The word yoga means to yoke to bring together. So it’s fitting to look at bringing yoga and the black community together. When I talk about yoga to those who don’t practice I always hear the same things. Oh, I can’t do yoga. Isn’t it hard? But I’m not flexible. Do I have to chant om? I can’t be in class with those skinny girls. Is it a religion? And this is just from “white people”. So I asked my yoga trainees of color, how can we break down the stereotypes of yoga for communities of color? How can we make yoga more inviting and less intimidating? I hear others in the yoga community talk of making yoga more affordable to people of color and I think now that’s stereotypical. To assume just because of the color of someone’s skin that they don’t have money? So, if they are Jewish we should charge them more? Everyone needs a break now and then but it shouldn’t depend on the color of their skin.
I appreciate the #yoga5BLM and all the Caucasians standing up for people of color and yes we DO need to raise our voices. It HAS gone on too long. It IS injustice. But, I have to ask, who among you has a black friend? Who among you have reached out to your black co-worker to find out “how are you with all this?” Does your child have black friends? Maybe their aren’t many people of color in your area but if there are, are you really reaching out where you can? Are you really there to emotionally support those you know of color? Have you really been a true neighbor? Have you asked, do you need anything? Because, until we are together as friends and neighbors this #yoga4BLM is only a moment. Where those people posting slick Instagram images get to feel powerful for standing up for something, which is great don’t get me wrong, but back it up. Put some muscle into it. Don’t let it just be the statement of 2020, the post on your feed, that time period when… Let your commitment be real. Take a virtual class from Afro Flow Yoga™, or somewhere else that looks interesting, start making friends and neighbors of color, for now and all the days to come and your life will be much much fuller.