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Why Representation in Yoga Matters: My Journey as a Black Yogi

Updated: Feb 6

My first day at yoga teacher training was one I’ll never forget. Picture this: they hit us with the question, "What's your relationship with yoga?" Honestly, I didn't have much of one. Becoming a yoga teacher wasn't exactly on my to-do list; yoga called me.

Back in my 20s, yoga classes were just an excuse for brunch with friends afterwards, and there may have been a mimosa or two involved. At the time, I was a solid 285lbs, fat, but a happy fat, if you know what I mean. But in those yoga classes? Negative. The instructors were always super skinny and mainly white, tossing us into complicated poses without much guidance. So, I left yoga.

Fast forward a bit, I dropped 115lbs, ditched religion, and ended up living in Arizona attending a healing arts school. I took several courses over the 18 month program and was toying with the idea of studying hypnotherapy. Then someone mentioned "yoga nidra" and without knowing much about it, I felt my spirit say “sign up”, so I did. That first weekend course? Life-changing. So much trauma was released, and all I did was lie there on the mat in Savasana. Turns out, it's rooted in yoga, and I was hooked.

Yoga nidra wasn't just life-changing; it was a revelation. It’s a profound state of conscious relaxation. Picture this: lying down, and all the props are welcomed, bolsters, blankets, blocks and an eye pillow if ya got one. Someone guides you with their voice, and poof! Years of trauma lifted off your shoulders. I needed to learn more, so I signed up for my 200 hour yoga teacher training, and have never looked back. 

My takeaways from teacher training is that yoga is not just about those intricate poses; it's a gateway to the self. I found myself wondering, why didn't anyone tell me about this before? Yoga is a holistic journey; it's about connecting with your higher self, navigating the depths of your own mind, and finding a path to inner bliss.

Another lesson that struck me in my yoga journey was the sense of community that had been missing in those early classes. Yoga studos are more than just places to stretch and bend; they are spaces where people from all walks of life, all body types, and all colors gather with a shared purpose—to connect with themselves and each other.

Now, as a yoga teacher, building that sense of community is at the forefront of my mission. It's not just about guiding people through poses; it's about creating an environment where everyone, especially my fellow Black yogis, feel not just welcomed but truly seen and embraced.

Cause let's talk real talk—the Black community needs yoga. Stress is our constant companion, whether we're dealing with workplace discrimination, fearing harassment by police, or simply navigating a society where we often find ourselves having to explain our culture to stupid people. It's a daily grind that takes a toll on our mental and physical well-being.

Yoga is a powerful tool to tackle this chronic stress. It's not just about the physical benefits, though those are certainly there—increased flexibility, a lighter body, and a sense of freedom. It goes beyond the physical; yoga helps clear the mind, release unhelpful stress patterns, heighten body awareness, and even sharpen levels of concentration.

And imagine this, picture a community where individuals, armed with healthy minds and bodies, can accomplish incredible things. A healthier life, not just for ourselves but for the entire Black community, becomes a tangible reality.

Teaching yoga has been an unexpected journey, and every time someone comes up to me at the end of a class and says, "Thank you, that was a beautiful practice, and just what I needed" it hits me right in the feels. Creating an environment where all yogis; Black, White, Queer, overweight, thin, are welcomed. Whether they're just starting out or seasoned yoga practitioner, feeling seen, accepted and embraced is my goal.

And here's the reat truth—if your yoga teacher isn't delivering that vibe, trust me, there are plenty of us out here who are. The yoga community is vast, diverse, and ready to welcome you with open arms.

Now… for those of you who've been contemplating the idea of diving into the world of yoga teaching, I've got exciting news. Join my mailing list because yoga teacher training is on the horizon in 2025. It's not just about becoming a yoga teacher; it's about joining a tribe, a community dedicated to spreading the light of yoga far and wide.

Let's keep this yoga journey rollin' together, because, in the vast landscape of yoga, there's always room for one more on the mat.

Click any of the picks to become a part of the growing community and we'll see you on the mat!

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