Who We Are
LESLIE SALMON JONES: Founder of Afro Flow Yoga™
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Leslie Salmon Jones is a professional dancer, certified holistic personal trainer, wellness coach, yoga instructor, seasoned public speaker and creator of Afro Flow Yoga™. Leslie began ballet and Afro Caribbean dance at the age of seven. It was through her intensive dance training at the esteemed Alvin Ailey American Dance Center that Leslie was first introduced to yoga, and nearly twenty years later, she remains dedicated to her yoga practice. Leslie had the opportunity to study and train with world-renowned masters of dance, yoga and spirituality. She is deeply grateful for the guidance of all of her teachers at Alvin Ailey, White Cloud Yoga, Sivananda, Jivamukti, Universal Force Yoga and for the spiritual guidance of Maude Evans, Gurunam, Mailidoma Some and Mandaza Kandemwa. Leslie attributes her strong foundation and core values to her mother, Beverley Salmon, former nurse and grassroots politician, and her father, Dr. John Douglas Salmon, Canada’s first black Chief of Surgery, both civil rights activists.
A Toronto, Ontario native, Leslie has called NYC and Boston home for over 15 years, and enjoyed teaching, training, speaking and performing nationally and abroad. The concept of fusing dance and yoga was Leslie’s inspiration born from traveling extensively throughout Africa and the Caribbean. It was the connection with African spirituality, yogic principals and the intrinsic expression of movement through nature’s elements that inspired Leslie to create Afro Flow Yoga™. She has also produced two wellness DVDs: “Core Strength: Back to Basics” and “Core Power: Radiate the Energy Within”.
Currently, Leslie is an Ambassador for lululemon athletica’s Boston, MA store (for more information on lululemon’s Boston store, click here: http://www.lululemon.com/boston/prudentialcenter) and teaches Afro Flow Yoga, Core Strength and Core Power throughout the metro Boston area. To learn more about Leslie’s work outside of Afro Flow Yoga, visit: www.lesliesalmonjones.com.
JEFF W. JONES: Co-Founder and Musical Director
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Jeff is life-long “Inspector Gadget” and renaissance man; a hybrid technologist/artist from the crib to the grave. He worked as a IBM technologist at an early age while moonlighting as a paid musician. Jeff went on to be an electronic engineer then functioned as an AT&T operations and project manager. Jeff is very happily married to the fitness guru, Leslie Salmon Jones. After residing in NYC for many years, they moved to Boston. Jeff has been in the personal and corporate real estate business for many years. Jeff continues playing bass and singing professionally with the following: events band-firstclassband.com, jazz duo, trios and quartets, gospel church music ensembles and also rock/pop/R&B quartets. Jeff was given a professional set of bongos at age 10 which has manifested into playing djembe, African acholi lyre and assorted percussion for Leslie’s Afro Flow Yoga™ classes.
AKILI JAMAL HAYNES: Musician
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Composer and multi-instrumentalist, Akili Jamal Haynes, began his career at the age of 15 as a trombonist under the mentorship of Wynton Marsalis and three years later was touring with Illinois Jacquet’s Big Band. Early on, Akili embarked on his pursuit to perform on multiple instruments at high skill levels, to bring higher standards of excellence to his original compositions.
Akili has honed his skills and knowledge of Haitian, Ugandan, Brazilian, and Senegalese folklore, music, dance, and drumming. Recently he was musical director for Dr. Glory Van Scott’s production of Urban Canaan at the John Hancock Hall in Boston, as part of the Boston Arts Academy’s 10th Anniversary Celebration. When Dr. Van Scott is in the Boston area, Akili is her drummer of choice, and for that he feels very blessed.
Akili currently performs with several ensembles, each with its own musical language. He has participated on several recordings as a trombonist, composer, trumpeter, keyboardist,vocalist, tenor saxophonist, alto saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and acoustic bassist with genres including jazz, folk, rock, funk,gospel, American pop, African pop, and the list continues to grow. He has traveled the world with legendary artist like McCoy Tyner, Lester Bowie, Herbie Hancock, and recorded with Lenny Kravitz, Roberta Flack, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and The Mingus Big Band, among others.
