Two Monks at the River – A (very) short story

This episode breaks new ground; we are adding a new facet to our yoga chats. This is the first of many yoga stories. Some will be long and some, like this one, will be short. In fact, this one is very short.

If you like this story, you can find this one and more like it in this in the children’s book called Zen Shorts by Jon Muth. The link to the book is below.

Because of this newly styled episode, we need your help. We need to create a special tag to let our listeners know when the format of the podcast is different. Instead of an interview, this is a narration, a story, a reading, (do you get the point?). Help us create a catchy phrase that we can add on to the title that will let people know this is something different. You can post your suggestions on the facebook group, Chats From The Mat.

Interview with Amy Impellizzeri; festival organizer and van dweller

Amy Impellizzeri

Festival Director and Nomad

Amy Impellizzeri and I holding up Brittany Ann Pires wearing shirts of my design

Amy lives in a van with her husband. They have been travelling the U.S., teaching as they go for almost 2 years. In our conversation, she talks about some of the joys and challenges of this lifestyle. Her experience in and after college, managing dance performances prepared her to run festivals and she has been running the Divine Play AcroYoga Festival for the last four years. She has also just released a new exercise modality with Jason Nemer. As you would expect from someone with such a varied life experience, the conversation we have is enjoyable and insightful. I hope that you enjoy the fourth episode of the podcast, Chats from the Mat, yoga inspired conversations with me, Brian Macrae Davis.

If you are interested in getting more information about Amy Impellizzeri, contact her directly or find her on Facebook. She is available to train AcroFit Trainers, lead AcroYoga Immersions and Consult on festival management.

Facebook
Email: amyiacro@gmail.com

The two big festivals this year are:

  • Divine Play; Jamaica – April 18-23
  • Divine Play; Portland – October 6-8

I want to thank one of my personal yoga teacher sponsors, prAna clothing company. They produce Yoga, Travel & Adventure clothes with a conscience. Prana is one of the few companies that provide support for brand new yoga teachers. It is not the successful yoga teachers that need help and support, it is the ones that are starting their teaching career and struggling to make a living. Prana does just that.

Thank you, Eddie Salguero for the introduction. Eddie is Amy’s Husband and co-habitant of the van that she lives and travels in.

Interview with a middle eastern yogi/refugee

Bassam Kubba

Yoga Teacher, Spiritual Seeker and Refugee

Bassam grew up in Iraq. When the situation there became too dangerous, he and his family moved out of the country. He moved around the middle east, living in various countries illegally for about 7 years, doing various jobs. During that time, he was seeking legal, immigrant status but he was a low priority. At one point he learned that he would have an easier time finding asylum if he acknowledges his homosexuality, because of the threats of violence and potential death in that part of the world. Soon after, he was living in New York City.

When he was introduced to yoga, it looked like a religion to him, which conflicted with his religion of birth. Over time, he decided that the stories of India can be inspirational and they guided his inner search.

Bassam has lived through a lot of personal, internal conflicts with his sexuality, his religion and his profession. Of course, internal conflicts never end, but hopefully the intensity will subside. Now he teaches yoga, aerial yoga and acroyoga.

I hope that you enjoy the third episode of the podcast, Chats from the Mat, yoga inspired conversations with me, Brian Macrae Davis.

How to find Bassam Kubba

You can find him around New York City and at either of the Om Factory locations.

You can follow him on Instagram, @theacroflyer, and on Facebook.

I want to thank one of my personal yoga teacher sponsors, Xero Shoes; the best sandals for running, hiking, barefoot, walking. Xero Shoes make minimalist sandals that stand the tests of time and terrain and they have just released their first minimalist closed shoe. I like them because they pack easily, take up little room and are quite versatile. When I was in Hawaii, they were the only footwear I used; In town, in the rainforest or on the beach, they were perfect.

Thank you, Matt Worley for the introduction to this podcast. Matt is a yoga, SUP yoga and AcroYoga Teacher based in Newcastle in Australia.

Interview with Jean-Jacques Gabriel

Jean-Jacques Gabriel

Artist, Social Activist and Teacher of Color

Warning: this interview contains occasional profanity.

Jean-Jacques Gabriel & Brian Macrae Davis

Jean-Jacques Gabriel is a yoga practitioner of color, an artist and a teacher of many disciplines. He was born in Haiti, grew up in the suburbs of DC and move to Philadelphia in order to go to art school which is where he now resides. He has painted murals in Germany, portraits in London, toured Egypt and visited Uganda. His first yoga experience was a university class and he had a life-changing savasana that set Jean-Jacques on a new path. He began using the practices learned in yoga to help children at a women’s shelter and inmates in the prison system. One day, he was asked to teach a yoga class. Without any yoga teaching experience, he did so.

Jean-Jacques talks about being a ‘black dude with tattoos’ in a predominantly white practice, about finding the ritual in all practices and using rituals to guide any practice, and also addressing the uncomfortable aspects of life instead of ignoring them.

I hope that you enjoy the second episode of the podcast, Chats from the Mat, yoga inspired conversations with me, Brian Macrae Davis.

How to find Jean-Jacques Gabriel

Join Jean-Jacques at the upcoming Black Yoga Teacher’s Conference (not just for teachers) – Black Yoga Teacher’s Conference

If you are interested in getting more information about Jean-Jacques Gabriel, his teaching schedule, instructional videos and more, you can learn more at:

Website: jeanjacquesgabriel.com
Instagram: instagram.com/jeanjacquesgabriel/
Facebook: facebook.com/jeanjacques.gabriel.9

I want to thank one of my personal yoga teacher sponsors, Manduka. Manduka creates clothing, mats and towels of the highest quality. I have been using my mat for about 4 years and it still looks brand new. I recently started wearing their clothing for men and have been really impressed with the quality and fit.

Thank you, Matt Worley for the introduction to this podcast. Matt is a yoga, SUP yoga and AcroYoga Teacher based in Newcastle in Australia.