A Fall Equinox Flow For Finding Your Balance

9 soothing yoga poses to help you ground and center while honoring the seasonal shift.The 2020 fall equinox is on September 22. Aside from being a regular seasonal and astrological shift, this time of year also has a strong practical and spiritual significance.These final days of summer carry an energy of brilliant abundance, bountiful gardens, perfect sunsets, and a satisfying feeling of completion. In a simpler society, this was the time to take stock of the harvest, draw inward, and preserve resources for the coming winter.Over the years, I’ve shaped my yoga and spiritual teachings around these primal and innate connections to the Earth’s consciousness. By deepening our awareness of these seasonal energies and planetary shifts, we are connecting to something larger. We are plugging into the inherent wisdom of the Earth. We can utilize that connection in our spiritual and self-care practices.For an eco-friendly yoga mat for your practice, try Ajna Eco Organic Yoga MatHarnessing Fall…

This App Is Helping People From Marginalized Communities Find Therapists With Compatible Backgrounds

Socioeconomic status, cultural mistrust, and racial differences are a few factors inhibiting people from marginalized communities from receiving therapy, but Eric Coly, CEO and founder of the Ayana Therapy app, is changing that. "The premise of the concept is based on my wanting to help a friend of mine that was not able to access a counselor. It was not for a lack of trying, it was more because there seems to have been a scarcity of Black women counselors," Coly told POPSUGAR. In tandem with that, Coly said he faced debilitating depression and was inspired to create a product that was "self-healing in a rather cathartic way," which ended up propelling his passion for the app. "And then it morphed into realizing that after I did my research, it was indeed a quick need for such a product," he said.

The name Ayana means "mirror" in Bengali, which Coly said represents the familiarity people will find within the app from language to one's background and how they navigate the world. To achieve familiarity, each user is prompted to anonymously complete a questionnaire, which the algorithm uses to pair them with a therapist. "The matchmaking, as you can surmise, is only as good as the answers, which are as only as good as the questions," he explained. Instead of an Eurocentric questionnaire traditionally catering to the white community, Coly reconstructed the questionnaire, focusing on cultural suggestibility. Essentially, the questionnaire lets you tell the algorithm what you want from a therapist by answering questions based on factors such as your gender orientation, ethnicity, and religious identity.

Related: 5 Therapists Shared Their Simple Tips For Managing Anxiety If You Don't Have a Therapist

For now, the app is available at three different price points. The first package is $140 a month and offers daily texting with a therapist and two 30-minute phone calls per month with a therapist. The second package is $160 a month and offers daily texting with a therapist and four 30-minute phone calls with a therapist per month. The third package is $180 and offers daily texting with a therapist and four 30-minute video calls with a therapist per month. In the coming months, Coly said you will be able to use your insurance and receive a reduced rate for each plan. Additionally, Ayana is offering free access to their services for frontline workers.

If you've been wanting to explore therapy but want to ensure that your therapist is culturally competent, the Ayana app is worth trying. In Coly's words, it's a "space that you can find solace in. A space where the notion of trust exists again."



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