Akili has been a Faculty member of the New England Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory & Continuing Education School for over 14 years, and in 2008 he became Program Director of the Woodwinds & Brass Ensemble Program at NEC at the behest of his mentor Calvin Hicks. He is also Guest Percussion Faculty and Bass Accompanist at Berklee College of Music, Affiliated Artist/Composer in M.I.T.’s Dance Theater Department, Instructor at Seaport Campus for Children, Dance Faculty Musician in the Boston Conservatory Dance Division, Dance Accompanist at Jeannette Neil Dance Studios Accompanist for Prometheus Dance Company and creator of Chibuzo Music.
Akili was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 12, 1972, and currently lives in Boston.
DAVE WOODHAM: Web 2.0 Marketing and Support
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Dave Woodham is a marketing/environmental studies co-op student at Northeastern University. He brings his social media marketing techniques and technical web expertise to the Afro Flow Yoga™ team.
Before moving to Boston for school, Dave grew up in Vermont, where he spent time hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, or doing anything that got him outside. He recognizes the benefits of being balanced, relaxed, and centered, and loves how Afro Flow Yoga™ fuses these elements with the energy of the drums.
ELIZA NIMON: Legal Assistant
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Eliza is certified Pilates instructor, Yogini, and passionate lover of dance, music and the arts. She grew up in Maine and moved to Massachusetts in 1998 to attend Stonehill College, where she earned a Liberal Arts degree in English and Political Science. She also studied abroad at the Universita degli Studi di Firenze, in Florence, Italy. Eliza is a notorious travel junkie, loves learning new languages, is a devoted consumer of wine and cheese, writer, dreamer, and (wanna be) back up dancer to Lady Gaga.
Eliza assists the Afro Flow Yoga™ team with Public Relations, Marketing and workshop/event coordination. She worked with lululemon athletica in the Boston store for 2+ years and believes in the power of community and grass-roots marketing to create and inspire greatness.
In ten years (2020), Eliza will run a non-profit for children that enables them to connect with the world through athletics and travel. Stay tuned!
Favorite quote: “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”–the Dalai Lama
Pilin Anice: Afro Flow Yoga Instructor in Training
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Pilin is dedicated to empowering and educating others to live healthier lifestyles. A graduate of Howard University and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where she studied with Dr. Andrew Wiel, Dr. Neil Benard, and Deepak Chopra, she is a certified holistic health coach and has studied all the major dietary theories. Understanding that no universal diet works for everyone, she specializes in emotional eating, sugar addictions, and plant based diet transitions.
Pilin earned her 200 Hour RYT through Reflections Yoga in Guatemala. She also performs Thai Massage Therapy, teaches vegetarian/vegan cooking classes, and has contributed to health and nutrition articles for several online magazines. She has taught at Reflections Yoga, Saku Healing Arts Center, and Freestyle Fitness in Westport, CT. Pilin hosted the Health Pavilion at Proctor and Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful Tour in New York City, has appeared on the Today Show, BET/CentricTV’s Get Fit With Nik, and was a featured a yoga practitioner in a commercial for Paragon Sports. Pilin recently completed teacher training for Afro Flow Yoga under the tutelage of founder Leslie Salmon Jones. She is currently the in house Holistic Nutrition Coach at Complete Body & Spa in New York City. It is her philosophy that yoga, a well nourished body, and a steady mind are the keys to living your best life!
Linda Wells: Managing Director
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Linda is a Core Strength Instructor in training. She is passionate about Wholefoods, soul music, exploring spirituality and living from her core.
Linda currently serves as the Managing Director of Afro Flow Yoga. She worked in Out-of-School Time Education for a decade and plans to focus on the wellness of youth and youth workers upon completing her certification.
Mantra: Do great things!