Q&A: Djali on Goals
Q&A: Djali on Goals
Native New Yorker. Film school graduate. Activist, certified yoga instructor, doula — Djali Brown-Cepeda is a woman of many passions and a woman of conviction. Here, a deep dive into what makes her tick.
Favorite way to get moving…
Practicing yoga, teaching Zumba and going to African dance class
Why you love dance…
It is incredibly freeing.
Fitness goal for 2019…
I’d like to work on my arm strength so I can do more inversions.
Non-fitness-related goal for 2019…
To limit the amount of time I spend on social media
Yoga, in-studio vs. at home…
I used to frequent yoga studios more, but I have recently found comfort in practicing in my home. As a yoga instructor, attending class is always a learning experience; as a practitioner, the fun lies in the sense of togetherness you feel with everyone surrounding you. The only downside is that as soon as class is over, you’re right back in the hustle and bustle of the city. Practicing at home helps you maintain the sense of cool, calm and collectedness for just a bit longer.
Self-care philosophy…
In order to show up for the world, you have to show up for yourself first.
What does ‘find your passion’ mean to you…
It means reflecting on what it is you are drawn to and devoting yourself to it in every capacity.
Three things you are passionate about…
Learning about and from history, retaining my culture and continuing the social justice work that has been laid down by all who came before me.
Give us a tour of your favorite places in New York …
Yoga to the People — a donation-based yoga studio that has various locations throughout the city — all of our beautiful parks, Museum Mile…
Photographed by Erica Schroeder
Clockwise from left: Djali wearing Tory Sport’s Hi-Vis Mesh Tank and Nylon Color-Block Pants; wearing the Hi-Vis Printed Mesh-Back Bra and Hi-Vis Printed 7/8 Leggings; in the Hi-Vis Hoodie, Hi-VisPrinted 7/8 Leggings and Crisscross Lace-Up Sneakers; in top photo, wearing the Hi-Vis Printed Mesh-Back Bra and Hi-Vis Printed 7/8 Leggings, photographed by Erica Schroeder
Favorite thing about winter in New York…
The holiday decorations and lights that illuminate the street make you feel like you’re walking in a snow globe.
Favorite healthy winter meal…
A nice oatmeal really goes a long way.
Go-to winter beauty essentials…
Water is my go-to beauty essential! But for an extra glow, the past few months, I’ve been washing my face with Intelligent Nutrients’s products and using a lavender oil face serum by Jacq’s. In general, I usually only use natural oils or shea butter.
Favorite thing to wear when you work out…
I really love wearing sweatpants and baggy shirts. To me, working out isn’t a beauty contest, so I like to be as comfortable and unassuming as possible.
How you would wear our new reflective gear
It is great to wear at night, whether you’re jogging or going out with friends. It’s both effective and fashion-forward.
What do you do when you first wake up in the morning…
I relax for a bit, wash my face and drink a cup of water.
Your typical day…
My days change from one to the next, but a general outline is: I wake up and eat breakfast (either oatmeal or eggs and toast), get going to work and either go to a dance class, teach my own class or come back home. For dinner, I usually have Dominican food or if I’m lazy, I’ll make pasta.
The woman you most admire…
My mother: she has inspired me in more ways than I can say. She is a writer, filmmaker and has continuously broken barriers that, as a first-generation Dominican-American woman, are hard to break.
Your favorite piece of advice from her…
She’s always taught me to question everything and not just blindly accept things because it’s the status quo.
Currently reading…
Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by my mother Raquel Cepeda
Listening…
Fela Kuti, old school salsa, neo soul
Binge-watching…
The Casketeers on Netflix, a show about Māori funeral directors Francis and Kaiora Tipene