Sunday, January 12, 2020

Embracing Silver Hair and Elder Care




Robin Downes’ 
Yoga FlavaTM
The Silva Edition
Embracing silver hair, and elder care
with yoga, style and grace.
Robin Downes is an Emmy Award winning journalist since 1981,“Outstanding Individual Achievement in National News and Documentary” for “ABC News 20/20”. Since 1996, Robin is Hollywood’s certified Yoga instructor to the stars with clients such as Vanessa Williams, Brandy, John Salley, LisaRaye McCoy and Russell Simmons, to name a few. In 2004, she became the first African American woman to have an internationally distributed video through Wal-Mart (Yoga Flava for Relaxation, Vol.1). Awarded The “Trailblazer In Yoga” award by the International Association of Black Yoga Teachers.  Currently developing content for Yoga Flava TV on YouTube (youtube.com/yogaflava)
Author, Robin Downes
November 5, 2019

Yoga Flava Silva 
It was my travels to India, where my gurus encouraged me to take the Yoga practice and interpret it for my people.  In 1996, I felt my people had “Flava” and created Yoga FlavaTM classes that embrace urban culture with ancient moves to contemporary grooves.  

Looking forward to a new era, as I embrace turning 60 and outliving my mother’s age. Celebrating my silver hair and elder care with Yoga Flava Silva Sessions moving into 2020. At this point the chair yoga sessions have been inspired by my Father as something we could do together.
 In 2021 it will be the 25th (Silver) Anniversary of Yoga Flava and I am excited about celebrating with a pop up tour in association with special events. Let me know if you would like to learn more about collaborative opportunities. email:robin@yogaflava.com

Embracing Aging
I’m 59 years of age, my mother passed away at the age of 60 from breast cancer, twenty one years ago.  Watching her fight a losing battle with her health, led me to the practice of Yoga. Yoga helped me cope with the stress of watching her body decline, while building a strong connection to her spirit as she transitioned. Understanding we are all spiritual beings having a temporary human experience. 
I continue my Yoga practice to survive and thrive.  It was my travels to India, where my gurus encouraged me to take the Yoga practice and interpret it for my people. 

Take Care of Yourself While Caring For Your Loved One
Thank goodness, my Yoga practice has given me the tools to cope with the stress of honoring my aging parent.  Becoming, my 85 year old father’s, primary caregiver was an emergency that turned into a lifestyle. If this is what it’s going to be… let’s live our best lives.  I amazed myself to see the healing transformation, through a Yogic lifestyle, that my father has benefitted from.  Yoga saved my Father’s life.
In my daily journaling writing and mediation, I scan my body daily to see wear I may be holding unconscious stress in my body.  Being present with my body, despite the long list of caregiving responsibilities, help me sort out priorities clearly. There’s a Sufi expression, “Never give from the depths of your well, but from your overflow.” Like in your Yoga practice, know when to take child’s pose… rest break from the practice of caregiving.
My silver strands began to pop up in my forties.  Due to agism in our society, I didn’t embrace my natural crown until age 55. Once I did embrace my natural crown, a whole new kingdom opened up.  I was asked to model for Iman cosmetics, featured in Essence magazine, BlackDoctors.org and here I am representing in in Black Yoga Magazine.
Elder Caregiving As A Practice
It’s a challenging balance between self care and elder care.  The journey continues with mindfully being aware how precious our living mind, body and spirit is and needs to be cherished. When I didn’t have enough energy to share my Yoga practice with my father, I would make sure we got massages. The massage would make me more aware of the massive amount of tension I was unconsciously holding in my body.
Simple breath work (pranayama), restorative, yin yoga and chair yoga are all nurturing for elder caregiving.
Food as medicine has been a huge process in the healing and well being for myself and my father.
Go home look in the mirror, look into your eyes and send love to your soul, and send love to your body as it is, be present in this moment. 
Affirmation: I exist in this moment only. I listen and feel with full attention and love.
Community
One of the first things my friend who worked at an assisted living community told me was to not try to do it by yourself.  I am fortunate that my father put some plans in place for his long term care and I have been able to help him reap the benefits he deserves.  There is also ElderDignity.org that is shining a light on the dark side of elder abuse with predatory guardianship and ways to protect yourself and your loved one.  It takes a village to avoid burn out.
Pace yourself and enjoy the journey.  The journey is the reward.
Don’t regret growing old, it is a privilege denied by many.
Let’s get old together!
Having the ability to relax, give you the ease to be dynamic. - Robin Downes



Emmy Award Winner | Multi-Media Producer Wellness / Media Personality / Model
Robin Downes is an Emmy Award winning journalist since 1981,“Outstanding Individual Achievement in National News and Documentary” for “ABC News 20/20”.  She is a talk show host, radio personality, featured blogger, model and certified Yoga instructor. Additional credits include: Music Coordinator For The Cosby Show, Production Coordinator on Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing.”, C.E.B.A. Award winning MTV Producer of the Rockumentary “Racism Points of View,” Development Associate at Paramount Pictures, Digital Producer / Host Sirius Satellite Network and Interactive One’s “Hello Beautiful”.  Most recently, the Model for Iman Cosmetics 2019 Spring/Summer campaign - the first silver haired model for the line!
Ms. Downes provides updates on health, wellness, spirituality, entertainment and lifestyle through her YouTube web series Yoga Flava and What’s Up With Downes (Robin Downes Network). She is the creator of Yoga Flava, a Hatha Yoga based tasteful blend of ancient moves to contemporary grooves. 
Since 1996, Robin is Hollywood’s certified Yoga instructor to the stars with clients such as Vanessa Williams, Brandy, John Salley, LisaRaye McCoy and Hip-Hop business guru Russell Simmons, to name a few. She is the first African American woman to have an internationally distributed video through Wal-Mart (Yoga Flava for Relaxation, Vol.1). 
Additionally, Essence magazine recommended Yoga Flava in its 2010 Wealth and Wellness issue. Robin has also been featured in the “The New York Times,” “Yoga Journal,” “Shape,” “Heart and Soul,” “Black Enterprise,” “Ebony,” “UPN News,” “BlackDoctor.org and “CBS News” to name a few. Additionally, she is a syndicated health and wellness digital journalist, servicing various media outlets. Additional information can be found at www.yogaflava.com




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