I remember the first time I went to a yoga class. Here I was … the only plus-sized, bald-headed, melanated woman in class. The other ladies were slim and white. I was apprehensive, and considering the fact that I wasn’t greeted or even acknowledged for that matter, made me feel like I stood out like a sore thumb. I was uncomfortable, self-conscious, and I wondered what they thought about me. I felt like I didn’t belong. I left class that day and vowed to never do yoga again.
Fast forward about 5 years later and I found myself emotionally drained, lethargic, and in need of change. I was anxious, depressed, and stuck. I found myself wanting to explore yoga again, but this time it was for the mental and emotional healing and balance. I found a yoga teacher training program and enrolled. Here I was again – this time, 1 of 2 black women in training and I was the only plus-sized trainee, but it wasn't like my previous experience. I felt safe.
This sacred space allowed me to become a student and teacher at the same time. Truth is … I never planned to teach, but as I became consistent with my practice, I realized that:
There were others who experienced what I did.
There were others who wanted to see someone, who looks like them, in front of the room.
I had a different set of lenses and a gift to share in my community and with those who needed it.
Y'all, I just jumped into teacher training. I didn't have a consistent yoga practice, and there were A LOT of poses and movements that I could not do without props and modifications. This was my first and biggest lesson to date. I learned that I didn't have to look like everyone else. I just needed to focus on how my body felt in the pose.
This became my driver. I knew I wanted to be as equipped as possible to not only help others, but more importantly, to teach them how to treat their bodies, recognize how experiences show up in their bodies, and explore techniques to address these experiences.
For this reason, I've continued my education and practice along my yogic path. I am a 500-hour registered yoga teacher (RYT) through Yoga Alliance and I am currently a student and yoga therapy apprentice at the International Institute of Yoga Therapy.
My goal is to bridge the gap between curiosity, desire, and practice while supporting you on your journey to Stretch Your Soul & Heal Your Body.