We had the good fortune of connecting with Osiris “8” Booque and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Osiris “8”, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
In 2012 I began to recognize that between blond dreadlocks & Lululemon, the nexus of Yoga and Hip-Hop disproportionately underrepresents people of color. SimpIy, I didn’t see many yoga teachers that looked like me. I found this interesting given that Yoga originated in India and Hip-Hop was founded by blacks living in the Bronx. Having earned my college degree in intercultural communications, I deeply value representation and inclusivity. I am not Indian and I did not grow up in low income housing, thus those cultural stereotypes associated with Yoga and Rap do not necessarily apply to me. Being a Mixed Race American citizen, I am aware of how I walk the thin line between Appropriation and falling into stereotypes. As my practice developed I grew weary of practicing in studios with teachers that didn’t look like me, that didn’t represent me, and that did not connect to my story of spiritual growth. As I dove deeper into the Yoga scene in Southern California I found that classes taught by POC teachers often had less than four students and were frequently taught at odd hours making accessibility difficult for the average working person. I wanted to make something for people who love trunk-rattling subs but also meditate in the morning. Something for the people who grew up with single mothers or single fathers that burned incense. Something for people who were looking to accelerate their spiritual growth above and beyond the limitations of university degrees. I wanted to make a yoga space for people like me and so I turned my self into my business.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In my 10 years as a Bhakti Yoga practitioner and 200 Hrs as a Certified Bhakti Instructor, I have centered my work around trauma and its subsequent effects on mental health, along with immigrant and first generation childrens health via the CCSM. I believe that a Commitment to transparency nurtures a safe space for one to remember their authentic self. For this reason my practice is geared to invite everyone to take a break from the everyday distractions of the world and allow the-self to receive Universal Prosperity. As I am both an Artist and a Spiritual Equity Advisor my vehicles for change are Sound and Movement. All of my work is centered around Blackness / Multi-Racial identities within the medicinal community. Over the last seven years my work has been taught and practiced by multiple organizations including Pico Youth & Family Center, Reach_LA, Santa Monica College, Bananas Network & the Santa Monica Community Housing Corporation. Last Decade I was selected for the Intercultural Arts scholarship from SMC and went to South African with the intention of unifying the Diaspora through Hip-Hop Performance and Movement Culture. Since, I have co -curated over 100 activations throughout Los Angeles leading Black Yoga, Peaceful Protests, & Youth Music Production workshops. All with the intent to restore the connection to Kemet through music, movement, & medicine.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well Let’s see… In my opinion a visit to Southern California wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the ocean. First we would hit up the water to complete a deep sea cleansing ritual. Followed by a trip to Simply Wholesome, a local Black Owned Health Food store and then a quick trip to Leimert Park. A trip to Catalina Island is always a smooth option to explore a different perspective of the coast and Venice Beach always has a groovy feeling to it. If the trip ends you up in the valley, there is Follow Your Heart Cafe and for Caribbean food there is both The Jerk Spot on Venice blvd. and Cha-Cha Chicken in Santa Monica. I am going to just take the person to all my favorite food spots so I should stop this question and move on to the next …
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Gratitude to all my Guru’s, Masters, Teachers, Friends, Students, Schools, & Family. My Mother, my Father, my Ancestors, my Descendants, all Angels, Gods, Goddesses, Deities, Ascended Masters, and Familiars of the highest vibrational frequency. The sacred directions West, South, East, West, Up, Down, Left, Right, In, and Out. The Elements of void, either, water, fire, earth, wood, air, metal. Alonzo Martial Arts and Jun Chung Taekwondo, Bhakti Yoga Shala, Pheonix Rising Yoga Therapy, AVID, Ubiquitous Love Tribe, Kemet, Isis and the high court, Hanuman, Sheeva, Kali, Tsai Shen, Odin, Pluto, Horus, Olokun, Aje, Shango, Orunmilla, Obatala, Yemoo, Govindas, Krishna, Brahma, Vishnu, Shakti, Saraswati, Ganesha, Lakshmi, Seti, Nephtys, Sobek, Anubis, Enoch, & Osiris. Praise be all sacred animal and land medicine. Praise be all life forms not of or on earth. My grandparents and theirs alike.