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“Diamond, what are you going to do? What steps can you take to heal, recharge, and realign with your mind, body, and spirit?”

On November 30th, 2022, I made the decision to leave my job after college and embark on a new journey that my soul had been yearning for. I vividly recall the feeling of complacency, wondering if this was the extent of my life: a good job, a comfortable lifestyle, and fun weekend events.

It’s not that this was bad; I was doing great work, but my soul didn’t sense that it was fulfilling its true purpose.

My mission remained unfulfilled, and some healing was necessary. But I managed to slow down and take a deep breath. I remember the moment when I decided to leave my job, asking myself a series of questions that unlocked the next chapter of my life.

“Diamond, what are you going to do? What steps can you take to heal, recharge, and realign with your mind, body, and spirit?”

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After some self-reflection, it felt as though God was speaking to me, saying, “Go and get the yoga certification you’ve longed for.” It felt like the right path, and I didn’t hesitate. I intentionally began my healing yoga journey at the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020. I wasn’t initially a fan of staying at home, but over time, I came to embrace the solitude within my own space and on my yoga mat. I attended classes and virtual sessions to learn about yoga and other mindful wellness practices, such as meditation, sound healing, and chakras.

I started researching and quickly found the School of Yoga on Google. I knew I wanted to start in January 2023, and I wanted to travel for my Yoga Teacher Training Certification. I found a program in Costa Rica starting January 5th- 25th. I had never been to Costa Rica but had traveled solo before, so I wasn’t nervous about that. I was more nervous about when I arrived in Costa Rica and how my yoga cohort would see and receive me. To those reading, I want to be transparent about the representation of Black Women in Yoga spaces.

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Here are some truths:

  1. Black women have been practicing yoga for centuries; notable black women like Rosa Parks, Tina Turner, Eartha Kitt, Stephanie Y. Evans, and Queen Latifah have chosen to incorporate yoga into their lifestyles.
  2. Black women are community-oriented and have established online spaces through social media and in person for collective healing, such Black Girl In OmHeal Haus, and Kemetic Yoga.
  3. Black women are often underrepresented in mainstream Western yoga platforms, including websites, images, and classes. Yoga and wellness practices may not always feel accessible to the black community.
  4. Black women are the hustlers, the backbones, and sometimes the victims of trauma and stress, carrying stress from generation to generation.
  5. Black women may not have had the representation within their households or upbringings to encourage meditation or wellness practices like yoga for coping with stress or other health issues.
  6. Black women are frequently advised against traveling solo, both internationally and domestically, for safety and protection reasons. Being the only 1% in a space can evoke feelings of segregation or even being idolized within predominantly white spaces, with yoga classes often falling into this category.
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I live in Atlanta, GA, a black mecca home to the Civil Rights Movement. I often witness the black community here, and my first yoga class in the ATL was led by a white woman who knew her Yoga! I was curious and had always felt that I would be the change I wanted to see within my local yoga community when the time was right. One of my intentions as a Yoga Teacher is to serve as a liaison and advocate for Black women in the yoga space.

My experience of traveling to Costa Rica and obtaining my YTT was one of the most sacred and transformative experiences of my life. I was welcomed by 19 other amazing women from various walks of life, and I was the sole Black woman among them. I had concerns about acceptance and the possibility of encountering racism, I did not experience any of this. The essence of yoga is to unite and establish connections. It is the practice that bridges the connection between our mind, body, and spirit. Race did not act as a barrier during my experience, which created an atmosphere of love and acceptance, not only from the other women but also within my own life experiences. For the first time, I shared a traumatic experience with strangers and was met with love and deep compassion. I was encouraged to simply breathe and be present in moments that truly began to shift my perspective, fostering the same gentleness and kindness towards other Black women in my local wellness community and daily interactions.

If you are curious or feel a yearning for a deeper connection with yourself or like-minded individuals, consider pursuing your YTT certification. If you are nervous about traveling solo or being the only Black woman, remember that you are capable of achieving anything you desire. Take ownership of your healing and your wellness. Sometimes, the assignment is yours to fulfill. On the other side of fear lies a realm of joy. We collectively heal when we recognize that we are always worthy of healing; it is our birthright. Purposefully taking the time to breathe and honor our bodies is an act of resistance against the turmoil that can take place in our bodies and surroundings. I’m here rooting you on and believing in you!

Diamond is a diversity ambassador with SYI, schedule a call with her to find out more about the SYI experience.