The 12 steps and yoga saved my life. One was my lifeboat and the other my launching pad. Yoga served as a major catalyst in transforming my relationship with myself. When I began to get really serious about yoga, I was misaligned at many, many levels. The transformation began at the level of body and then the process toward personal re-integration began (and continues) to reunite every level of my being.
When doing yoga, do you feel a greater spiritual connection and how do you incorporate that in your daily life?
I have learned and continue to learn that yoga is not just something that you ‘do’, it is a way of being. It is about moving beyond identifications and activating inner energies in a way that body, mind, and emotions function optimally. It is a very organic and alive path that orients me toward deeper levels of awareness, acceptance, and surrender.
Being that you are one of the few Black entrepreneurs in the yoga industry, do you feel that you have inspired other people of color to practice Yoga?
I tend to think of my work with Y12SR more in terms of being a catalyst for empowerment and support.
How do you encourage/promote health and fitness specifically to African Americans?
Although I see this perspective changing, there is an old misconception pervading some parts of the African-American Christian community that yoga is/was an anti-Christian religion. Often when speaking to this population, the very first thing that is necessary is to dispel that false notion.
Yoga philosophy and practices offer a very empowering approach for conditions like diabetes, hypertension and of course, my field of specialty – addiction, which can help to reduce suffering, improve functionality, awaken understanding and strengthen will.
What advice can you give aspiring entrepreneurs who would like to enter into the field of yoga/wellness?
Because this work is so much about holding space for others, I have learned that the best thing I can possibly do is stay committed to doing my own work. From that, I am able to create space so that this work can be done through me.
What are you plans for the future?
The vision is that Y12SR meetings become just as accessible as all other 12-step meetings. In that effort, we will continue to train leaders and roll the program out in treatment centers anywhere that welcomes it and bridge the gap between the yoga community and the addictions recovery community.