As Seen On.png

From  Toxicity  to  Spiritual   Therapy 

It’s an honor to speak with you SA-RA. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?

 

As Omo-Yoruba (Yoruba child), my name SA-RA translate to “SON of SUN/SON of GOD” and serves as a reminder along my journey. Coming to America in August of 2001 from another continent with an extremely different culture, food and traditions, I was indeed going through a culture shock. Above all, I’m an only child and my cousins who are my brothers, sisters & friends all in one were back home. This certainly created a void within and as I started school things were off to a rocky start. Being that I was the newbie, within a few weeks a classmate started a fight with me because of my Creole accent. After a series of similar altercations with schoolmates and being ganged up on, I felt outnumbered and unprotected. I began to associate myself with gang members to feel a level of protection that I would feel from my cousins. During my Sophomore year of high school, my cousins finally arrived in the U.S and it couldn’t have happened at a more pivotal time in my journey. At this stage I was so deep in gang culture that I formed my own and grew in numbers quickly. One day my elder cousin Chief Fabian, Omo-Yoruba, advised me to renounce my gang to save my life because he foresaw the harsh reality that would soon catch up to me. Though it wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the moment, this was the beginning to my salvation.

 

I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?

On my journey to self discovery, I’ve experienced some of my most challenging times. Straddling the fence of Honor Roll student by day and gang leader after hours would catch up to me. During an altercation at the age of 16, a gunman tried to take my life unloading a Smith & Wesson revolver at close range but thankfully I walked away untouched. One year later at 17, my best friend was set up and murdered by his fellow gang members and it devastated me. Remembering my Chief’s advice and counseling I channeled my creativity, learned audio engineering and began to record myself as a rapper. Within months I was offered a record deal but to no avail, I turned it down due to unethical business practices. After that experience I ventured into network marketing and experienced the same unethical behavior. Not being deterred, I pursued my childhood desire to be a fashion model and within a month I became a centerfold/editorial & runway model. However, due to me wearing my Turban which is a part of my cultural heritage, I was treated unfairly by door keepers within the fashion industry. I never allowed those experiences to break my spirit and in hindsight, my Chief’s words “you have a bigger calling” all came full circle. Eventually, I answered the voice within that was seeking that “bigger calling” and it led me to Smai Tawi, the first yoga system created by Africans in Ancient Kemet which is modern day Egypt.

Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?

Applying the teachings & techniques gained from the Ancient Art of Smai Tawi as apart of my daily sheti ( spiritual practice), I became 1st a Basu (practitioner). With consistency my journey has led to an elevated life as a SABA or Spiritual Adviser/Therapist. My work encompasses the balance of spiritual & physical nutrition to transcend human experience. This means going from ignorance to Nehast (spiritual awakening). In 2013 I founded a self-healing practice called YogaSthenics ;the balance of the known (physical) and unknown (spiritual) through the Ancient Art of Smai Tawi and Calisthenics. As a guide to Self Discovery, I further developed a formula called Self-Science which teaches YogaSthenics in its full capacity. Mastering various proper breathing techniques, Food Alchemy (the elements, time of day to eat + food combinations) and Ancient Geometric postures of the Gods & Goddesses establishes new ways to become absolutely aware, enhance mental clarity and align the mind, body & spirit to activate your KARA (energy points). Thus, my work via YogaSthenics has led to me being selected as 1 of the “Top 15 African Male Yogi’s of 2016” with a growing number of 11K+ practitioners an ambassadors globally.

What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?

Success, just like beauty, starts internally. I’ve learned that my inner reality creates the outer form and so striving for external success without being spiritually aligned will eventually lead to some very hard lessons along the journey. Once your mind, body & spirit is tapped into the same frequency, you are destined to be successful in a healthy way. This is the balance of spiritual & physical nutrition.

Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?

As for myself, success is the balance of spiritual & physical nutrition.

What’s next for you?

With a disproportion of natural health food markets, food deserts and lack of spiritual centers in predominantly African-American communities, I’ve decided to be of service and get active in these areas. Through my non-profit organization, Culcha Foundation, I’m on a mission to transcend human experience. During a 2 month training of Mindful Meditation at Stanford University, results showed that participants came out thinking more positively of themselves. These findings led to Chakula Uaa, a Free Meal & Meditation initiative. When you Eat better, you Think better and eventually you will DO better. Giving that these options weren’t prominent in my environment while growing up it was obvious to see why I made the choices I did. Poor nutrition will always lead to poor decisions. Not having a teacher/advisor to counsel with like I had my Chief along the years as a tool to aid in mental clarity, will keep you thinking and behaving in the same patterns. To date my experience & transformation has gained the likes of celebrity clients which ultimately boost my reach to my community at a larger scale. Being of service as a Spiritual Therapist or SABA to gang members, celebrities or anyone who is seeking to live their fullest potential is my path forward. More than a yogi, I’m a living testimony to the power of investing in your spiritual wellness. It will truly transcend your human experience.

Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more.


For anyone interested in connecting with me as a SABA (Spiritual Adviser), collaboration or supporting my community initiatives there’s a few options; 1) Send an email

 2) Visit Culcha.org/sa-ra to chat wit me directly 

3) Contact via social media @YogaSthenics or @CulchaSociety.

Courtesy of CBS, FOX, NBC