She's a BEAST. Yoga with Koko

   It's a Sunday love affair at Water Works park in Downtown Tampa. I came across the event  Be Dope. Do Yoga,on Facebook and immediately had a nostalgic feeling of my Chicago family. Sunday's being a time for self and a reminder of love and peace I decided to join. I've also been very intentional about my spaces, the energy I am around and more importantly my health. The first Sunday I went was funky flow with Koko, sounds bomb right? It was, It is! As I write this I've just finished another class with her under the pavilion she had us in a circle today, Koko reminded us that we are in this together, we need each other and I teared up as she had us press our hands with the person on either side of us. We are in this together. 
"You feel the love at every session, there's something magical being surrounded by others who look like you. They get it."

    I wanted to know who these women are (there's four teachers within the Be Dope. Do Yoga collective.) what inspired them to start this group, what yoga means to them and what's their dream. First up KoKo, her smile is infectious and her care is warm, genuine and inviting. Let's get to know this amazing woman and why I say "she's a BEAST." 

hmm: Hi Koko so, how did you begin yoga? 

Koko: I began my Yoga journey in 2004. My daughter was on life support life sucked. A nurse at the hospital was always hAppy bouncing around, I asked how could she be when she had such a hard job in the PICU... she spoke with me about a "workout" class that she goes to. Later that evening I walked into my very first yoga class at the lotus room on Kennedy. I remember not being dressed... I had just came over after being in the hospital for days/weeks with my baby girl. I had on a pair of overalls for Pete's sake.
I sat down and somone came over and asked if I needed a mat. I replied with I guess.
During class I remember thinking WTF am I doing? My child is on life suppot and right now I don't care, I wasn't worried about her or what was going on at that time.
The class was lead by a wonderful teacher named chay. After class I was emotional just sitting there not wanting to go back to my reality. 
When I made it back to the hospital, my little one was no longer in PICU... I was like... Wait.. I didn't get to say goodbye... A nurse grabbed my hand and lead me to Jasmine new crib. I touched her and she took a huge breath tears rolled down my face. I had to let go, and letting go was just what needed to happen.

hmm: Wow, it's always amazing to me how the Universe gives us what we need and who we need at some crucial moments. Without expectation they're life changing. After you were introduced to yoga back in 2004, what happened?

 Koko: After years of struggling.... In 2011 I decided I wanted to dig deeper into what Yoga truly is. I went online looking for a teacher training near me. Mind you I DID NOT want to be a teacher. Anyways, my search landed on the lotus pond..... It sound familiar but I thought it couldn't be the same place. I mean this place was in BFE... MY class was on Kennedy. So I went to an info session... One of the teachers was CHAY.  again.. I had a moment.

hmm: What has yoga meant to you? 

Koko: Yoga is teaching me to let go. It's teaching me to be humble, it's teaching me that happiness is a state of mind.  I ended up teaching kids yoga because I have a special gift when it comes to the young and the disabled. More and more adults started asking me to teach... So I said what the heck why not.... They're just big kids who need to not take life so serious. "Yoga isn't about making your ass tight it's about getting our heads out of our asses!"

 hmm: So, I've been raving about Sunday's it's become apart of my ritual to spend the morning with genuine souls, pushing myself each week. How did you become apart of Be Dope. Do Yoga? 
Koko: Be Dope. Do Yoga.... Became a part of me. Mya asked me if I could sub once. I did and the rest is history.... Not really history.... More like the rest is present. But it just happened. I am happy to grown with Be Dope. Do Yoga.  I love that I can be out in the community now. I can share my unique light with the "world."

hmm: Koko, I've enjoyed this interview so much, it's touched me beyond words you are amazing and so inspiring. Before we go one last question, what is your big dream? 

Koko: My dream is to have a little traveling yoga studio. On an old bus or in a tiny house. Urban wilderness Yoga.... I want to provide what we all need to grown and love. 

Isn't she amazing? 

I'd like to thank Koko for being apart of my blog and the platform "she's a BEAST." If you're in Tampa join us on Sunday's at 11am at Water Works Park (Downtown) for yoga. 

Also, connect with Koko 

Until next time loves,