. Monday nights, electric depot. You just got to bring your own bike. It's a ride at a slow pace ride that we go as fast as the slowest rider. So no need to worry about, will I be able to keep up? Everyone will keep up. And so it's a great way to get started moving again.

Casey: Awesome. And that sounds like evening activities, but during the day you are one of the premier, one of the premier videographers in video storytellers in the city would quickly flip it. Are you not?

Samantha: I Wasn't going to say it, but thank you for saying it. Yeah, so we launched a quick flip media and so we produce video photos and audio production. So it's a thing that you don't realize you need as much of until you really start looking at all the areas where, you're doing this great work, but you're not able to share it with people because, If anyone's ever coordinated an event, speaking of MLK day you're busy doing the work. You don't have time to document what's going on and you need that documentation not only for your grant reports, but for your social media accounts and to promote for the next year. So like Casey, I noticed y'all are using that great footage we got last year at MLK day for all your videos to promote for this year's events. It's just things like that you don't really think about until after the fact. So give me a call. We can help you out. We always give nice rates to nonprofits because tis my love.

Casey: And I was going to say, I was just like, look, if you own a big fortune 500 company or work at one of those please disregard the statement and let Samantha is a woman owned business, charge you the competitive rate that she should. But I will say if you are in the nonprofit space, a lot of times you don't think that you can afford videos. But you want them, you can actually get that at a really reasonable rate with Samantha and Tristy. I see you on the line and I was actually thinking how interesting it would be when we were at the Wilson Foundation event yesterday. If all of those if all of those groups actually had updated videos about their mission, how powerful that would be. And in being able. To be able to tell that story and it's just a lot of times sometimes the cost barrier a lot of times we get quoted videos, you know for eight thousand to twelve thousand dollars And it's absolutely worth it. I'd love to support those creators, but I don't know if y'all have gotten the memo but sometimes you don't always get to unrestricted funding and marketing dollars are difficult to fundraise for. And unless you have a lot of just generous donors that just cut checks and say, just do whatever you want to do. Oftentimes that is not allowed inside your grant compliance. Quite frankly, the Wilson Foundation is one of the only exceptions to that rule where they actually understand that, you have to pay people to do the work and not ask people. Who are working to alleviate poverty to live in poverty. And I said, but, I just wanted to lift that up for Samantha as a woman creator in the city small business, please consider supporting her as well.

Samantha: Thank you, Casey.

Casey: Yeah, you bet you, Samantha. Love that. Anybody else on the line need any help? Yeah. Put your stuff in the chat. Yeah, put your stuff in the chat, Samantha. Thank you so much. Is anybody else in their mission and their movements need any assistance from the people on this call and need some support? Anyone? Okay. With that being said, Pepper, is it okay if we let these amazing humans get to their body movements with Tina and go? Go one potato two potato three potato four. Are we out of here?

Pepper: Yeah, pretty much. Thank you all so much for being here. Thank you to our speakers for all the great information that you provided. Really super duper appreciate it. Thanks to all of you who dropped your information in the chat. Especially you, Rodnina, because I know that was a difficult thing to find. For those of you who've got things that are coming up, please let us know. The notes go out tomorrow. And otherwise, we will see you back here next time.Oh, excuse me, next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.


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