I watched in consternation as the others in the session had their traumas and the sufferings of their ancestors acted out before them. It was alarming to see these people so exposed, their emotions so raw. It made me uncomfortable since it was my typical practice to keep everything bottled inside. When it was my turn, I wanted so badly to pass, but I knew this was a necessary avenue for me to take in the healing journey I had recently committed
to. So I sat there, stone faced and strong, ready to undertake whatever Leah had in store for
I don’t ever remember crying as hard as I did that day, not even when my father had died. All the pain, all the angst I had contained inside of me for so many years came rushing through, overwhelming me, anguishing me, finally making room in my heart for the healing
to begin. Leah took me outside to her garden and held me. I felt the comforting arms of a mother, arms I had so badly wanted to embrace me when I was a child, but never felt. Leah told me in her soft, sweet voice that everything was going to be okay, and I believed. She was
That day at Leah’s house was one of the most profound healing experiences I have ever gone through. Leah was like a luminous angel, her reassuring words, her empathetic gestures enabled me to begin to trust again, creating a pathway that eventually led me to
happiness. This is a woman who truly cares and wants to make a difference in the lives of others.
When I was introduced to Leah, there was something familiar about her. I later learned she used to star in one of my favorite shows when I was a teen. I remember staring at the screen, thinking how beautiful, how exquisite she was; her compassion shined through even then. It was serendipitous I would meet her many years later under such unusual circumstances. But as I now know, we all have a predestined path, and Leah’s led her to facilitating in the healing of others.
Leah was born in Baltimore and moved to New York to earn a degree in Dance Educationat NYU. She was cast on a popular television series and moved to Los Angeles to be an actress. After achieving success in both television and film, Leah realized she no longer wanted to be just a character in other people’s stories.
“I wanted to grow something that contributed to the future,” she
Leah went back to school and received her MA degree in Developmental Education. Leah started teaching yoga to students at The Accelerated Charter School. She then instructed yogis and classroom teachers how to teach yoga to kids. This led her to create her own materials and curriculum. During her first hand experience teaching and training the younger generations, she noticed that kids needed a more exciting form of exercise than their teacher or caregivers were able to provide for them.
“I wanted to create a way for [the teachers and parents] to provide engaging, empowering and educational active play daily that also gives the children self-care and regulation tools,” Leah says. “Young children are not getting the 90-120 minutes of daily exercise they need, and it’s clearly one of the roots of this [obesity] epidemic.”
When Leah was a young girl, her mother inspired her to participate in
dramatic, active play as well as dance and sports.
“I realized as a young adult what all those creative, expressive, embodied experiences had given me; a sense of my self, confidence, health, fitness and an awareness of how to take care of my mind and body.”
This is where her passion for helping others to achieve mental physical health as well as empowerment began. Using all her talents and backgrounds, Leah realized she could create and produce fun and stimulating videos that give parents and educators a way to introduce movement to children, making it a part of their daily routine. In past generations, children were encouraged to play outside, even in inclement weather. Today, circumstances are different. There are many single parent households as well as working mothers. Therefore, there are more children are in daycare. The educational standards have also increased, imposing more rigorous academic demands, yes, even in preschool. There is less time for play, less time for movement.
After traveling and training all over the country, Leah started Move with Me Action Adventures, a company that produces yoga and brain gym based movement and mindfulness video classes and educational materials for kids. She believes that the rising childhood obesity epidemic, in addition to learning and behavioral issues are a symptom of a lack of physical exercise. There are other factors as well, but coordination and a strong connection
to the self are essential to a child’s health as well as maturation. Move with Me’s programs are a direct response to that need and solution to the health crisis in America.
Leah’s yoga-based movement and mindfulness program, Move with Me, is 1 of 10 semi-finalists in Partnership for a Healthier America’s End Childhood Obesity Challenge. The top three finalists of the challenge are invited to present their ideas at the Health Summit in Washington DC, chaired by Michelle Obama. In order for Leah to do this, she needs votes.
When I first received Leah’s request for my vote, I didn’t hesitate to comply. I knew in my heart, if anyone could help the crisis the youth of this country is experiencing, it is Leah. I urge you to please clink link below which will take you to PHA's Facebook page for Move with Me. Hit “VOTE” and then share or email to family and friends who will take 10 seconds to do the same for our children's health.
Leah has devoted her life to bringing health and wellness to the children of our country. All she is asking in return is ten seconds of our time. Watching the younger generations rotting away on news reports, listening to our First Lady plead for our help isn’t enough. We need to be proactive. Please click on the link and feel good about helping a generation in need.