Healing Activated at the Cellular and Community Level
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” This quote by the great Former President of South Africa, Anti-Apartheid Activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela, encapsulates the inspiration behind Osiris Booque’s ‘bouquet’ of mind, body, spirit offerings.
“We are embodied beings – I don’t remember coming into this world thinking, I remember feeling; I think that body language is one of our first languages, and any form of embodiment practice that allows us to draw deeper into the physical experience I find a deep connection to conceptually,” says Osiris Booque, Yoga Guide, Yoga Therapist, Life Mentor, DEI Consultant, Musician and Executive Director for Flow for Black Lives.
Drawing From Wisdom Traditions
Booque has compounded more than 1300 hours of yoga teacher training and in Q1 2023 will complete his 900 Hour International Yoga Therapy certification. In his practice and teachings, he draws from his formal training as well as the wellspring of wisdom traditions and personal spiritual experiences that stem from his childhood.
“I see value in every cultural, religious and spiritual experience that is on this planet – I don’t hierarchize any above or beneath another,” Booque shares. “What was easiest for me to process is the concept of Bhakti, The Sanskrit word bhakti is derived from the verb root bhaj-, which means ‘to worship’; which I recognized was similar to the church I grew up in and this concept of Christ Consciousness; similar to the Quran, which I read as a child with my Muslim father, of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that essence of being willing to serve; and then falling into Buddhism in the later years of my life and its tenet of selfless service; paired with the divination from the practice Ifa; I recognized that compassion is one of the core pillars across all spiritual identities.”
Embodiment through Yogic Practices
Booque finds profound resonance through a range of yoga practices and techniques from the awakening force of Kundalini; to the restorative practices of Yin and Nidra; to mental-health oriented Psychotherapeutic Yoga; to the cardiovascular invigoration of Ashtanga; to ancient-Egyptian inspired Kemetic Yoga; to cognitive-supporting Iyengar; to heated, detoxifying Bikram.
“Different practices feel different, In the west we have an experience called Gene activation – the process of activation of a gene so that it is expressed at a particular time; if we go East it’s prana and chi moving through the body’s different meridians,” says Booque. “On a cellular level, when you practice different types of yoga the different geometric shapes and breath patterns create different blood flow and that creates different genetic memory actions in the DNA code.”
His studies have brought him, most recently, to the Phoenix Rising School of Yoga Therapy, which teaches an integrated approach to yoga therapy, bridging the gap between yoga and talk therapy. Founder Michael Lee developed a program called turn stress to bliss; an 8-week series that goes through 8 stages of befriending the body: awareness, acceptance, choice, discernment, truth, truth in action, and finally flow to inspire holistic transformation.
“I serve high performing individuals who have wellness and mindfulness part of day-to-day lives but it’s not their main career path, and I’ve been very humbled to see that there’s a way to live in the world and still have a deep connection to spirituality,” he shares. “It’s really been a feedback loop of teaching and also learning from my students.” Through his training and work as a yoga therapist, Booque has been called upon to create his own 8 week program that goes through these themes, called Flow through Winter; with Flow into Summer coming up next.
To learn more, start private training with Osiris Booque, or join the upcoming Flow Into Summer 2023 Group Program, an upcoming program, visit Osiris’ Website or contact Osiris@Osiris8.com.
Remembering the Collective Consciousness
“When we come together to move our bodies, to make music, to pray, whatever we call it, we are engaging in ceremony,’” Booque says. “Ceremony is an indigenous concept, an ancient concept, and ceremony and ritual are words that people are afraid of sometimes in the West, but these words are deeply rooted in connection.”
He describes there is scientific backing that if a dominant amount of people in a room have slower heart rates and breathing, ‘Convergent Neural Correlates of Empathy and Anxiety During Socioemotional Processing’ are improved and within 5-10 minutes an individual with anxiety will feel their heart rate and breath start to slow as well. “The mirror neurons in homo sapiens bodies enjoy reflecting each other, and collective yoga creates the space for people to acknowledge themselves while also surrendering to the fact that they are not alone on this planet – we are essentially remembering the collective consciousness.”
His yogic guidance also extends into the corporate sphere, with attendees unanimously and emphatically expressing “I needed this” in every facility he has taught in. “This informs me to believe that workplaces are not taking into consideration the basic human need for rest,” he says. “When humans do not have space to adequately rest without shame, not only do they suffer physical and psychological side effects, they also tend to underperform – if the corporation’s true intention is to have high performers create high yields, then rest and integrated wellness have to become part of the corporate structure.”
