Culture

Here’s Why An Afro-Latino Decided To Make A New Meditation App Just For People Of Color

Raise your hand if you’ve used a meditation app that works for you until the “teacher” tells you to let go of the idea you can change the world around you. Often, whether it’s your white, blonde yoga teacher or that app, it can be triggering to enter the safe space of your consciousness only to feel triggered by a tone-deaf mantra.

Julio Rivera was one of those people that tried the existing meditation apps only to feel discontent. Some people want to change the world and when your community is in crisis you have to believe that you can change the world. Thankfully, Rivera is an engineer and decided to go out and make his own app that would be a truly safe space for people of color.

Liberate Meditation is “dedicated to empowering the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community on their journey to find inner peace.”

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

“We want to help empower people, not only to meditate but to show them that there’s something you can do about your suffering,” Rivera said of the app. “We can help each other get free and be liberated.” The app is made by POC for POC.

It all started when he finally found the POC sangha at New York Insight Meditation Center. He finally found a spiritual home and wants “folks of color all over the world to know that they are not alone.” With that, he embarked on designing an app that would do just that.

You can scroll through different categories depending on your needs at that given moment.

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

The topics range from Ancestors, The Body, Gratitude, Love, Micro Aggressions, LGBT Pride, Self Worth and more. Then, once you choose which topic you want to engage in within yourself, you can select from 5 to 20-minute meditation sessions. 

The app also offers non-meditative teachings, which sound more like empowering, resounding speeches from the Teachers. For example, Dr. Valerie Mason-John offers a talk on “Reconciling Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Non-Self.” Hearing non-POC talk about shedding attachment to identity and self can feel frustrating for POC. We spend so much of our lives wrestling with our identities and when we’re able to claim them with pride, its an act of defiance and self-love. I feel this especially around my gay identity–something that my parents tried to beat and pray out of me. Dr. Mason-John’s soft eye into “how the Dharma offers liberation from the suffering that comes from attachment with our identity” is much more palatable given her experience as a queer person of color (QPOC).

All of the voices you will hear on the app are from Teachers of Color.

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

The User Interface (UI) is clever–allowing you to browse by topic and by teacher. If you find a teacher that resonates with your experience, you can immediately find a list of other teachings and meditations of their own making. When you click on their teacher card, you can read a biography of their experiences in culture, sexuality and more.

“It’s not unusual for people of color to survive by keeping parts of ourselves hidden,” Teacher Cara Lai describes her meditation on “The Power of Belonging.” “We learn to behave in certain ways when we have needs. We learn to hinder our creative expression for social acceptance. This meditation helps us open to the things we’ve locked away to regain our wholeness.”

Liberate Meditation is absolutely free to use.

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

The reviews are in. People are finding refuge within themselves thanks to the app. It’s clear that Rivera has tapped into a market that has been widely ignored by the wellness industry. Instead of pretending that the harms of external racism and internalized racism don’t exist, the Teachers are acknowledging it, allowing an opportunity for healthy release.

“You will not just mediate, you will be found,” writes one reviewer.

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

Another reviewer maintains that “This app is not just some icon you press in your phone to relieve some stress before getting out of bed in the morning.” It’s much more than that. For them, “it is a creation to help our kin heal, rebuild and liberate. You see yourself in this, you find yourself and you take in the words of those who have lived to speak wisdom to you through those guided meditations. You will not just meditate, you will be found.”

Liberation Meditation is available on iOS and Android devices.

READ: We Have Latinos To Thank For Some Of America’s Biggest And Strongest Businesses

We Just Created The Latino Thirst List To Include Your Favorites And Here It Is

Entertainment

We Just Created The Latino Thirst List To Include Your Favorites And Here It Is

Credit: @aarondiaz / @lch14_ / Instagram

Sit back and get ready to take a tour of some of the hottest Latino celebs to grace your screen — a lot of them picked by you in these comments, lovingly organized in list form by us. Thank you/you’re most very welcome.

Bruno Mars

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Bruno Mars, né Peter Gene Hernandez, stormed onto the music scene back in 2010 with the release of his “Doo-Wops & Hooligans album, which brought us hits like “Just The Way You Are” and “Grenade.” Jump to 2014 and the release of “Uptown Funk,” and it was clear that this man had swag for days. Like, literally, so much swag just drips of him and his smooth moves that we don’t know how to handle it.

