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Beyond Othering: Exploring Interconnectivity

A Long Table Conversation with Afro Flow Yoga

Saturday, October 19, 2019
11:15 AM–12:15 PM

Colonial mindsets perpetuate the notion that humans and the planet are somehow separate, with people’s interests and prosperity overshadowing the needs of the Earth. The deep-seated effects of colonization not only influence relations between cultures, leading to barriers like colorism or sexism, they also influence the relationship between people and their environment..

Through their personal practice of yoga, meditation, and spreading cultural values of the African diaspora, Afro Flow Yoga founders Leslie Salmon Jones and Jeff Jones, along with their team, have sought to break down the illusion that all beings are separate—from each other and their surroundings. They bring the topic of interconnectivity to The Long Table to discuss how a better understanding of ourselves and our connections to each other might break down the illusion of separation from each other and our planet.

The Rubin Museum invites you to take a seat at the table. Throughout our Year of Power, we are hosting The Long Table, an open-source participatory project conceived by artist and activist Lois Weaver, which provides a forum for visitors and community groups to engage in a series of conversations on sharing power.

The Long Table is supported by Shelley and Donald Rubin.

About the hosts

Afro Flow Yoga® founder Leslie Salmon Jones enjoys a career working with clients, students, diverse populations, youth and community organizations to help develop mastery over their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-beings. Leslie has been cultivating her passion as a professional dancer, yoga instructor, wellness coach, public speaker and community activist. She completed her BA in interdisciplinary studies in health sciences and dance at SUNY, New York City, and has had the opportunity to study and train with world-renowned masters of dance, yoga, and spirituality. It was through her intensive dance training at the Alvin Ailey School in New York that Leslie was first introduced to yoga, and nearly 25 years later, she remains dedicated to her yoga practice and teaching. It was the connection with African spirituality, yogic principles, the intrinsic expression of movement through nature’s elements and a transformational journey throughout Africa and the Caribbean that inspired Leslie to create Afro Flow Yoga® in 2008. Along with her husband, Jeff Jones, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, musical director and co-founder, they currently offer AFY weekly classes, monthly workshops, teacher trainings, and outreach programs to promote diversity and inclusion in Boston, New York, and worldwide. AFY workshops and retreats are also offered at The Omega Institute, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, festivals, schools, colleges, and universities, private events, and at studios worldwide, including Hawaii, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Bali, and Canada. Afro Flow Yoga® has been featured in Yoga Journal, Black Enterprise, Essence, and Oprah magazine, Better Living with Liz Walker, NPR, NBC, and ABC news, and she was voted “Boston’s Best” yoga class in 2016 by the Improper Bostonian. Leslie and Jeff co-produced two wellness DVDs:Core Strength: Back to Basics and Core Power: Radiate the Energy Within, available online.

Leslie is also a co-creator and faculty member for the annual Omega Women’s Leadership Intensive and at The Omega Women’s Leadership Center.

Afro Flow Yoga® co-founder Jeff Jones is a multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, musical director, composer and co-creator with his wife and founder, Leslie Salmon Jones. Jeff creates an intuitive dynamic flow through a stream of consciousness and the mastery of African inspired rhythms, instruments, and vocals, synergizing the class collective. His use of the Djembe, which he brought back from Ghana, congas, bongos, Sudanese acholi lyre, Indian bells, tambourine, and an eclectic array of tonal instruments makes for a healing musical journey.

He has co-facilitated classes, workshops, and retreats at The Omega Institute, Kripalu Center, Alvin Ailey Dance Center, Boston Yoga and Chant Festival, Caribbean Yoga Conference, Maui yoga retreat, and Forestdance, to name a few.

In addition to his role at Afro Flow Yoga®, Jeff has enjoyed a career as a professional musician for over 20 years and comes from a lineage of three generations of accomplished musicians. He has been blessed to travel the world performing on many continents and has played various musical genres and venues such as Scullers Jazz Club, The Supper Club NYC, Windows on the World, Berklee Performance Center. and Mile High Stadium. He has performed for the inaugurations of President Barack Obama and Governor Deval Patrick, and he has opened for greats such as Little Richard and Al Green.