Crystal Love is a holistic fitness guide on Wanderlust TV, and she’s designed a series of three classes that honor Native American Heritage month on WLTV called “Sacred Flow“. You can also practice some of her other signature offerings on Wanderlust TV such as “Core & Soar“, “Quick FIIT‘, and “Purifying Barre & Core“.
Navigating the Personal Resonance of Native Heritage Month
The truth is sometimes painful. And without it, there is only illusion. The truth is Native people still walk the face of the earth. The illusion is that Native people were defeated. The illusion is that our culture is a costume and our land and our women are for the taking without repercussion or reciprocity. The truth is we have survived traumatic change and are wiser and stronger because of it. The truth is that we are survivors. The truth is we are still a viable culture. The illusion is that we are part of the past; something to be studied, measured, dissected and ultimately judged. I still have a viable heartbeat with traditions, rituals, morals and values that have stood the severest tests. We all have our truths: some easier to accept than others.
For me personally, November is a month to honor, reflect, and carry my medicine forward as a Native Indigenous woman, healer and educator. It also happens to be Adoption Awareness Month and the birthday month of my biological mother, my biological uncle, and my biological grandmother. You can learn more about my adoption reconciliation and me and my adoption story here.
As I personalize and digest my reunification with 5 biological siblings, I am reminded of my privilege and my experience as a transracial adoptee. Since the first grade I knew that I was different from my cousins and my friends. I recall many challenges as a transracial adoptee; that include stigmatization and shame around my identity, heritage and native beauty. Growing up my peers nicknamed me “Pochi” and as a teenager I was often sexualized or stigmatized by authority and adults whom I trusted based on how “exotic” I looked. Focusing on the biological aspect of identity, as a transracial adoptee, I don’t have any biological information; it is a constant place of emotional exploration. When it comes to having been taken from your family, not having any sort of records for your health and knowledge of medical conditions amplifies uncertainty, dissociation, oppression, shame, and creates another layer of fear and anxiety. Sometimes I ignore things about my health, painful “issues in my tissues” because when doctors inquire about my health history, I just simply don’t know. I will have to go to great extremes to know my epigenetic factors. It is in the spirit of sacred belonging and relationship that Native people endure and have survived—indeed, that I am alive. It took me a long time to feel human, reclaim myself, feel grounded in my body and in my skin and really love myself again.
When I started my work with MMIW I began to really understand how colonization and systemic racism is taking indigenous land and our people, especially our women. For young girls aging out of the Foster Care system, they are targeted based on insecurity, abandonment and low self-esteem.
Decoding and learn to navigate the many dimensional multifaceted parts of who I am, I recognize how living with chronic pain has actually allowed me to develop a deeper clarity around my sensory perception and now I am stronger—strong enough to sit in the discomfort. To breathe. To hold space for what is real and true and show up every day. Only in hindsight do I recognize the elevated and brave self, being conscious of what has been going on when I was doing whatever I could to feel safe.
Bringing the Whole Self to the Practice
My work as a practitioner is to provide access to resources that provide both emotional support and evidence-based programs, like a national network of experts that can be relied upon and understand the special needs of these individuals. My practice continues to amaze me with its boundless gifts, expansions, and opportunities to be of service to others, largely due to the alchemy of my inner work which includes self-love, empowerment, and forgiveness.
Communities, both rural and urban, continue to lack basic services that would help to increase the safety and the healing for Native women, children, and their families. As a practitioner, survivor-ally, and athletic coach my role is to walk beside MMIW survivors and relatives and hold brave space by providing support that anticipates the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of families and communities alike, one day at a time, moment to moment. As a society, we should all be so outraged when any child or woman is harmed, abused, or killed—non-violence is at the heart of Native traditional teaching. Violence has no part in our traditions. When we say “women and children are sacred” we mean it because just as water is life, water is sacred, women give life, so does water. There’s a sacredness of energy flowing through our bodies, like water. Connecting to roots; body and breath, land and rhythm, song and language in Native tradition is all Ceremony. Ceremony has great meaning in the lives of those who have passed and their loved ones who remain in this world. There’s an importance placed on the fact that all creation is related, seasons and sequences have beginning, middle, end. We as humans are dependent on everything in creation for our existence. It is important to acknowledge your ancestors who came before you, and whose power flows through your very existence, as you are their living descendant.
Practice Requires Mindfulness and Mindfulness Requires Practice
Practice requires mindfulness and mindfulness requires practice. When we are mindful we can recognize our limitations. Further developing our self in mind, body, spirit, and emotion, we must constantly be tending to and further developing these four areas within ourselves so that when we show up in relationships and in our communities, we show up as the best versions of ourselves. We can be bothered or burdened or kind and cruel to our bodies, and usually the hardest part of practice “the work” is in keeping promises to oneself. It may only be 5 minutes per day but that adds up by the end of the week! When we are conscious and connected; guided by our inner vision and rituals, we find a healing and brave space to reflect and grow.
To inspire your day and remind you of your strong and sacred self; I have designed a three-part collection called “Sacred Flow”, which is fusion of Barre and fitness sequences that will creatively activate your sacral chakra, strengthen and lengthen your muscles, jumpstart your heart, and stabilize the foundation of the warrior within. You’ll tap into passion and joy by setting your intention and focusing on energy centers on the mat. Nourish, surrender and release.
Founder of Loveinmvmt Living, Crystal invites each individual to show up just as they are in movement, training, recovery and wellness. Crystal is dedicated to empowering beginners and elite athletes living with past traumas, substance abuse, or chronic pain to harness the tools within themselves and live in a more enriched and authentic experience. Loveinmvmt Living is about optimizing and discovering who you are through inquiry, movement, resilience coaching and mindset shifts.
Crystal is NASM trained, 750hr RYT, Kripalu Yoga In Schools Certified, SeaChange Yoga Teacher, 200hr+ Certified Barre Teacher & Trainer, Strength & Resilience Coach, and Recovery Ally.