by Ayo Handy-kendi, the Breath Sekou and Mama Ayo, the storyteller
We (John and I) are just returning home, as of Tuesday eve July 2nd after travelling on June 19 (Juneteenth Day) from D.C./Capitol Heights to Joshua Tree, Palm Springs and Cathedral City. California.
Wow, what a shift being on the other side of the U.S.A, in the Mohave/Colorado desert with rocks, mountains and starlit nights all around, at the Joshua Tree retreat center with 17 vortexes of powerful energies; in the Joshua Tree National Parks on one of its highest mountains, then in the celebrity casino cities of Palm Springs and Cathedral City.
We returned from quiet and peace to tanks on 4th of U-lie in our D.C. streets. As we are unpacking, we are unpacking our first impressions of our 2019 Global Inspiration Conference (GIC 2019) sponsored by the International Breathwork Foundation (IBF).
We have a lot of pictures that we can share now, after the excursion. With all intention like the youth, I was planning to send pictures along the way . But, our attempt to send pictures and a live stream was totally NOT supported. My phone overheated shortly into the conference days and Wi-fi kept crashing, overwhelming Joshua Tree's retreat capacity.
This turned out to be a challenge in our team organizing efforts which we creatively had to overcome. However, the limited access actually turned out for me to be a blessing, as I was able to truly disconnect from the technology and the peace there was so meaningful.
Yes, the GIC was really great - just a wonderful place Joshua Tree Retreat Center is with an amazing staff. Add to this metaphysical space in the desert, people from all over the world, and many from North America all converging to Native lands to breathe together and advance the world of breathwork. With attendees from the 50 states and countries, some 300 or more gathered the first day of the GIC and the magic began.
This was my fifth GIC so it was so special to welcome many of my international family to my birthplace and to hear their impressions of America and about their travels. I helped with greeting the new arrivals in the registration area, while at the same time, organized the GIC Store so I was able to feel the full excitement of many amazing people arriving to an amazing place at one time.
My Galee (headwrap) off to Lauren, James, Jodie, Erin, who really did a great job of finding a very special place to host this years' GIC and then develop a powerful program of speakers, workshops, panels, and features. To just get so many of the pioneers of Breathwork together was a real program effort which meant presentations by Dr. Judith Kravitz, Dan Brule, Jim Morningstar, along with a panel of organizers of professional breathwork training schools, which included yours' truly Optimum Life Breathology training and Jessica Dibbs training school of the D.M.V. area along with international schools, Judee Gee, Viola Edwards and Brigitte Martin Powell , along with the aforementioned
What I always love about the GIC is that you gain so much opportunity to learn new techniques from practitioners who have not been practicing as long, but gaining mastery, quickly, as breath training offers that chance to excel. Breath practice for trauma, emotional physical release and recovery; rope breath; learning the concept of practicing breatharians on the run; along with breath techniques that were shared to the youngest, as part of our IBF program, "Breathing in the Classroom" program-- were just a few of the many expressions of breathology and breathwork demonstrated. I was able to offer our "Power of the Breath" workshop, accompanied with "live" music by John and our instruments Earth Love Tune Up Crew(ELTUC) which is always a real treat.
Despite, John and I working hard as part of the on-the-ground team effort, we learned a lot from the workshops we were able to attend. We also had a ball participating in the Women's and Men's Healing Circle held at a massive Labryith playing in the many spontaneous drum circles that sprung up or playing with the staged performances; offering a brand new story performance in the talent show; clearing the land and the halls; serving as part of the wellness team; and just being present as Elders in this camp. It was a beautiful opportunity to engage in a Cacao ceremony for the first time. And we had several parties where we danced into the night with a local rock band that totally had us rolling with their soulful beats and favorite renditions; and held the bottom, during the drum circle training by Brother Andrew and Sister Monica, and later in the week danced the star-lit night away in ecstasy with playlist by Sebastion, Daisy and Griet Verstraete.
The GIC 2019, in my summary was fabulous. It had its trials like all events, but with a great JT staff, GIC teamwork, amazing breathed-up people, and a great program, I saw a lot of smiles and happy people.
Our after GIC retreat, was complete by living our Air B& B in Cathedral City, returning to Joshua Tree Retreat Center and spending the night on the highest mountain, seeing the Milky Way, watching the sun rise as we played music, chanted and breathed together. Going to the desert was revealing, as the Ancestors channeled more to me of my path, so now rejuvenated, we continue our breath movement recharged.
Please consider breathing with us for GIC 2020 in Sweden, then in 21 in Germany and then in "22 in Kenya, and all in between, connect with the IBF our annual conference, as we support the world with breathing initiatives. To learn more about IBF and the annual GIC, view .https://www.ibfnetwork.com/
Ayo Handy-Kendi, the Breath Sekou aka Mama Ayo the Storyteller, sharing for the first time, a story performance on breathing and bullying, at the talent show at the 2019 GIC held at Joshua Tree, California
Ayo Handy-Kendi is reknown as the Breath Sekou, which means in the Guinea language "a master teacher". She has worked with breath techniques for over 40 years and loves teaching "the power of the breath". She has created a system called Optimum Life Breathology (O.L.B.) which teaches 10 best practice breath techniques with 5 breath practices. As a Wholistic Practitioner she incorporates sound healing, laughter yoga, Aroma-therapy, Reiki, healing touch, movement, water hydrotherapy, nutrition, behavior modification and stress management into her trainings.She is creating a "breath movement" to wake people up to their joy and positivenergy with the belief that when you breathe better, you live better. She is also known as Mama Ayo, when sharing cultural presentations or performing as a storyteller, actor, author or speaker. She is the founder of Black Love Day, Feb. 13, the Ritual of Reconciliation, founder/director, African American Holiday Association (AAHA) and founder/CEO, PositivEnergyWorks.