PHOTO BY Kirstin Huber
interview by kate weiner
Loam first learned about Regina of Wolf Medicine Magic thanks to a workshop she was teaching on toxic masculinity at Welcome Home Studio. Inspired by Regina’s passion for braiding together movement and breathwork to inspire healing, we spoke to this force of nature about everyday beauty and embodying resilience.
LOAM: What drew you to your work in breathwork, Ayurveda, and yoga? How do you integrate these practices into your every day?
REGINA: As a teen I had eczema that was absolutely horrible and finally went away after taking a strong steroid cream. It came back in my late 20's in 2009. It was just as bad. I was at a work meeting one day and someone had Dr. Pratima Raichur's book, Absolute Beauty. The book was all about improving your skin through the practice of Ayurveda. I was hooked. After that, I read it and many other Ayurvedic books cover to cover. I started to dive deeper into Astrology as well, learning about Saturn's Return and how the zodiac signs interact. By 2013, I was determined to go to school for Ayurveda. Most programs are very long—basically like getting a master's degree—but Kripalu's certification is done in monthly modules and it's close to NYC so I decided to go for it. It was one of the best things I've ever done. I learned a ton and am basically my own doctor/herbalist now. It's been years since I've had to take a prescription medication. I use Ayurveda and yoga every day. Yoga isn't just about practicing the asanas. When you are mindful, aware, in the moment and attempting to live in love you are practicing yoga. I'm not perfect. I get upset. I get angry. I can be judgemental, too, but I'm much more aware of my reaction to life's challenges. Every day there is going to be at least one thing or person that will annoy or even piss you off but how you react to those annoyances is key. I try to let stuff go that I know is a waste of time to get angry about and if someone bothers me in a negative way, I take a moment to figure out why I'm having that reaction. There is a lesson in there somewhere.
LOAM: How do beauty, resilience, and regeneration emerge in your praxis?
REGINA: Well, I'm definitely aware of beauty on a gorgeous sunny day. I love the sun and am fully aware of beauty around me when the sun is out. I also love to see human beings being free in their bodies. Witnessing dance, movement, and authentic forms of physical expression is absolutely beautiful. Human beings really are capable of so much. Resilience, well, that occurs every day. Living and thriving in NYC is pretty damn resilient. Really, that alone takes a lot of resilience, courage, bravery and maybe a little childlike innocence. I'm constantly regenerating. I think resilient souls naturally are very flexible and adaptable.
LOAM: As a teacher, you guide workshops on breath, toxic masculinity, and queer being. Why is working with these themes important to you? How do you create a container for your community to explore these ideas?
REGINA: These themes are important to me because they ARE me. I'm 100% interested in and am a fan of labels. Many people would probably prefer for all of us to get past labels and just live as one but first we have to acknowledge that labels do exist and the playing field is not equal or fair. Being black, a woman and gay/queer identified means I exist in a world that has a lot of perceptions, judgements and biases projected onto me on a daily basis. This fact is a reality. I offer up workshops and classes that reflect my life experience and open the doors to those who have similar experiences. Just by offering up these workshops, I feel that I am creating a container for a certain community, whether it's for women, POC, queer folks, or those who have experienced trauma from toxic masculinity.
LOAM: How do you embody beauty in your life?
REGINA: The number one way I embody beauty in my life is by being connected to my body. I grew up dancing and got my BFA and MFA in dance. I was taught at a very young age how to move my body. To be aware of my body. How to articulate my feelings into movement. This is truly a gift. My years of teaching yoga have made me very grateful for how connected I am to my body. How aware I am of my body.
LOAM: How do you hope to continue to nurture your community? How do you strive to support radical self-care?
REGINA: I'm always looking to evolve. I want to just keep on doing what I'm doing only on a larger scale reaching more people. The only way I know how to support radical self-care is to encourage people—and myself—to simply do what you can. Find ways to take care of yourself that you actually look forward to doing and can make a part of your daily or even weekly routine. If you know you can't make it to a 7am yoga class then find a way to move your body at a time of day that works for you. Taking care of yourself shouldn't feel like a chore or something that stresses you out.
To learn more about Regina’s work, visit this link.