By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Writer
WITH a passion for helping people reconnect to their bodies and bring a sense of calmness to their minds, mental health professional, certified yoga teacher and herbalist Mykah Smith has created a space for people to uncover their boundless and healthy potentials.
Mykah told Tribune Health she wants to “guide people back to their centres”, cultivating new healing methods for the mind and body. She does this with her brands Anahata Yoga and Last Island Gal.
“Anahata Yoga and Last Island Gal (LIG) are my offerings to God, my community and the global collective. Currently, LIG is in the process of expanding to some retail location, developing a bush 101 curriculum and expanding our product line. Anahata Yoga has recently partnered with local Airbnbs as well as private properties on several islands to bring you retreats, day excursions and mindful events coming 2021. I am very grateful to God for the expansion and divine timing,” said Mykah.
She said a big part of why she initially became an entrepreneur was because she refused to be just another cog in the wheel. She refused to compromise her integrity or her values and follow practices that she knew to be detrimental. Mykah said she wanted to have a meaningful way to impact people on her own terms.
“Being an entrepreneur allows me to do just that; make my own schedule, create freely, move at my own pace, inspire others to do the same and above all stay true to (me). During this time it’s been so comforting not being forced to meet quotas and having the freedom to reinvent and rethink without an entire hierarchy to go through. I’m grateful to be able to do what I love and make a living doing so,” she said.
Under the Last Island Gal’s brand, Mykah offers consultations, body polishes, oils, beard products, loose leaf teas, mosquito repellent, yoni steams, masks, customised products and more. Via Anahata Yoga/ Bahama Hoop Yogi, she is currently operating as a mobile and virtual service. She offers one-on-one hula hoop and yoga sessions; teaching all levels, from beginner upward, and curating each session for the client’s specific needs.
“My journey to becoming a yoga instructor is one wrought with much heartache. In 2014, my aunt who raised me along with my mother, died from cancer. This sent me into a depression and suicidal ideation. I was referred to a counsellor who introduced me to mindfulness based, cognitive based theory and started my journey into mindfulness, yoga and psychology. God, yoga, meditation and prayer saved me from myself during this time and it inspired me to help people do the same. I then pursued my Master’s in Development and Child Psychology, and my yoga teacher training certification. I use all of this training to inform my teaching style and methodology. Helping my clients to unite their mind and body through their breath, allowing them to surrender, release, and thrive,” said Mykah.
Last Island Gal, she explained, was inspired by her grandparents - Willamae Davis Wilson and William Levi Wilson. They were the medicine makers in the settlement of The Bluff, Cat Island. Mykah said she would hear stories about how they would help people heal, become fertile and find wholeness.
“My eldest aunt is one of the only ones in my family who holds all this knowledge, a bush griot (West African storyteller historian), if you will. I grew up drinking bush and herbal infusions all my life, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2015 that my interest began to grow, so I began asking my eldest aunt to show my plants and I began to learn. The anecdotal knowledge was good, however, I wanted a bit more background in plant chemistry. With this understanding, I pursued several certifications online in plant chemistry and herbalism. It was amazing to see that the innate wisdom of our ancestors was centuries ahead of science and that a lot of the methods of bush healing are in fact supported by science. I began by sharing information and then over time transitioned into a product-based business,” said Mykah.
She said Last Island Gal offers an array of products to help with ailments like diabetes, hypertension, impotence, sinus inflammation and congestion, feminine issues, acne, eczema, psoriasis, ingrown hairs, scars, dark spots and more. And with yoga, she said it has many physical and psychological benefits, from reducing stress to improving circulation, lessening lower back pain and even increasing joint flexibility by stimulating the synovial fluid in the joints.
“I am so grateful to be able to do what I love even through this pandemic. I was very discouraged at the beginning, but I quickly found that this was an opportunity to equip myself with more knowledge to serve my community more effectively. Pushing a small business during this time is understanding that you need to be accommodating with people and their changing needs, but also remember your value. It has created space for reinvention and innovation, and it’s been an honour to work and learn through this global shift,” she said.
Mykah said it sets her soul afire to witness people realise their boundless potential and come to understand their bodies’ innate wisdom. And for her, watching people release their fears and find healing is extremely rewarding.
“Honestly, my only wish is to empower people. There was a gentleman with difficulties from high blood pressure, which contributed to his erectile dysfunction. I prepared him a regimen and within a couple months he had regulated his pressure and was healthy. He and his wife would call me at least three times a week to thank me for fixing up the sexy time,” said Mykah.
In keeping herself focused, Mykah said it’s all about staying immersed in nature, anchored in her physical body, and maintaining mental clarity.
Last Island Gal has released its Christmas boxes that are available in his and hers versions and contain the brand’s top selling products of 2020.
For more information, visit both of Mykah’s brands
On Instagram @bahamahoopyogi and @lastislandgal.