This Juneteenth, 2022 you are invited to the BREATH MASTERY FREEDOM WORKSHOP June 12, 2022 A virtual Juneteenth pre-celebration connecting the historical culture, the power of breath & BIPOC's continued quest for freedom "living while black" today!
"UNTIL ALL OF US ARE FREE, NONE OF US ARE TRULY FREE", exclaims Sekou Mama Ayo, as she takes a deep breath in her Juneteenth re-enactment play called "Freedom Songs"
The Breath Mastery Freedom Festival Series is scheduled for June 12, 2022. This on-line BREATHSHOP will assembly of people who self-identify as BIPOCs (Black Indigenous and People of Color) offers a Juneteenth Freedom Day, (June 19th) pre-celebration that connects the historical cultural, racial, ethnic and gender inequities with today’s continuous challenges to our freedom, health equity and quality of daily life, as we navigate through the stress and trauma of "living while black".
The Freedom Festival Series will return in the fall, and as an on-going vehicle to encourage the use of the many forms of breathology/breathwork as tools that provide solutions for liberation and“the power of the breath” to be activated, as an act of resistance, and a celebration
This first, virtual gathering builds upon the inaugural Breath Mastery Conference, held in-person, at the non-denominational, 4th Street, S.W. Westminster Church, Washington, D.C. It featured the reknown Leonard Orr, the founder of Rebirthing/Breathwork and a host of breath practitioners for a one day, well received event.
The visionary of the gathering, Ayo Handy-Kendi, committed to the community that she would have another similar gathering, but life got in the way.
In 2022, she received a "spiritual down-load" that gave her inspiration that the post-pandemic challenges of "living while black", could best be met using the "power of the breath" and what better way than to deliver it, by connecting the historical day of freedom with a solution-based event, to address todays' freedoms too long denied
During the virtual gathering and on-going series of the 2022 Breath Mastery Freedom Series, people will experience many forms of breathing offered by Masters, such as:
applied breathology demonstrations, yoga, tai-chi, gigong, mindfulness, meditation, movement, sound and voice healing, martial arts, tantra and survival/prevention techniques;
breathing practices for daily self-care, trauma reduction and coping tools for "living while Black", within the system of institutional racism that will elevate our wellness, wholistic health, spiritual/mental/emotional balance and black joy;
breath solutions to help children, youth, elders, parents, teachers, helpers, healers, couches and non-binary persons with their personal, family, parenting, sexual, and professional relationships.
the "power of the breath" will be celebrated through creative, artistic expressions of African/Melanin centered poetry, song, dance, and performance.
This Breath Mastery Freedom Series will serve as a profound, transformative gathering and health fair of people of color healing people of color who seek freedom to live their lives without fear of racism, oppression, poverty, police brutality and the traumatic harassment situations that occur "living while black", not just in America but around the world.
We will share how our common heritage in seeking freedom in the past, continues to impact us today, and use in June, the National Juneteenth Freedom Day as our rally theme , as the "moment" to master our best lives, using the common bond of the Breath to gain freedom though of our best health and wellness.
WHY DO WE CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH?
The Breath Mastery Freedom Series kicks off at the commemorate virtual gathering for Juneteenth National Freedom Day annually held June 19, which is the oldest, African American wholy day celebration that started in 1865. Juneteenth is a day filled with pride, heritage and celebration for many African Americans. Juneteenth is one of many "Emancipation Day" celebrations in the U.S.A. and worldwide.
Juneteenth is the combination of the words June and 19th which marks the day in 1865 when Union Soldiers marched into the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Galveston, Texas, one of the last confederate states where enslaved people were keep in captivity..
History tells us that President Abraham Lincoln, in 1862 signed the Emancipation Proclamation granting freedom to the enslaved in the Union States. But the news of freedom came into Galveston Texas, a confederate state, 2 1/2 years later. when union troops headed by Colonel Gordon Granger, arrived with the Proclamation. Folklore describes the newly freed, shouting, "juneteenth, we be free" and this rallying cry was followed by community celebrations, in which they barbequed animals, (the enslaved weren't allowed to make fires)., threw their slave garments into the rivers, and danced to the fiddles.
This celebration was passed down from one generation to another, whereby prior to the pandemic, some 200 or more celebrations occurred across the nation. In Texas, Juneteenth was made a federal holiday in 2021, it became the first new federal holiday created by Congress in nearly four decades. and there has been a movement to pass congressional legislation to make Juneteenth National Freedom Day a federal holiday for the nation.
WHY HOLD A BREATHING FESTIVAL FOR JUNETEENTH?
