A creative business is always Intriguing to me. I’m still amazed at our abilities as human beings to create such beautiful things. In many situations, creative companies find ways to make their dreams a reality with little or no resources by igniting their creative juices.
Since it’s March, and we’re celebrating women, I choose to celebrate these two beautiful women that I believe embodies the essence of creativity.
Someone sent me a link to Brooklyn Bridge Flow. After browsing their Instagram page and later their website. I wanted to learn more about them, and I was excited to hear their story. Brooklyn Bridge Flow or #bbFlow as they are Affectionately known is described as a social impact organization and mobile wellness studio. And of course, they are located in Brooklyn.
#BBFlow was born after founders Najma Dagwood and Regina Roch (Gina) met at sacred, a Brooklyn yoga studio while completing their yoga teacher training.
Our souls attract like souls, and this was the case here. During their encounter, a friendship started brewing. They discovered their shared desires to live a purpose-driven authentic life. Both shared corporate background but their paths to yoga could not have been different, yet similar.
Be concern with how it feels than how it looks.
Najma craved living an authentic life. She knew and understood that life had much more to offer. In the midst of struggling with anxiety. Naima also felt unsatisfied, invisible, and undervalued at her current place of employment. And returned to NYU for a master’s degree in digital media. Going back to school was the best decision Najma could have made because it reconnected her to her inner creativity and intellect. Accessing her creativity took her to a place of exploration.
Be led by your spirit; it’s always right.
Yoga has always been a part of Gina’s life. And while she possessed an entrepreneurial spirit, she also loved the security and comfort of her corporate job. Such security created fear in exploring that other aspect of herself. That was before a more profound yoga practice and Najma. A near-death experience took Gina back to something familiar to aid her in her journey to recovery. She started utilizing breathing and meditation techniques to help her embrace her new body (with metal parts). She was already familiar with the benefits of yoga and decided it was the perfect time to advance her practice, which lead her to Sacred in Bed-Stuy to pursue her yoga teaching training.
Our life experiences are similar, although we experience them on an individual level. Like all of us, these two women’s paths were identical yet different. They were experiencing some of the same struggles which lead them to the same place. In search of a better way, they found each other and created something unique that not only helped their journey but is available to help all of us. In an effort to share more with you I asked these beauties a few questions.
Based on your website your friendship developed while in Yoga teacher training. I’m interested in how you both decided to go into business together.
While we were in yoga teacher training, Gina decided to leave her corporate job. This was a decision that she had been grappling for quite some time. We had talked about it a lot, since I had previously left corporate to pursue other endeavors. Ever ambitious, Gina procured a teaching opportunity in the building of her old place of employment on the rooftop. She invited me to teach with her, and Brooklyn Bridge Flow was birthed.
I love both of your unique paths to Yoga – can you add anything else?
I discovered yoga during my journey to self-love and transformation, eight years ago after being in a state of depression and anxiety. It felt like everything in my life was crumbling after being in a emotionally abusive relationship for years and forgetting who I was. Rekindling my relationship with God and practicing yoga allowed me to shed unwanted layers, build self-acceptance and love, while being my authentic self. That is, creating from my heart, continuing to understand parts of myself, learning to let go, making mistakes, divorcing perfectionism and living curiously.
My relationship with yoga is ever evolving. It has been both the catalyst, and the support system for many transformations in my life. I cannot think of a single other thing on the planet that is more important to me than my yoga practice– as it is the basis for my relationship with myself, and the gateway to a healthy relationship with others.
My journey to yoga was solidified after I left a toxic relationship, finished grad school, and found myself feeling lost, confused, unsettled, and alone. I rebuilt my relationship with myself through yoga and was able to rebuild my life from there on a more stable foundation. I am forever grateful for this practice.
The creativity of your organization interesting and I love it. Tell me about the creative ways in which you obtain and use resources?
At BBFLOW we believe in fostering community first! We get on the ground and talk to people about partnering with us in a mutually beneficial way. This has allowed us to use a number of event spaces for free. Other than that, we rely on our own resources/funds and ingenuity to create our experiences.
I’m interested in learning more about your upcoming event and the motivation for it?
Our upcoming Yoga Speed Dating event is a way to bring both men and women together for a fun, unique, and laid back evening. The wellness space is often not accessible for men for a variety of reasons, so we are trying to bring them into the folds of our community in creative ways. We thought valentine’s day would be a great opportunity to do so. Especially since it’s mostly a couples holiday– we don’t want singles (like us) to feel left out of the fun!
(I shared this information with you about their last event because I wanted to show that Najima and Gina’s wants wellness to be inclusive. They understand that wellness isn’t always easily accessible to men and they want to make every effort to make space for men).
What was the thought process behind the concept of your organization?
Brooklyn Bridge Flow was born out of our desire to begin teaching right after completing our teacher training. The purpose of our organization has evolved to include a mission that is close to both of our hearts as black yoga instructors. Our purpose is to reflect our own community, while bringing wellness and healing through fun and exploratory events. We believe wellness is a necessity and not a luxury. Our thought process was to help encourage people to feel their bodies, feed their spirit, while promoting healing and authenticity.
Today as human beings there is such a need to take care of ourselves holistically what would/do you tell your clients (future and current) on how this should be approach from a Yogi’s stand point?
We make it a priority to advise our community to bring compassion into everything they do –including how they treat themselves and their bodies. Teach our community the importance of honoring their spirit: sitting in silence and listening to their internal voice –a personal compass for life. And encourage our students to take a moment, take up space, and prioritize their healing, all while having fun as a community.
What does the future of BB Flow look like?
BBFLOW is just getting started! We would like to continue having monthly events and partnering with other black organizations within the wellness community. This year, we plan on purchasing a van, in order to make BBFLOW truly mobile. This will help us reach even more communities that need yoga! We’ll also be starting a monthly newsletter and encouraging more wellness discussions on all of our social media platforms. Within three years we plan on collaborating with other organizations to host our very own wellness festival!
For both Najma and Gina yoga extends beyond individual wellness it spills into their community. With a shared mission to “make WELLNESS accessible to under-deserved communities — especially communities of color.” BBFlow seeks out that person who cannot afford to make self care a part of their life. Or those who believe themselves undeserving of self care . These ladies are changing the narrative by offering a combination of FREE, paid and donation based events throughout the city.
With SERVICE and community being at the forefront of BBFLOW — their main goal is to help others see the value in caring and nurturing themselves. Their belief is that when someone learns how to care and nurture themselves it will spill into their environments.
Today I ask you to join me in celebrating Najma and Gina and BBFLOW. Follow them on IG @Brooklynbridgeflow or visit their website Brooklyn Bridge Flow. Make supporting women owned businesses a priority today and everyday.