Rebecca was born — thanks to her mother’s labor and her father’s pursuit of the smallpox virus– in Lagos, Nigeria. There, a group of Yoruba women held a naming ceremony honoring her birth and bestowing upon her the name: Modupe (“thankfulness to God”) Bamidele (“follow me home”) Ajoke (“something to cherish”). These sacred themes of divine gratitude, the journey “home” and the call to cherish everything continue to illuminate her own journey.
Rebecca is a meditation teacher, conscious dance facilitator, hatha (traditional) & hasya (laughter) yoga instructor and has a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University. She presently serves as a lead facilitator and mentor for the Prison Mindfulness Institute and offers courses in Mindfulness Based Emotional Intelligence in the Men’s & Women’s Medium Security Correctional Facility in Rhode Island.
Over the last 15 years Rebecca has taught a unique blend of mindfulness, movement, laughter and play in diverse settings ranging from yoga studios to hospitals, prisons to universities, pre-schools to nursing homes. She has also lived and worked in Africa, Asia and Latin America and currently resides in Providence with her honey, daughter, two Russian tortoises and a Shepherd-mutt.
(Pictured: Michael Molin-Skelton, Toni Bergins, Rick Benjamin, Aleta Hayes)
In a bow of deep gratitude, she offers this list of movement, play and wisdom teachers who have significantly shaped her capacity to Embody Freedom, in reverse chronological order:
- Michael Molin-Skelton, Soul Motion teacher and co-founder of Spirit Weaves, Port Townsend, WA
- Alton Wasson, Contemplative Dance / Authentic Movement, Haydenville, MA
- Bentinho Massero, Trinfinity Academy, Boulder, CO
- Laura Geilen & Vivian Gladwell, Nose-to-Nose clowning, NY & UK
- Toni Bergins, Founder of JourneyDance, Great Barrington, MA
- Dr. Madan Kataria, Founder of Laughter Yoga, Mumbai, India
- Tom Gillette, Eyes of the World Yoga, Providence, RI
- Joseph Goldstein & Sharon Salzberg, Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA
- Rick Benjamin, former Poet Laureate of Rhode Island & co-founder of the PotLid Sangha, Providence, RI (now Santa Barbara, CA)
- Aleta Hayes, Modern Dance teacher at Princeton University, now Artist in Residence at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford, CA
- Charmaine Lee, South African ballerina, political refugee & Founder of Synergy Dance, Washington, D.C.
- Mrs. Ruth Boozer, art educator and anti-nuclear activist who ran a creative movement school out of her Atlanta garage, circa 1977.
- Watch Rebecca’s 7 minute Pecha Kucha (2010) on “Laughing for No Reason in Prison”
- Listen to her upended version of an old standard (accompanied by Joe Lusi on guitar & harmonica) entitled “I Am My Sunshine”
- Read about her path as a (conscious) “dancer”
- While the laughing, singing and dancing path plays a smaller role in Rebecca’s prison mindfulness work, you can catch a glimpse of it behind bars by watching the 20 minute “Mindfulness” episode (Season 1, Episode 4) of the Netflix series “The Mind Explained”