Jesús “Chino” Miranda

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If you’ve never heard of Jesús “Chino” Miranda, then you have been severely missing out. This walking statue of perfection is part of the wildly popular Venezuelan reggaeton duo Chino Y Nacho. Though he has gotten rid of his flowing locks of hair, this Venezolano will still make your heart melt when you catch a glimpse of his beautiful smile. ?

Ricky Martin

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All the way from Puerto Rico, Ricky Martin has been driving women and men crazy with his gyrating hips long before he had the U.S. dancing to “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Now a father to twins, he’s the perfect example of Latino men aging like fine wine. Every year gets better and better, and we will continue to be here for this man.

Tristan Wilds

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You might think that Tristan Wilds got his big break thanks to Adele’s music video for “Hello,” but this Dominican slice of heaven has been in the game long before that. Do you remember a little movie called “Red Tails” or the CW revival of “90210“? Either way, Wilds has proven to be a damn good actor with a smile that could light up all of Hollywood.

Rafael Amaya

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Don’t look at Rafael Amaya straight on unless you are ready to deal with his sultry eyes piercing through to your soul. This Mexican telenovela star has made quite the name of himself as a telenovela tour de force. From his uncredited appearances on “Ugly Betty” to playing Aurelio Casillas on “El Señor de los Cielos,” there is never a time when women and men don’t swoon over this 6’2″ drink of water. ????

Thiago Silva

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This Brazilian-born futbolista might look like just another boy next door, but don’t let that fool you. Thiago Silva is all over the place, literally, playing fútbol for the Brazilian national team, as well as Paris Saint-Germain. The best part about this sexy af athlete are those plump and pouty lips. Like, who wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a Silva kiss?

Mauricio Ochmann

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Another Mexicano from the “El Señor de los Cielos” cast, Mauricio Ochmann has the kind of attitude and temperament suitable for a future hubby. Not to mention he was the total heart throb in “7 Mujeres 1 Homosexual Y Carlos.” Those puppy dog eyes are enough to make us weak in the knees and fall into his oh-so defined arms. Plus, who doesn’t love a good-looking straight man who is totally down for complete and total equality for the LGBTQ community? Answer: NO ONE.

Oscar Isaac

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Guatemalan-Cuban actor Oscar Isaac is just the right amount of no-f*cks-given rolled into a very handsome package. Not only has he proven his acting chops over and over again in movies like “Ex-Machina,” this dude has so many other talents. Remember when he showed the world the best way to eat Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Sorry, I seemed to have lost the ability to breathe.

Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony, a prolific scorer in the NBA, is the 6’8″ puertorriqueño dreamboat the New York Knicks needed when he was traded over from the Denver Nuggets in 2011. But it isn’t his reliable shooting record we care about, no. We are here for this rugged good looks and those ever-so-sexy tattoos he has creeping up around his jersey.

Aarón Díaz

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This studmuffin all the way from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has always had a way of stopping people in their tracks and taking the breath right out of ’em. Even when Aarón Díaz is posing with his adorable daughter, dude knows how to put those hypnotizing eyes to work. We are all still trying to figure out why in the hell Kate del Castillo let this prime hunk of man out of her life.

Laz Alonso

Credit: @lazofficial / Instagram

Laz Alonso, a first generation Cuban-American, has been heating up screens both big and small. Not only did this Cuban vision of beauty play Fenix in “Fast & Furious” (still waiting for him to handcuff me, if we’re being honest), but he’s also been in “Avatar” and, most recently, “The Mysteries of Laura.” ? *sets DVR for a show I’ve never heard of*

Édgar Ramírez

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by @patrickjamesmiller for @variety #tb #latergram

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What is it with these hunky Venezolanos all over the place?! You might recognize Édgar Ramírez from “Joy,” where he acted alongside Jennifer Lawrence. Does he have great acting skills? Sure. But can we take a minute and just admire the sexual appeal that comes from being a hairy and buff Latino. Seriously, there is nothing better than finding that perfect, cuddly teddy bear, even if you have to stand outside looking through his window. #NotPersonalExperienceOrAnything ?

Romeo Santos

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I miss U ❤️

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Every girl, guy, dog and cat just could NOT get enough of Aventura, especially the Dominican-Puerto Rican Romeo Santos. Not only can we not stop looking at his trademark dimple, we also just want one or two hours holding his muscle-bound arms. Just imagine how great it must feel to have him hold you like you were the only person in the world. ? Tell me that you love me / And you need me ? Please!

