What are some of the challenges you face being a woman of African descent in the Yoga space, if any?
Being Black in America is still difficult and being in the Yoga world is no different. Sponsorships for programming in yoga are difficult to obtain and this is especially true if you are not from the white (majority) culture in the yoga world. There is also the challenge of being accepted as an expert/master yoga teacher. Most of the opportunities to write books, lecture and contract with large companies are not offered to people of color. I have participated in national conferences throughout the years and it still is shocking to see hundreds of teachers and only one or two teachers of color on the roster.
How has yoga changed your life?
I was a divorced mother raising three children alone and the practice of yoga changed my life by enabling me to become more conscious and this consciousness led me to good health, clarity, and purpose.
I can breathe and move through my life with ease, and I am aging well; really!!!
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 hope so. Yes. I often respond to queries from women and men of color who are seeking support in their lives and they are considering yoga as a tool to help them. I am able to coach them with the philosophy of yoga [which] I call Yoga Life Coaching.
I have also personally trained and certified many women of color throughout the US and they are teaching yoga in their respective communities. I also believe that when people of color see a typical healthy, black woman who can move and breathe and be, it is inspiring because I look like them.
What are some ways you would suggest to get more people of color involved in yoga?
I suggest that people of color who practice yoga share their experience with others —members of their families, churches and communities. Providing first hand information about what yoga is and its’ many benefits may be the most effective way to get more people of color involved in the practice.
What are your plans for the future?
Plans are in the works to bring the Yoga Retreat for Women of Colorâ„¢ to additional states in the US. In Rhode Island I will offer Yoga Therapy through a local physician’s office this fall; and I hope to have a favorable response to a proposal for a Breast Cancer Education & Outreach Program for Women of Color in RI.
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