Talking Wellness with Natalie Cosby, Founder of Stacked Yoga 

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Tell us about more your yoga journey. I understand it helped you to release emotional baggage. How, specifically, did this practice do that for you? 

My introduction to yoga was in a movement acting class about 16 years ago. Yoga was the warm-up which helped us to get out of our heads, and connect to our bodies. At first, I was wondering why in the hell are we doing this, it was uncomfortable and annoying.

Then one day, I was having just a crazy day, and decided I needed to stop resisting what was going with me. So that day, we did the eagle pose (Garudasana), and I started to tear up while in the pose. Since then yoga has become therapy for my life.

Yoga has helped me get through toxic relationships, crazy jobs and body issues. Life has become little easier to navigate when I get on the mat.

We are living in times of tremendous stress from the political environment to police brutality. How can yoga help many folks to cope, particularly folks of color? 

Yoga allows people see the possibility in themselves, which is extremely empowering! You start remove blocks and fears, discover what you can really do. We hold so much in our bodies that is  toxic, and [then] create unhealthy habits to cope with our pain. Yoga help us to work through the scars physically and mentally by connecting to our “tangible” selves.

Especially since the election and police shootings more people are coming to studio to not just relieve stress, but for the support of the community. We have talks to support and try to bring awareness and diversity [into] wellness, [helping folks] to lift their spirits and find their Shanti (peace).

Stacked Yoga’s goal is to bring diversity to the mat, so we can heal and empower folks to become peace warriors. Lawd knows we need it!

I notice Stacked Yoga is not confined to a yoga studio, and you teach classes in diverse locations, such as Martha’s Vineyard. Why did you choose this approach? Do you also give instruction by Skype? 

Even though I live in Brooklyn, Stacked’s first class was in my hometown of Louisville, KY. I travel a lot and originally wanted it to be a mobile studio. Wherever I landed, I taught, because the practice has been such a gift to my life, I wanted to share.

People were so receptive and open when I was traveling. So for me, to keep it a mobile studio made sense at the time. We do not offer classes through Skype even although we are considering videos.

Also, I never planned to have a physical studio in the heart of Brooklyn, but the opportunity to have a studio on Tompkins Ave. has been blessing to Stacked, as we have built a community [full of] flavor and light.

Your studio focuses on 5 principles of yoga – breathe, exercise, diet, mediation and relaxation. How do all of these principles strengthen the practice of yoga? 

These principles are here to guide people to mental, physical and spiritual growth. We try to keep it simple, but that is not always easy. Yoga is just not about getting on the mat, it’s about who you are off the mat, and do you make an conscious effort do these 5 things in your daily life.

Prime example, food is a challenge for many and finding the balance of what agrees with your body is important.

In terms of diet, is there a dietary practice you all follow which you believe is most beneficial – vegan, vegetarian, etc.? 

At Stacked we don’t push any particular diet. I have been from vegan to losing my mind over a weekly dosage of bacon. You have to listen your body, because it will tell you what is for you or what is not.

Keep up with Stacked Yoga Online: 
Facebook

Instagram

Attend their next event: 

Stacked Yoga Swag, 1 year anniversary Studio Day party – Zen cocktails, healthy eats, grooves and giveaway

March 11, 2-6pm | 405 Tompkins Avenue | Brooklyn, NY

What Inspires Me To Create on Live In Color Blog

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Me and our daughter Nai

I miss sharing in this space with you all. There are moments though, when we need time away to bring us back. We must sit with ourselves and rediscover what ignites the soul. I certainly do not ever want this blog to feel like a job. Creativity is my oxygen; it sustains me, nourishes me in a way I cannot explain fully…

Photo Credit: Frank McKenna

As a little girl, I fell madly in love with words (poetry, books  and songwriting) and visual art (painting, sketching, and later photography). Often my younger brother Dave and I acted out plays we wrote, perched in our treehouse.

We were constructing new worlds with ever growing imaginations. Growing up in Baltimore meant surviving, but our parents always ensured we embraced possibilities. We understood there were experiences beyond our neighborhood.

Photo from my photo series – Baltimore: Sorrow, Promise & Hope | Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color blog

Photo from my photo series – Baltimore: Sorrow, Promise & Hope | Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color blog
Perhaps it’s why creativity never left me, even years later, when I found myself in the 9-5 grind. I felt deeply that actively creating held liberation. Inspiration for me abounds, sitting within the sounds of nature, hearing laughter from our little one, Nai, artistic culture, and the endurance of the human spirit.

Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau
Live In Color Blog
On a brisk Saturday morning in January of 2010, I started Live In Color blog, and, like my life, it’s taken shape and grown over the years. Initially I simply sought to inspire others and share my spiritual journey.

I now feel called to not only blog, but cultivate a community which empowers women in three core areas: faith, activism and inspiration / motivation. I want you to not only exist, but live in color!

P.S.

Wednesday I’ll share where else you can read my words online…

What inspires you to create? Tell me in the comments below! 

Beauty / Style Finds: Brooklyn-Based Artist Murj’s Vibrant Creations   

Follow Me:
Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I discovered the vibrant and eclectic artwork of Murj on Instagram last year, and have been so impressed by the range of her creations. She makes  paintings, along with décor and other everyday items like t-shirts, clocks and watches. It seems there is nothing she cannot bring to life with her artistry! I am sure you all will enjoy seeing her lovely pieces.

Murjani Holmes, artist & entrepreneur

What materials do you use to create your artwork?  How much might someone pay for your pieces? 

A lot of my work is acrylic paint on wood, and canvas. I also do wooden jewelry boxes, picture frames – [you know], items that are pretty to see but serve a purpose in your life. Well, my prices range from $30 and up to $150 and up for custom paintings (this also depends on the size).

Portrait of Grace Jones | Photo & Artwork by Murj

What lead you to start your business?

My desire to get my creations out to the world, and to see the response people would have to them.

What is your business philosophy and mission?

It is to let people know its ok to have something that makes you feel good by just looking at it, and be a little selfish. Go for it since art is very personal for THAT particular person. I like the idea of people doing something nice for themselves.

Photo & Artwork by Murj

What inspires you to keep creating art? What artists do you admire and why?

I am inspired to make art because it’s a need I have like breathing. I just HAVE to create for my own equilibrium.

Portrait of Lauryn Hill | Photo & Artwork by Murj

I love the artwork of Doze Green. I have been a fan of his for a while. His work speaks directly to his ancestry and his use of color is awesome.

Share 3 random fun facts about you!

I love all things art!

I love animals, and as someone who has lived in New York City for 10 years,  I have never gone on the rides at Coney Island! I got to get on that [one]. Lol!

Photo & Artwork by Murj
Photo & Artwork by Murj

If you could chose one quote that summarizes your biz, what would it be? Why? 

“Just Do It.” I know it’s a little straight to the point, but that’s it in a nutshell.  I will continue to create artwork until I can’t anymore, and I encourage those that are interested in art to go for it, and bring some work home with them. Because its more than just a painting, or sculpture, etc. when the right person finds the right piece.

Photo / Clock artwork by Murj

Keep up with Murj:

Visit her websites: www.MURJART.com,  https://society6.com/murj and modifywatches.com/murjaniholmes

IG:@murj_art

Twitter: @murjart

Facebook: Murjani Holmes Art Page