• Laura Derks

Wellness Wednesday: Nature-based Yoga

Today please take the time to check out our first Featured "Community Asset" Light of Loving Kindess with Cassandra Powell and her staff committed to restoring health and well-being to their surrounding community, hospitals, hospice, and many many other places.

Cassandra's bio can be found at the bottom of this page.

Watch this short yoga outside vide "Grounding in Nature" led by Liz on the staff of Light of Loving Kindness.

Cassandra Powell is a Professor of Linguistics, English, & Communications. In addition to being a student of life, she has earned 5 academic degrees and 2 graduate certifications. Cassandra has traveled to over 35 countries and to every state in the U.S. minus 3 – North Dakota, Delaware, & New England, which she has plans to visit before the end of this year. All of the cultures, traditions, and landscapes have shaped Cassandra into a person who loves humanity, animals, nature, and our oceans. Cassandra states that she officially qualifies as a hugger, of people and of trees.

Cassandra is a holistic practitioner, specializing in several modalities. She is a certified yoga instructor with additional certifications in Yoga for Trauma, Chair Yoga, and Children’s Yoga. And if that’s not enough, she is a Yoga for Social Justice Leadership Facilitator with Off the Mat, Into the World. Cassandra practices meditation and frequently teaches mindfulness-based courses.

As a Spiritual Practitioner, she is an intuitive reader and channeler, a reiki master, and a shamanic energy worker.

Does this sound like a lot? Cassandra says, “it’s all energy work – from teaching to healing – I work with energy”.

Cassandra maintains that Yoga should be accessible for Every Body. Everybody, yes, but for Every Body. She asks that we remember that yoga is not only about the asanas, also called yoga postures. The path of yoga is an 8-fold path, which includes being kind to yourself, being kind to others, mindfulness, and actualization.

Cassandra began Light of Loving Kindness as a one-person health & wellness center on wheels. She often traveled to various locations to provide services to those looking to reduce the effects of stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and illness. In 2019, Cassandra turned her heart’s passion into Light of Loving Kindness (LOLK). Light of Loving Kindness is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located on Chicago’s southside. They specialize in providing holistic integrative solutions to individuals and communities in low-income and trauma-affected communities.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, LOLK provided pop-up clinics at Chicago locations; however, since April 2020, we have shifted our focus to how to make the most impact for those suffering from the numerous mental health concerns developed as a result of the pandemic. LOLK provided workshops throughout 2020 to hospitals, behavioral health clinics, and social workers. As these 1st Responders took care of the vulnerable, LOLK provided mindfulness trainings to reduce the effects of long hours and causalities, while providing “take-home” tools for their continued support.

This year, LOLK kicked off the year with One Breath Chicago. One Breath Chicago was our Covid-19 response, initiated with the hope of providing the public with tools to better cope during this unprecedented time in our history as we navigate the waters to unite our personal and collective futures. Just go to YouTube and type in #onebreathchicago for a list of mindful breathing videos for all ages and livestreamed panel discussions.

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