Alexis Sánchez

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If you’re not a football fan, get ready to start caring. Arsenal fans really lucked out when Alexis Sánchez started to grace their pitch in 2014. This Chilean dreamboat is everything you could ever want in a futbolista fantasy. How can you NOT watch an Arsenal game when you get to keep your eyes on those rippling shoulders and perfectly styled hair? Seriously. #TeamAlexis or GTFO.

Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez

Credit: @canelo / Instagram

Yes. Gingers exist in every race and ethnicity, and Mexican pro boxer Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez is one of them. The World Boxing Council middleweight champion has been killing the boxing game just like he is knocking us all out with his chiseled jaw and shredded abs. Tbh, it’s a little hard to watch him in the ring. Not because we don’t like his boxing style or kickass performance, but because we just don’t want to see that pretty face damaged.

Laith Ashley De La Cruz

Credit: @laith_ashley / Instagram

If you’ve never heard of Laith Ashley De La Cruz, well, now you’re welcome. De La Cruz is one of the hottest Latino Instagrammers, with more than 70,000 followers. This Dominican model first made his appearance in Barney’s “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters” campaign celebrating the beauty of trans models. De La Cruz was only one month into his transition when he was photographed by Bruce Weber. But, like, for real. Those lips are perfection!

Kid Cudi

Credit: @kidcudi / Instagram

Kid Cudi is probably what all your dreams are made of. Not only does the man know how to get you and all your amigos dancing and vibing, he is also the most adorable musician on Instagram. The best part is this Mexican-American singer doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he isn’t so self-involved that he just fills his social media with selfie after selfie. Instead, this man sticks to giving the fans what they want… a good mix of sexy selfies and sexy performance photos. #Range

Michael Peña

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We all fell in love with Michael Peña when he played Cesar Chavez, and he sure knew how to scare the hell out of us in “The Vatican Tapes” as Father Lozano. Tbh, he was probably the main reason you went to see “The Martian.” Every time this Mexicano hits the big screen, we are all reminded that the “boy next door” look never looked so good. It’s a good thing we don’t live in his neighborhood or we would seriously never get anything done. *peers through blind*

Miguel

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MOXY

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Credit: @miguel / Instagram

Seriously. Can anyone, ANYONE, point out a moment in his career when Miguel didn’t ooze sex appeal? Didn’t think so. So, instead of trying to figure out if his sexuality and appeal have any restrictions, let’s just sit back and stare intently at this gorgeous smile and beautiful hair. Maybe if we stare heard enough he’ll eventually Adorn us with some of that loving. ?

Adam Rodriguez

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Adam Rodriguez is the professor we ALL wish we had while we were in school. Attendance would be high and consistent af if this Puerto Rican/Cuban papi was the one dropping all that knowledge. And that adorably cock-eyed smile just makes it all the better, amiright? Does anyone know if the “Jane the Virgin” sex bomb does private tutoring? I promise not to kiss his sweater. ?

Mario Lopez

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I'm ready for Opening Day! @MLB @Dodgers #LA #CapsOn

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Since his “Saved By The Bell” days Mario Lopez has cornered the market on sexy Latinos in mainstream media. And while he might always have a clean-shaven look, his swole arms and come-over-here smile are EVERYTHING. Ahem, did I mention I love the Dodgers? This picture had no sway on that opinion.

Pedro Pascal

Credit: @pascalispunk / Instagram

The whole world collectively cried when this Chilean heartthrob was (spoiler alert?) violently killed off on HBO’s hit show “Game of Thrones.” It’s like the creators of the show just wanted GoT to lose all of the sexiness he brought to the television screen. Thankfully, Netflix jumped on the opportunity to have this man up their sexy Latino content with his role in “Narcos.”

Prince Royce

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Hi @calvinklein

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Is there anyone left who hasn’t fallen head over heels for this Dominican singer? Seriously. Those lips and smile are enough to make any woman or man drop everything and hang on every last word he sings. Plus, it’s not easy to out-sexy Jennifer Lopez like Prince Royce did in the “Back It Up” music video. All you need to do is call and I will be there to stand right by you, boo!

Ezequiel Lavezzi

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🌅

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Credit: @pocho22lavezzi / Instagram

Hebei China Fortune is definitely fortunate (?) with the addition of this smoking Argentine vision of beauty. While he is drop-dead gorgeous in his soccer uniform, his fashion sense makes him the best dressed player to ever grace your computer screen. Like, what was Paris Saint-Germain even thinking by letting this guy go? Though, you can’t really blame him for going after the offer to make him the richest soccer player in the world.