Diversity and Inclusivity
Booque’s corporate work encompasses his Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Consulting as well, which helps organizations better create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and develop policies and programs that help facilitate the representation and participation of diverse groups. “As a cisgender black man who moves into the corporate space of wellness, people are passively receiving a DEI consultation just by my presence – that can’t not happen,” Booque says. “In some instances I simply come in and teach, and if people just acknowledge to themselves ‘wow this is a black man teaching,’ that’s their moment.”
In other instances, Booque has worked with organizations like C-TAC and Reimagine Inc. to bring integrative end of life care to communities of color, where it can otherwise be very difficult for people to receive these services due to cost and accessibility. Going back to his core belief of compassion and giving, he is always looking for opportunities to serve the community, improve resources, and make all spaces more equitable and inclusive. “It’s really about reading the audience and determining the cultural need,” he says, while also having productive methods to prevent uncompensated emotional labor.
To work with Osiris Booque at the corporate level via yoga therapy or DEI consulting services, visit his site or schedule a Discovery Call.
Flow for Black Lives
In 2020, Booque Co-Founded and soon after stepped into the Executive Director position for Flow for Black Lives, an initiative that serves the People of the Global Diaspora via yoga and wellness. The organization has since helped over 10,000 people find community and connection through breath, movement and mindfulness. He recognized the need for black individuals, leaders, and high performers to come restore their body and receive naturopathic medicine – nature-based medicine – and connect with people outside of the high stress environment that is social justice.
“There were many outdoor activations in the form of peaceful protests all throughout LA at the time, and what inspired me about it was I looked around saw that many of my allies, many of my brothers and sisters and nonbinary siblings in the streets were marching their hearts and souls out on asphalt and concrete with rubber shoes,” he says. “Asphalt, concrete and rubber are 3 of the only things in the multiverse that do not conduct electricity, which means that when these individuals are marching they are using their life source energy without it being returned to them.”
Osiris Booque is excited to be a part of the quantum efflux of melanted and black wellness entrepreneurs starting businesses and organizations to represent and heal their communities. “It’s a form of a new renaissance, like a 1920s of wellness, doing what jazz had done at the time,” Booque says. “Black culture seems to be impervious to any type of external force that tries to tear us down. This has its down side in that black bodies have historically been misrepresented in regards to our tolerance for pain, leading the non black majority to believe that black bodies are invincible. Instead, we grow and adapt, and right now we have recognized we need to begin to heal ourselves, we cannot continue to ask for the healing to be in the hands of our oppressors. It is a beautiful feeling to be received by the black community and thanked for the fact that I am a wellness practitioner.”
To join or support Flow for Black lives, contactOsiris Booque, or learn more about how to invest and donate to flow here.
Acknowledging the Spiritual Toll of Oppression
“Black people in America have had the capacity to adopt anglo saxon religious practices, not out of the desire but out of the necessity to maintain their connection to god and spirit,” Booque shares. “I think it brings up a lot of emotion in me to feel how spiritually exhausted I am at the age of 30, and the way to break through this spiritual toll of inequality and oppression, is to acknowledge – not to blame, but to acknowledge and attribute the fact that oppression has played into our fatigue and remember that there were and still are hurdles in our lane in this race.”
He points out that, as Peter Levine describes in Waking the Tiger, in order to go from a stressed, upregulated state of trauma and survival; to a somatic, downregulated state of stasis and thriving, first it’s important to acknowledge those large sections of times in trauma. Then one can remember that they don’t need to function from a state of stress all the time. “Nipsey Hussle talks about this in some of his interviews, may he rest in peace, that when not under stress people act and think differently, and can actually consider other people,” Booque says. “As Abraham Maslow would say, our core level of that hierarchy of needs is being met.”
Other Healing Modalities
Beyond yoga, Booque utilizes a variety of healing tools from crystals to music to herbs, like Tulsi for stress relief and Butterfly Pea for third eye activation. “I always invite students and clients to have an integrative practice, which is part of what made me want to partner with Organic India in the first place – this need for us to have herbal remedies within our day to day sadhanas,” he shares. “In studying bioactive herbs more, how much they reflect the genetic code of us, I believe that natural bioactive compounds, across the board from the phenolic acids, to the flavonoids, to the curcumins to the alkaloids, can benefit our physical and subtle energies.”
Osiris Booque and Flow for Black Lives are open to future partnerships and collaborations. “Please feel free to reach out not only with succinct plans, but also far out ones that might need to be masterminded, because the next genius is always the neighbor we haven’t spoken to,” he concludes.