I met a pure genius a few weeks ago. Her name is Dana Smith, (AKA “The Yoga Diva”) and she owns Spiritual Essence Yoga in Maryland. Dana is making her dream a reality. She teamed up with photographer Wanakhavi Wakhisi, and together they are publishing a photography book featuring women of all sizes, shapes and colors. Hopefully, this book will empower more women to turn to yoga and reap the benefits.
I submitted my photos for the book back in July, and I was so excited to hear that I was chosen! My wonderful mother-in-law booked us a place in National Harbor right away. One of my best friends, Tabor came along with me for the trip, and we had a blast, despite the 6 hour drive. National Harbor was an awesome little town- tons of cute shops, diners, and all within walking distance. We hit Bobby McKey’s (the local piano bar) Friday night. The piano players were amazing and we sang along to every song!
Saturday, we took a river taxi over to Alexandria, VA where my photo shoot was. I met Dana and she was so warm and inviting. I was assigned Surya Yantrasana, or sundial pose. The photos were taken on the lake, where I sat on these hugs boulders. Tabor was supposed to take tons pictures of the shoot, but she was busy blabbing away.
After the shoot, we wandered around Alexandria, and found a place called the Fish market to have afternoon drinks and a snack. Tabor had oysters, and I had crab stuffed avocados. We both had mojitos…they were amazing! We both had the fresh mint stuck in our teeth and kept it there to pose for photos. (I’m holding her photos as blackmail.)
We took the water taxi back to National Harbor where the Red Bull Flubtag festival was going on! There were tons of people there, and they were not fazed by rain. We weren’t either! We went back to our room and got ready for the night…the concierge put us on the VIP list at a club called Pose, in the newest Gaylord Convention Center. We had to walk, so we put plastic bags on our head and make the hike. Totally worth it!
I hope this book empowers women of all sizes to start practicing yoga. Yoga is such a gift. I am a better person because of my yoga. I can tell by the deep breaths I take before speaking…or even if I speak at all. I can tell by how strong my body feels, and how my mind seems clearer. I can tell my heart is softer, and more compassionate. I forget about my big butt, or my cellulite. In the moment, all that matters is my breath.
“This book serves as a testament that yoga is suited for EVERYbody and that no one physical size is better suited for practice. It will celebrate beautiful goddesses of all curvy shapes and sizes and finally allow the beauty of our curves to be recognized in the blessed art called yoga.”
–Dana A. Smith