Cynthia Bailey has been known to the world as that fountain of youth, that black woman magic and a timeless beauty who has been respected by numerous of fans and friends alike. But what is her secret to staying so vibrant and young? She has always been the most radiant and humbled person that has stayed consistent in her genuine personality. She has always been so warm and welcoming since my first time meeting her during Beyonce’s Superbowl Sunday, as well as with those around her; and with a little bit of yoga, I’m sure that her natural beauty will only enhance her forever beauty inside as well as out.
People often assume that those who are thin must be in great shape, work out everyday and flourish through living a healthy lifestyle. That is a damn lie! I’m what some may call a “fat girl skinny” because I love to eat, I hate working out and somehow, I’ve managed to maintain a particular weight over the years; but building up the endurance in order to make a run around the block, up a flight of stairs or hike up Runyon Canyon without getting vertigo has been one of the many obstacles of me trying to stay fit. On top of having occasional chest pains since the time I was a child, shortness in breath with a burning feeling as if my heart is about to explode, is only half of the difficulties I have to overcome. Most recently, I’ve found that I have a fairly rare allergic reaction to actually working out in the form of cardio. Exercise-Induced Urticaria. Imagine running, even jogging, at a normal speed and a rush of a burning sensation goes throughout your entire body as if you ran into a bush of poison ivy or a dirt pile of fire ants. The moment your allergies flare up, you break out into welts where every scratch is like trying to scratch off your entire skin.
Seems like a great excuse to tell your trainer when he keeps pushing you to go harder, but not something I would’ve preferred. So what’s next to the best thing so that I can maintain a figure of both having “body” and curves in all the right places? Yoga.
I was thrilled to hear that Cynthia Bailey was back in town, and after receiving a text message from her stating that she would be hosting a yoga event, I made sure to clear up my schedule in support of her. Cynthia had just recently turned the big 5-0, and while to some it might seem as being another factor in getting older, she, like many other women of a certain age, has proven that with age you can still appear just as happy, healthy and beautiful as any 20 something’s these days. Cynthia Bailey is a natural beauty and a pure example of what it means to say, “Black don’t crack”. Though she is the constant reminder of aging gracefully, she still does not shy away from the healthy lifestyle that we must all try to include into the longevity of our life styles.
Cynthia Bailey and Play List Yoga teamed up to invite a group of friends for a couple of hours of drinking champagne and breaking a sweat in between. Awesome combo. Immediately, I invited a couple of my friends as I knew that anything with Cynthia would be an evening of fun and inspiration. My friend Karla and I arrived just in time to grab a few glasses of champagne in order to loosen up our muscles, or at least mine considering my flexibility isn’t up to par. I’ve only done yoga once before, but I’ve never been a fan of enclosed spaces with too much excessive hot air coming from different parts of the body when releasing an inhale and exhale, but for this I was all game. Not only would it level out my options of being able to stay fit and healthy without the constant worry of an allergy attack, but also to strengthen different core parts of my body while also stretching out areas that have been stiff for quite some time.
The event started at 6:30, but we were asked to show up an hour early. A table of sponsored goodies with champagne bottles to the max awaited our arrivals. Karla and I dug into the nail polish choosing different colors where I chose a rose gold and heather grey that fit perfectly with this fall season. Once the champagne started to fill up the flute glasses, I took two for myself and one for Karla as we waited for our fabulous host to arrive. Co-hosting this rejuvenating event was public relations beauty Sabrina Sandoval who made sure that we were all comfortably happy. And I was.
On the invite, it was noted that this event would be a hip hop inspired yoga class. Lockers were assigned as different artist in the urban, hip-hop and R&B music industry. I wasn’t sure of that mix with hip-hop and yoga, but I was intrigued. Would we be doing some type of twerking moves during an inhale or exhales? A cabbage patch stretch? Or even the tootsie roll to get our blood flowing. There was one gorgeous girl, Nicole Paynes, who decked out in what appeared to be the perfect ensemble for what the invite had noted. She looked as if she had just left the millennium dance studio in Hollywood, so I decided to strip off my baggy T- shirt and get with her program. All I know is that after picking Rihanna’s locker, I was ready to get to work, or werk shall I say.
After looking out of the window, I noticed a black SUV pulling up in the parking lot. I knew the Queen Cynthia Bailey had arrived. I decided to follow behind Sabrina and help with carrying in boxes of Cynthia’s amazing signature scented candles. I hadn’t seen Cynthia in months, so I was excited that she had chosen to get a group of her friends together for a more personable evening of centering our energies. Many of her celebrity friends attended in support from the gorgeous model Kim Porter to the celebrity stylist and designer Phillip Bloch. Fellow bloggers and Entrepreneurs, Bianca Bee and Kiera Renee began interviewing Cynthia the moment she walked in getting her pumped up for our work out sessions, and photographers took photos of everyone mixing and mingling. Although we were a small group, Cynthia still made her rounds with everyone taking selfies and group shots before the class started.
We made our way into the room where mats and bottles of water were laid out for each of us. Cynthia took the time to thank us for our attendance showing just how appreciative she was that we had the chance to make it out. With that, a signal for our yoga instructor, Mikey Budd, to get the party started. We started off with the basic yoga positions in meditation and slowly worked our way up to the more prominent poses. While it was both calming and relaxing, I couldn’t help but to get distracted by the music playing and Mikey’s upbeat attitude. His style in mixing yoga with a little bit of swag was exactly what this group was all about. I’m not all that familiar with yoga in general, but from what I’ve seen on my days to work alongside the beach, I’ve always imagined it as some over the top mommy playground or Betty Crocker hangout spot. To be frank, I’ve not seen too many women or men of melanin taking these types of classes, so I appreciate the gesture in including a little more of something that might appeal to everyone. Both Phillip and I found ourselves twerking at any given chance to alleviate the stress of trying to hold a specific pose. I’m not use to putting much weight on my wrist, so I struggled even more once my mat became too slippery to stay in one place. I kept sliding into more of a split position where I had to use a towel in order to keep myself in line with everyone else.
Although I messed around a few times, I became more involved in showing a serious interest in what it was that I was trying to do. I found myself becoming more limber than I use to be during my cheer leading days, but I haven’t managed to push my joints as much as I was doing now. Balancing myself took more of a mental effort where I wanted to create that focus as if I were walking a tight rope with crocodiles underneath my feet. Sounds a bit extreme, but that’s what I needed to keep my concentration in check. While positioning myself into a bridge needed some major improvement, I proved to myself that while in most cases where I’ve been the laziest girl always dependent on my metabolism, I prefer not to look for any other reason to turn back when I’ve found something to inspire me. Given that this is an alternative to preventing an allergic reaction to cardio exercises, I would definitely consider taking these classes in the near future.
By the end of our session, I felt relaxed, relieved and unfortunately hungry which I’m sure defeated the purpose of the whole yoga class. But I had a great time and I was happy that I made the time and effort in doing something that is out of my norm.
Afterwards, Cynthia handed us each a gift bag to show her appreciation and we took one last boomerang photo to share on social media. Cynthia Bailey has truly inspired many women and men with her kind and soft spirit, her magnetic charm and beauty as well as her overall willpower. Cynthia Bailey sets the example that even at the age of 50, we can all live our lives just as healthy fit and fabulous!
Stay fab, stay fit and do Playlist Yoga!