Meet Yanni Young - a full spectrum doula, artist and a Plant Person we love.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My names Yanni Young, I’m a Full Spectrum Doula, Podcaster, and artist. I was born and raised in Harlem, NYC and I currently reside here.
Tell us a little about the mission behind your social presence. What is the community you hope to build?
I don’t think there’s currently a mission nor was there a mission behind my social media presence. I’m not an influencer so I don’t really put much thought into curating my page or trying to send a message. I just post photos that I think are nice. I’ve actually thought about deleting my photos multiple times because of that fact that my page doesn’t really allude to anything that I do or am passionate about. I’m passionate about birth work but you don’t see any of that on my page. I’ve taken an herbal course recently to deepen my understanding of the power of herbalism and to be able to support pregnant people with herbs. I’m currently working on music and you wouldn’t know anything about that on my page either. I feel like I’m rambling lol, but I guess I would like for my feed to be more authentic I guess, and for me to not feel like I have to have nice photos to post all the time, although I don’t post often.
What’s your take on the creative industry? How does it stand for diversity and inclusion?
I’m not fully immersed in the creative industry but from the outside looking in sometimes “diversity” just looks like a way for these creative industries that are often run by white folk to make money off of black and brown bodies in the name of diversity. Diversity doesn’t bring equality, and every year within the fashion industry, and Hollywood we still hear stories of artist’s dealing with racism.
What do you want people to know about the creative industry? What needs to change and how can we shape it day-to-day?
I’m a bit of a separatist in a sense that we (as in black people) need to stop trying to have a seat at their (white folks) table and just build our own damn table. I’m not interested in trying to convince a bunch of people who don’t really care about my existence to accept me or invite me anywhere. We need to stop being pressed for handouts and come together and figure out how we can create our own.
Any books we absolutely need to get our hands on? What are your favorites?
- Homegoing by Yaa Agyasi
- Children of Blood and Bone & Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
- The Healing Wisdom of Africa by Malidoma Patrice Some
What has been the biggest hurdle you have ever had to face personally or professionally?
I don’t know if I’d say this was my biggest hurdle, but one thing that I’ve come to terms with recently on a professional level is that things don’t always work out the way you envisioned them to. Even when you approach something differently it still may not work out how you may have expected. I just tell myself to be open to opportunities and experiences, and to not cut myself off just because something may not have worked out.
What is your experience with cannabis? Has it evolved or changed over time? If so, how?
I’m a social smoker. I just started using CBD oil a few months back because I used to work at a health food store and I would get the sample CBD oils that my job would give out. I still have the sample bottles and will usually take some if I’m feeling anxious or if I have a headache.
What do you do to improve your mentality, help with stress reduction, etc?
I grew up in a Buddhist household, and my family practices Nichiren Buddhism. I don't chant often but I often gravitate towards chanting when I feel like I need to center myself or gain some clarity in my life.
Talk about the importance of food in relation to your health.
I’m plant based, I eat lots of fruits and veggies, and I take vitamin b12. When I’m feeling foggy or just low in general I try and look at what I’d eaten throughout the day or the past few days. The first thing I’ll make if I’m feeling low physically is a smoothie. That’s the best pick me up.
Give us your #1 tip on personal/mental health.
Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself and put yourself first. Self preservation is the first law of nature and I live by that.
Follow Yanni on Instagram at @yanniyoung
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