This week, we’re featuring Jah9, a Jamaican artist, yogi, and activist. This year we’re laser focused on total body well-being, mindfulness, and women’s empowerment—and Jah9 is all about those concepts, making her a perfect fit. Born Janine Cunningham, she started going by her childhood nickname Jah9 as she got older, and that’s how she’s been known ever since. From her music and yoga to her activism and passion for gardening, Jah9’s work is rooted in her African heritage and spiritual influences, bringing a balance of tradition and new-age philosophies to her followers. Her music, which she’s performed the world over—and describes as “jazz on dub”—is perfect for the introspective and dynamic vibes we’re hoping to feel this summer. Check out her Instagram: Her photos, personal expression, and music videos are true works of art and certainly different from the typical yoga influencer aesthetic most people have come to expect. Jah9 is serious about her yoga: She’s a certified instructor trained in Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Kemetic yoga. Haven’t heard of all of those? No problem—Jah9 makes yoga accessible for all people, regardless of their background or locale. She leads Yoga on Dub workshops around the globe, where she teaches attendees to see yoga in the context of Afrocentric expression, and she also features sequences you can follow along with on YouTube and Instagram. We especially love the spiritual spin Jah9 puts on everything she does: With her music, poetry, and yoga, she focuses on the connection between body and mind. Building on that philosophy, she’s worked with at-risk youth in her city, Kingston, Jamaica, to help kids pursue the arts; she’s also taught African refugees how to find healing through yoga and breathwork. It’s refreshing to learn about someone whose work is truly bigger than they are. We asked Jah9 about her source of inspiration, her recent faves, and the advice she lives by. True to form, her answers are no bullshit: a simple, straightforward look into the life of someone who’s teaching us to pause and find our power.
A Day in the Life
What does your daily routine look like?
First hour after I open my eyes is breathwork and reflection, then water. It may vary after that depending on what the day entails.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
Watering and oiling my hair—and sunbathing.
How do you stay inspired?
Serving my community and family, and reading. Disclaimer: Just so you know, if you order an item through one of our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.
What are the best products you’ve discovered recently?
BeMoor handmade herbal supplements from the UK
What are your favorite apps?
MultiTrack DAW, Notes, Voice Memo
Whose Instagram is on your radar?
What are you reading, watching, or listening to?
I am reading Her-Bak: The Living Face of Ancient Egypt, watching my herb trees grow, and listening to my intuition more and more.
What is your bucket list travel destination?
What’s your most-used emoji?
What woman in history would you love to take to brunch?
Empress Menen of Ethiopia