Interview: Mya Cato

Two Tampa Bay yogis have found the perfect way to push the boundaries of sound, sight, taste, entrepreneurialism, and the conscious mind.

At the center of this magnetically powered take on elevating mind body and soul are Mya Cato and Jalisa Robinson. The dynamic duo founded Movement Through Poetry, a refreshing showcase of pure artistry meshed with an immense amount of positive energy.

Recently the duo hosted their third installment of MTP and It’s clear to see they defiantly did it for the culture. Drum tribes, prolific poets, and a chef so talented it was hard to decipher if the audience enjoyed the poetry as much as his shrimp and grits.

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Luckily for you guys we got to pick Mya Cato’s brain about, Mumble rap, black culture, the future of MTP.

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She has dedicated the past 3 years of her life to finding her inner peace as well as helping others find theirs through a yoga. It’s serendipitous to believe she agreed to attend her first yoga class on a whim.

“I found myself in a yoga class because of a friend. I heard about yoga but it never really sparked my interest. One reason is that you never see people of color doing it” Cato continues “so three of us are sweating in this hot ass yoga class and I remember afterward just feeling inspired, refreshed and rejuvenated.”

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Let’s say that one taste is all it took for Cato. Within a year she was certified to teach yoga. Then decided to take her passion for yoga and bring it into her neighborhood and community. She was determined to bring it into the mind of people of color, to help them understand how yoga isn’t only the transformation of the body but the mind also.

SCB: How did you decide that Movement Through Poetry was the right way to help Tampa move in the right direction?

MC: I love yoga. I love all forms of art, but it was my partner Jalisa that came up with the idea. She was at a poetry event in Atlanta or Nashville and she was inspired by some poetry she heard. So she wanted to incorporate movement to poetry because what the poets were saying was so thought-provoking, but she didn’t want to do it just anywhere.  She brought the idea to me, I went right with it. We wanted to have all these artists in one space because artists don’t have enough support, in my opinion. What better way to collaborate with other artists than to showcase together?

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SCB: You guys have received some national attention; you ever think about taking Movement Through Poetry on tour or something along those lines?

MC: Yes, but we’re really trying to build, here in Tampa first. We really want to bring more people here and put on for our city, then we can do pop ups in different cities.

SCB: The shows are definitely moving. Everything is visually appealing, the poetry is dope, the vendors are showcasing their products, how will you expand on future shows?

MC: Every show gets better. We have discussed plenty different avenues to bring a more artgasmic experience. MTP3 featured a VIP Paint-N-Sip pre-show experience and we were nervous about including it before the show but it turned out to be awesome. We want to keep adding things like that. We want to outgrow the venue and host it at the Straz Center one day.

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SCB: For the artists that are of age and vendors that may want to work with Movement Through Poetry for your next event, how could they do that?

MC: Reach out. We have an inbox full of messages from artists from Colorado, from here from Orlando. Vendors as well, we want to reach more vendors from all over because most of what they create are handmade goods. So they put energy into what they create and that’s what the showcase is about.

 

SCB: How are you dealing with all the negativity in the news nowadays?

MC: We have to be able to find our own inner peace. There’s always going to be some form of chaos, but my passion and purpose is to heal and not focus so much on the negative. I think it’s about our next generation. Kids see everything. So if they see [or hear], what are negative influences or what they are hearing, They’re all being influenced. Can we be more positive? Can we be more light filled so that we’re not promoting violence? I think it’s about positive influences.

Even in music, I like listening to instrumentals because I love the feels. I love the vibrations and the frequencies of different instruments. So when I listen to a trap song, I’m not in my head. I mean, I’m feeling it, but I’m feeling the beat more. I don’t care what they’re saying. You can’t understand what they’re saying. That’s not what I would want my kids (if I had kids) to listen to and being influenced by.

SCB: You mentioned you listen to instrumentals?

MC: Okay wait. I can say this because it’s in the works right now and it’s almost done. I’m creating an album. A soul yoga album and it’s mostly instrumentals. It’s going to be about 12 tracks that you can listen to in the car, put on in the morning and vibe to while you getting ready for work. Music that you can do yoga too because we don’t have enough music that we can just vibe too without subliminal messages hidden between the beats.

Mya Cato has an upcoming beginner’s guide to yoga class on September 10th, don’t miss out on that experience.

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Check out some of the footage from Movement Through Poetry III finale composed of two yogis and a phenomenal poet named Wally B.

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