Richard Cabral

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You no doubt know about this man from his Emmy-nominated role on “American Crime,” but this dude has a past that would make most people scared. The former gang member has really been able to turn his life around and, in turn, has become an inspiration to millions. It also doesn’t hurt that Richard Cabral is so damn fine! There is something about a skinny dude with long hair and tats that gets your attention.

Al Madrigal

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Made it.

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Al Madrigal gave all Latino Jon Stewart fans someone they could finally relate to. As the senior Latino correspondent, he was able to give his reporting that Mexican twist we didn’t even know we were missing. As his career has grown and we’ve watched him report story after story, we have slowly and surely fallen in love with this adorable goofball’s cute looks and sense of humor. #TeamAlMadrigal

 Javier “Chicharito” Hernández

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No sexy Latino list is complete without everyone’s favorite futbolista, Chicharito. This man has brought so many people over to the world of fútbol (this writer included). From his playful smile to the funny videos he’s been part of, there is nothing this guy can’t do. There’s just one question: When are we going to Germany to watch our favorite Mexicano fútbol star take on Europe?!

READ: Here Are 11 Sexy Latino Men with Their Kids to Give You All the Feels

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Give Your Rizos Some Special Love This Summer With These Silk Scarves Designed To Protect Your Hair

Fierce

Give Your Rizos Some Special Love This Summer With These Silk Scarves Designed To Protect Your Hair

cocoaflowerr / Pinterest

As we jump into Summer and approach the hotter months, it’s crucial to remember that the hot climate of summer can wreak all types of havoc on our rizos and strands. Yep, turns out split ends, hair damage and breakage aren’t just a winter thing. To ensure healthy hair, particularly during this time of the year, Black hair stylists and beauty gurus have recommended women wear their hair up in silky does at night for decades.

Here’s a look at 7 fun summer scarves to keep your curls healthy and polished and try on for size this season.

SILKE London’s Hair Wrap The Poppy

Revolve.com

SILKE London’s 100% pure silk Hair Wrap hugs your hair and protects it against breakage while also giving it a natural condition to fight dryness. The wrap is chic and has made with a comfortable design that apparently won’t slip off overnight.

Price: $60

Buy it here.

XingDesignCo

XingDesignCo / Etsy

These Jamaican cotton and viscose Ankara prints have silk and satin lining for protection. Their open tops are perfect for beautifying hairstyles and showing off curls.

Price: $8

Buy it here.

Madewell Silk Bandana

Madewell

This scarf is timeless. No doubt you’ll fall in love with Madewell’s sweet silk scarves (they’re all divinely gorgeous) but it’s the fun animal prints you’ll find super fun for your summer bedroom look.

Price: $9 – $24.50

Buy it here.

Urban Outfitters Vintage Silky Printed Scarf

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitter’s Renewal Vintage line has gained quite a bit of popularity over the years for their original vintage pieces (“no two are exactly alike”). Their vintage line of silk scarvesare all one-of-a-kind pieces that vary in print and size. At ten bucks a pop their a pretty cheap find for 100% silk and from the retail store.

Price: $10

Buy it here.

GOHARA Silk turban

TURBANSbyGOHARA / Etsy

Etsy’s turban style brand Gohara is all about the made to order life with their silky and elegant turbans that are super chic for any occasion. Their fabrics come in a range of pinks, florals and polka dots, but the truly exciting thing about these silky pieces are how they make the perfect transition accessory from day to night.

Price: $39

Buy it here.

Reversible Ankara and satin hair bonnet, satin hair bonnet, satin scarf

PatAndyaccessories / Etsy

For those of us who grew up with bonnets as opposed to scarves, this bonnet hybrid is the real deal. It has the look of a bonnet and the feel of a silk scarf. The reversible Ankara and satin hair bonnet is perfect for the jefa with natural hair as well as those looking to preserve their styled strands overnight. Ankara cotton fabric laces the bonnets outside while silk fabric lines the inside.

Price: $17.10

Buy it here.

Bazvintage

bazvintage

Bazvintage is a store loaded with all kinds of vintage finds, but their silk scarves are particularly special. For the Afro-Latina looking to bring a bit of throw-back vibes with her as she hits the sack, consider picking out a cute silk scarf with 60s swirls and 70s retro feels.

Price: $29

Buy it here.


Read: 6 DIY Hair Masks For Black Hair That You Can Find Right In Your Mother’s Cocina

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