Like many people, I used to think that Yoga was just exercise for people with already thin body types. My first experience was a so-called “beginner” class that turned out not to be for beginners at all. The instructor basically yelled out poses and people simply did them. A newbie, I had no idea what I was doing and just did my best to copy the guy next to me. To make matters worse, in a room of almost 60 people, I was one of the very few who wasn’t White.
That solitary experience made me decide that Yoga definitely wasn’t for me. But sometime later, I took a class led and attended by only Black women. This experience was much different. I was around people who looked like me, who weren’t naturally athletic or already in shape, and I was given the space and time to more consciously engage in the poses. This time Yoga felt…great! From there I sought Yoga classes specifically taught by Black women, and thus began my real journey into truly understanding and embracing Yoga.
Secondly, as a Black and queer yogi, I often observe the lack of representation and inclusion of marginalized people in mainstream Yoga spaces. Modernized Western Yoga is overtly White-washed and mostly reflects athletic bodies doing acrobatic postures. This common imagery has many people of color, particularly Black people, believing that Yoga is not for them when the truth is that, with roots in Africa and India, Yoga was actually created by people of color.
I wanted to address these problems in a direct way. Thus, I formed Soul Liberation Holistic Wellness, a socially conscious brand that explores not only the sacred practice of Yoga but many other holistic practices through the Afrocentric lens of Black identity and culture. Through this platform, I work to make Black and QTPOC communities aware that Yoga and Self-positive, holistic wellness is indeed open to them. I want people who look and live like me to see more Yoga and wellness teachers who look and live like them. And I want people to know that Yoga serves not just the body, but the heart, mind, and spirit as well.
Yoga Styles and Wellness Specialties:
- Traditional Indian Yoga
- African Kemetic Yoga
- Yoga for Beginners
- Breath and Sound Meditation
- Spiritual Growth Guidance
- Self Development Coaching
- LGBTQ Affirming
Certification Schools and Registries:
- 200HR: I AM YOGA School, Kiesha Battles, 2017
- 200HR: YogaSkills School of Kemetic Yoga, Yirser Ra Hotep, 2017
- Yoga Alliance: E-RYT 200, YACEP
- Wellness Workshops
- Private In-Person Sessions
- Private Virtual Sessions
- YouTube Channel
- Local Studio Owner
- Online Wellness School