Sponsor Profiles

Alyssa Snow

Tell us about MindBodySoul and what inspired you to form your business.

My vision to create MindBodySoul Yoga + Wellness started to form around 2004/5 when I was doing a lot of yoga and my personal process of awakening started. As part of that process, I sought the help of many different kinds of healers such as acupuncturists, herbalists, massage therapists, reiki masters, shamanic healers, tarot readers…you name it. I experienced it. And each of those experiences added to the rich fabric that was my awakening experience.

So much so that I felt called to open a studio that was centered around yoga but also offered all of these healing services under one roof. I wanted to create a true Home for Healing with an active and involved community of teachers, healers and students.

And I can say, after 10 years, that vision is now fully formed. Patience truly does pay. Visions, when well formed in the mind and the heart, will manifest. But that manifestation takes time, it takes form on a timeline that is not our own. I’m always learning that lesson.

 

What are your self care / wellness rituals?

My self care and wellness rituals shift a bit depending upon the fabric of my life. I have three elementary-school aged children so i’m a really busy working mom. The foundation of my self-care is meditation. It is non-negotiable. I meditate when I first wake up and before I go to sleep. I practice physical yoga a few times a week and get monthly massages and acupuncture.

Ultimately though, my best wellness ritual is self-kindness and grace. I’m an intense person and I feel that being a mom is hard and so is being a business owner is hard. So when I find myself being hard on myself for whatever I was not able to get done on any particular day; i double down on self kindness and compassion. I make an extraordinary effort to speak to myself (in my mind) as lovingly as I would speak with my most beloved friend. This, i would say, with my meditation practice, is everything to me.

 

What have been your past experiences with SOULFest NYC and why did you decide to sponsor SOULFest again this year?

I had a really great time last year! SOULFest NYC brings together so many like-minded souls in one awesome uptown place. I had the best conversations and met some lovely people. And of course, it’s a great way to get the word out about MindBodySoul Yoga + Wellness and all the awesome services we have to offer.

Russell Case

Tell us about Pure Edge, what you do, and how you got involved with them?

Hi, I am Director of Partnerships for Pure Edge. I was one of the principle founders ten years ago when it was just Sonia Jones, myself, and our ED Eugene Ruffin.
Pure Edge Inc. was founded initially as the Jois Foundation with a vision for self regulation for underserved kids everywhere. Over the years we’ve had an ambition to scale and greater reach and so we have pivoted from direct service in demonstration sites in major cities to teaching stress management to educators.

 

What are your self care / wellness rituals?

I am an ashtanga yoga student for the past 26 years, and do my best to cultivate a well rounded mobile body. It’s important to me to instill and maintain a habit for diaphragmatic breathing in response to any stressor. It is the only antidote to knee jerk reactions. We would all be well served if we could breathe deeply first before hitting tweet. Dr. Eva Blum at UCSF describes this habit, and coined the term vagal tone.

 

What drew you to SOULFest NYC and why did you decide to sponsor this year?

My friend Lara Land is an inspiring leader and philanthropist and she recommended this as a venue to help children and so we see SOULFest NYC as an exciting opportunity to foster self regulation in our next generation of kids.

BOWERY

Tell me about Bowery and why it is important to you.
Bowery is the modern farming company that’s growing food for a better future by revolutionizing agriculture. Bowery combines the benefits of the best local farms with advances made possible by technology to grow produce consumers can feel good about eating.

 

What are some of your wellness rituals.
Bowery democratizes access to fresh food and serves people living in urban areas, where there is currently little being done to improve access to healthy food. We wholeheartedly believe in locally-sourced food as part of wellness.

 

Why did you decide to partner with SOULFest NYC and what are you looking forward to on July 13th?
Wellness and healthy eating are key to the Bowery mission. This is a natural fit with SOULFest NYC. Harlem is in important community we work to serve. You can find Bowery products in the Whole Foods Harlem on 125th St!

