I first took a yoga class when I was in university, around 15 years ago, and I’ve been in love ever since.
In the many different classes that I’ve taken over the years, I am often the only black person, let alone black woman, in the room. Fair enough I live in England but, London is a diverse and multi-cultural place.
I have come across several people, with complexions similar to mine, who have misconceptions about yoga that prevent them from trying it. Some feel that it’s in conflict with their religious beliefs and some feel that it’s something that only ‘privileged people’ do. I think it’s a shame for barriers such as these to prevent the discovery of the amazing benefits of yoga – physical, emotional and yes, spiritual too.
I’m always excited to discover black female yogis who are breaking the mould (and hopefully some of those barriers). Here are 3 women I’ve come across, via beloved Instagram (which, over the past year, has really encouraged me to concentrate on truly creating the life that I desire). They have inspired me to get serious about something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: develop a consistent, regular practice.
They are, from top: Yoga Racheal (@yogaracheal) is a yoga instructor who describes herself as a ‘lover – encourager – giver – believer’; Wasia Wasia (@wasiawasia) is an artist, musician and yogi; Koya Webb (@koyawebb) is an international holistic health coach and yoga instructor; Racheal and Koya are run Acroyoga workshops together, in Los Angeles, CA (There’s one tonight!).
Resources + inspiration
For those of you interested in practising yoga, here are some other useful resources and inspirational people:
- @yoga_girl on Instagram – for daily visual and audio-visual inspiration. She’s a big advocate of #yogaeverydamnday!
- 30 Days of Yoga with Marianne Elliot – I’ve done this course and I highly recommend it. Marianne runs it a few times a year and you get to do it in the comfort of your own home. I got a whole world more than I bargained for from these 30 days.
- Ali Kamenova’s Interval Yoga – YouTube classes of different lengths so it’s hard to make excuses. Ali’s classes can be tough but, your body will thank you.
- Monday Night Soul with Amisha – I’m currently doing this weekly 2-hour candlelit yoga and meditation class, with a former colleague turned yoga instructor, and it’s beautiful.
- Yotopia – my favourite yoga studio in London which, happens to be hot (literally). Shamita Ray‘s classes are my favourite. She is magic!
Image credits: YogaRacheal photo from her Facebook page, taken by Aleah Clark; Wasia’s photo from her Tumblr; Koya Webb’s photograph from her Pinterest page; Photo of Racheal and Koya by Horizon Light Photography
- My experience of elevation with the Africa Yoga Project
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