Emmy winner and three-time Grammy nominated recording artist Toni Childs took a break from her world tour sharing her unique yoga sessions, to chat to us about her inspirations and her aspirations. Her session at Evolve Byron Bay was a highlight of the festival, fostering an incredible energy and planting a seed of change in each and every participant – earning her a reputation as a transformation facilitator. We are thrilled she has scheduled time for a one-day workshop here at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre on Saturday 2 April and a 3-day residential retreat for early December. Toni’s workshops are a profound celebration of life experience – not to be missed!
What inspired you to be a transformation facilitator?
There is an ancient Hawaiian story that says that each child has, at birth, a bowl of perfect light. If he or she tends to their light, it will grow in strength and they can do all things – swim with sharks, fly with the birds, know and understand all things.
If however, they become envious, jealous, angry, or fearful, they will drop a stone into the bowl of light and some of the light goes out. Light and the stone cannot hold the same space. If they continue to put stones in the bowl, the light will go out and they will become a stone themselves. A stone does not grow, nor does it move.
If at any time he or she tires of being a stone, all they need to do is turn the bowl upside down and the stones will fall away and the light will grow once more.
(Story from the Hawaiian book Tales of the Night Rainbow by Koko Willis and Pali Jae Lee – An oral history as told by Kaili’ohe Kame’ekua of Kamalo, Moloka’i, 1816-1931)
You were based here in Byron Bay for a while but you currently have a nomadic lifestyle – where are you now?
This month my husband Mik and I are in Hawaii visiting with family and friends, and sharing our Because You’re Beautiful Yoga offering. Our tour kicks off on Kauai, the island where I lived for 13 years where I went heal after I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. This weekend we head to Maui and then we’re off to Oahu for Wanderlust.
We’ll be traveling to 28 countries this year! The US, The UK, New Zealand, Australia and Canada; Brazil, Chile and Peru; South Africa; Russia; and 19 countries in Europe. Highlights for me include Burning Man Festival in September, St Petersburg in June and of course being back in Byron Bay in early April.
For those who weren’t at your Evolve Byron session, what do your Because You’re Beautiful sessions impart?
Our yoga sessions are a love fest… we dance ecstatically and celebrate each other; we talk story, enjoy yummy yin inspired asanas, and sit for 15 minutes in silent meditation. My husband Mik acts as DJ, and plays guitar while I sing to your spirit during key transition points ending with the song ‘Because You’re Beautiful’. This mindfulness journey is to remind you how beautiful you are.
And for those considering joining the one-day workshop on Saturday 2 April at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre, what can they expect?
Rite of Passage: Into the Arms of Beauty is a 6-hour workshop that focuses on creating a personal Rite of Passage. It is engineered to release personal and ancestral baggage in order to create greater bandwidth and access to SELF – Soul Evolved Life Force – to grow our personal seed of evolution.
How did you segue from music to yoga?
In 2003, Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina Monologues, asked me to write an anthem that would inspire people to end violence against women for her documentary, Until the Violence Stops. My song, Because You’re Beautiful went on to win an Emmy that same year.
Then in 2008, I toured the album Keep the Faith, and Because You’re Beautiful was on this album. During the tour, I noticed that men and women in the audience looked somewhat detached. A lot of the women looked like they had left themselves on the side of the road, and forgot to go back to pick themselves up… it appeared to me that these women were losing their playfulness, sensuality, and most importantly, their power.
Because You’re Beautiful had such an impact and inspired me to design a very powerful yoga experience that includes silent meditation and a live performance love shower experience… To read more about my yoga journey go to: www.becauseyourebeautiful.yoga/toni-bio/
What’s next on the Toni Childs journey?
Over the holidays, I meditated on how to create the most effective workshop experience. To be really effective I realised there needs to be two workshops over the coming year: starting with a one day workshop, Rite of Passage: Into the Arms of Beauty; followed up eight months later with a three day workshop called Rite of Passage: Into the Arms of Beauty Claiming my Bowl of Light.
It may not always be possible to achieve this in some on the venues around the world. But I’m so pleased we can do both the one-day and the three-day at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre. I hope to see you for the one-day on Saturday 2 April and the three-day residential in early December.