My relationship with yoga began at a time when I needed it most. My low self-esteem and self-confidence had me devaluing my voice, opinion, and professional expertise. I was desperately searching for a ray of sunshine to guide me on my journey. Naturally the voice I needed most, was my own voice I had stifled over the years. Yoga gave me back my voice. It showed me that my strength is boundless, my worth was already paid for, and my voice is unapologetically me.
I became a yoga teacher to create space for others to take back their voices, their bodies, and their happiness.
Yoga is truly for everyone, in celebration of our gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, financial status etc. We need to undo the lack of cultural appropriation, diversity, and inclusion in the current yoga industry. As a black female yogi I never felt comfortable nor welcomed in yoga studios. I was often the only woman of color in the class, which you would think I'd be use to by now. I wasn't “flexible” like the other students so the instructor always saw me as an annoyance when I couldn't “fit” the pose. Overall I ended up giving up trying studio classes and continued my practice at home with videos. I was so disappointed that doing something that gave me so much confidence and self worth over the years was diminished so quickly everytime I walked into a studio class. As I read historical texts in my yoga teacher training, I realized the lack of inclusivity I had faced wasn't Yoga. It was our tainted westernized version that is culturally inappropriate to southeast asian cultures. As a society we need to do better by our neighbors, our children, and our future.