Sekou Ayo often speaks of "our health is our greatest wealth". In 2022, she received a "spiritual down-load" that gave her inspiration that the challenges of "living while black", especially after the pandemic could best be met using the "power of the breath" and what better way than to deliver it, then by connecting the historical day of freedom with a solution-based modality - the breath - to address todays' determination to live a long, healthy life, - a freedom for BIPOC's too long denied.
When we look at the disparities in health and empowerment, among the cultures of BIPOC's (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) we see the vestiges of our enslavement, oppression and marginalization through the common lens of "holding our breath" out of fear, pain, daily stress and trauma. As a habit of coping and survival, we unconsciously, "hold our breath" which decreases cellular oxygen putting ourselves at great risks.
In BIPOC communities today we see the unfortunate results of oxygen deprivation, as higher COVID deaths and infections, physical incidents of high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, asthma, sleep apnea, COPD, obesity, several types of Cancers, high infant mortality and lower life expectancy. Black people world-wide live sicker and die earlier than their counterparts.. "Living while Black" puts our health at great risks.
Limited oxygen further creates out-of-balanced emotions that show up today, as mental health disturbances, such as depression, anxiety, self-hate and PTSD, manifesting as increased rates of mental health disorders and life-style related challenges, such as obesity, suicide, alcoholism, drug addictions, poverty, street and domestic violence.
Furthermore, BIPOC’s “hold their breath” due to the higher incidence of environmental pollution in the toxic air and drinking water in the cities they live in. Environmental conditions in poor housing developments create higher incidents in the respiratory issue of asthma. The environmental group, Green Peace, in the 90's documented the "Cancer Alleys" where illness prevails due to waste treatment and industrial dumps are found predominately in Black communities, ,
So, the Breath Mastery Freedom series, will explore breathing, as the simplest solution that we can use, that’s accessible right under our noses, available 24/7 that is FREE to use. Now is the time to “relearn how to breathe” tm and to create a Breath Movement so that BIPOC’s can “breathe better to live better”t.m.
WHAT'S SO IMPORTANT ABOUT BREATHING
Although we all breathe, the critical benefit comes from breathing in an efficient way that maximizes each breath. Unfortunately, it's been estimated that 9 of 10 people in America, breathe in an inefficient way, what is called shallow breathing compared to taking deep breaths. Deep or sometimes called conscious breathing with the scientific term called "diaphragmatic breathing, uses the Life Force of breath to maximize oxygen intake into every cell of the body which makes the cellular activity operation of the organs optimum. Deep breathing expands life, health and wellness, while shallow, limited breathing, limits life.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE INVITED MASTERS TO THE BREATH MASTERY FREEDOM SERIES: :SEKOU Mama Ayo Handy-Kendi, Ivanla Vascant, Queen Afua, Rickie Byars, Mumu Fresh aka Maimouna Yoursef, Dr. Muata Ashby and Dr. Karen DJa Ashby, Master Yirser, Wayne Chandler, Rev. Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, Dr. Shadia Ivy Hylton, Kathleen Booker,. Pictures coming: Freedom Nsorama El, Lona Alias, master George Love, Kathleen Booker, Kayla Harling, Jazzman Marie, Jana Long, Dr. Kokayi Patterson, Dr. Akmal Muwakill, Dr. Tony Rogers, Master Aaron Motley, Michael King, Manifest Ra,
Sekou Mama Ayo re-enacting an enslaved person at a D.C. Emancipation Day rally for D.C. Statehood, wearing the chains that signify , "we're still not free until we free D.C., the last colony" . Washington, D.C. 's 3100 enslaved persons were the first given freedom by President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, April 1, 1862 , then signed into law, April 16th, which is now D.C. Emancipation Day, celebrated as a federal state holiday,
Despite, being the first freed, the District of Columbia still has no voting rights, and is governed by Congress. This consistently creates many problems for D.C. residents, who pay taxes but can not control their own governance. As a Native Washingtonian, now living in Maryland, Sekou Mama Ayo continues to wear the chains demanding D.C.statehood, yearly at the D.C. Emancipation parade down historical Pennsylvania Avenue, the site of the first freedom march shouting "Free D.C. - Statehood Now". Contact Stand Up for Democracy to support this movement.
IF YOU ARE A BIPOC BREATH PRACTITIONER USING ANY FORM OF BREATHING TECHNIQUE/PRACTICE TO SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY, AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET INVOLVED IN THE SERIES OF UPCOMING EVENTS, PLEASE FILL OUT THE INQUIRY FORM HERE.