Jivana Heyman

Tell us about AY and why you started it.
Accessible Yoga grew out of my teaching yoga for people with disabilities over the past twenty-five years, as well as my past as an AIDS activist. In particular it came out of my frustration that there was very little support for yoga teachers who are bringing yoga to marginalized communities outside of the commercial yoga industry. So I created an organization to support teachers doing the work that I admire. The Accessible Yoga Conferences are an opportunity for education and networking with a diverse group of teachers and yoga. We get to know each other, learn from each other and share resources.

This work is essential in reframing the way that yoga is being practiced and taught in the West. We need a new model of community-based, equitable and accessible yoga – and that’s what we’re trying to create. There are so many amazing people out there doing great work, and we’re interested in focusing on the work they are doing.

 

What are your self care / wellness rituals?
I was blessed to learn yoga from my grandmother when I was a small child, and yoga has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. My daily yoga and meditation practice evolves and changes a little each day. I try to let go of expectations for myself, especially as I age. Some times I focus on strengthening, sometimes relaxing. But I always do some yoga every day. I feel blessed to have access to these ancient practices which are so powerful and effective. It pains me to think of a life without yoga, and that is part of my mission to share yoga with everyone who may benefit from it.

 

What interests you about SOULFest NYC and why did you decide to partner SOULFest this year?
My work is based on grassroots activism, and I love the grassroots community nature of SOULFest. Healing occurs in community, not in isolation – and that is a message that needs to be shared more broadly. Western approaches to healthcare and medicine usually remove the individual from community and look at physical problems divorced from mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. Even worse, we look at the individual separate from the community. There is an essential thread that ties us to our community – we need each other. I’m so glad SOULFest exists to bring together people in real life, outside of social media, to connect and to truly heal.

Keto Snaps

Tell us about Keto Snaps, what was your inspiration to create the company:
LISA: As a holistic nutritionist for close to 20 years, I had been experiencing a dramatic increase in clients coming to me with gut issues, food sensitivities and weight loss challenges. This experience, coupled with the rate of obesity, diabetes and autoimmune conditions statistically on the rise, I was compelled to go beyond my consulting practice and develop a product that would fit into my client’s busy lives, satisfy their desire for sweet, and provide healthy nutrition without compromising their health.
ANDY: I’d been searching for a business to call my own for a number of years. My career in the corporate sector as an art director / designer was a means to an end, but the corporate setting was never a great fit for me personally. Inspired by Lisa’s cookie creation and driven by the task of branding and packaging them, I was thrilled to step into a larger role to stear the business forward as a whole.

 

What are your personal self care / wellness rituals?
LISA: With my hectic schedule and running 2 businesses, free time is sparse, but I make sure to take time to wind down at the end of a long work day to have a nourishing meal with my husband, relax with some Netflix and get a good night’s sleep. I observe a ketogenic dietary lifestyle and almost daily intermittent fasting. Keto-Snaps aren’t just for others! I eat them daily as part of my fat fasting period. I also make an effort to see my personal trainer weekly and go for chiropractic adjustments at least 1x/month to maintain a healthy musculoskeletal system.
ANDY: I’ve relied on running, yoga and strength training since adulthood to stay fit and healthy, body and mind. I have a personal yoga practice that is the result of lots of class time earlier in life and I meditate most days based loosely on Buddhist principles. I would label myself a sloppy student across all, but consistency has proven to be the key. Lisa and I live for Spring/Summer tennis season and cross train with high intensity frisbee in the park and love hiking. I maintain a cyclical ketogenic dietary protocol and have learned the significant benefits of a good nights sleep.

 

What drew you to SOULFest NYC and why did you decide to sponsor this year?
Keto-Snaps are out to redefine the idea of the cookie in much the same way as SOULFest is out to redefine the entrenched Western idea of the yogi. The versatility and simplicity of Keto-Snaps are what set it apart and are what we believe make it ideal for the varied needs and interests that the diversity of the yoga community represents. We feel Keto-Snaps and SOULFest are aligned in the championing of diversity, inclusivity and boundary breaking across our complimentary categories and look forward to building community and alliance with like minded people.

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