One of the challenges with me even wanting to write this blog is that there is a need. 

There is always someone, somewhere that I go, telling me or alluding to the idea that something is wrong with my blackness. I break a lot of stereotypes and I actually find a thrill in that. One of the many stereotypes that I don't fit is that "Black Folks Don't Do Yoga".
I have tried running, which 'we' are apparently supposed to be good at - and while many are, my knees are jacked up. It sounds like something out of one of those Paranormal Activity movies when I walk up and down the stairs. I have exercised and cold weather induced asthma and I would always, always, always rather be reading and/or eating than doing movement.

Exercise in general is lost on me, but I work in a fairly stressful job and while I enjoy it, need to release a lot of the stress and tension that can build up and make you sick and forgetful. So, I made only one new year's-y resolution kind of thing and that was to go to yoga. 

Fortunately, my neighbor who is in the know in our community, has a friend in the community that just grew into a new yoga location near our home. I really like the space, it's my style. Spacious, clean, nicely lit and modern without being showy. The owner and instructor (same woman)- the only one I've had since the start of the year - is fabulous for me and is okay with me laughing at my non-yoga self. 

Maybe this is the black part of the whole thing for me, but I really, really enjoy the shavasana at the end of the class. It is my favorite. You get a scented pillow to put over your eyes - don't forget the tissue, we don't want your eye crusties and junk - and you lay on your mat and the instructor plays great music and she stands still and silent and you just shavass (is.that.a.word?) or just lay there. May seem foolish to pay all that cash to stretch, contort and then power nap, but it's not gonna happen in my house and certainly not on my own.

I would probably fall out in the floor if I walked into the studio and saw one other black person there, but I still go. It's the community I live in, I'm supporting small business and I usually feel great after I leave. The fact that I am the only is nothing new, I'm used to that. I can admit that I don't think of inviting any of my other black friends with me to the class and I haven't actively sought out an environment where they may be more black folks. 

Yep, I smiled too. Considering  an all black yoga class. Would there be any yoga? A sister cooking that good food while the class is going on, it'll be ready right after - all that work, we gotta go head and eat.

You saw the video. She couldn't resist making noise. I don't want to do all of that. And our instructor doesn't ever have us humming and/or chanting, I wouldn't be into all of that. I'm trying to be quiet and still and learn about how my body works and am already self conscious as it is, yoga is hard and humbling and I like to be really good at stuff I try right away. The last thing I want to do is while I'm also make sure that I'm breathing properly (in and out or out and then in, it is actually hard to remember) be humming/chanting at the same time. TOO MUCH.

For right now, I think I am in the right place bringing my blackness to the group. I'm a speck, but I'm there.

Now if I could just make it there every week...


02/27/2013 17:51

Very nice! For one have never done Yoga. I'm not into the stretching; strength training is my thing. However, I think there is a connection with Yoga and spirituality of some degree. This I'd like to participate in. In the meantime get one downward dog in for me girly! Lol!

03/02/2013 20:58

The downward dog is hard. My favorite is the child's pose. I want to yell at the instructor when she tells us to do the next move.I still think it's worth a try, you may like it!

03/06/2013 11:00

Interesting. We hosted a pastor from India that was very dark skinned. I imagine there might be several folks that do yoga there.

I personally have found yaga very helpful and strengthening.

03/24/2013 07:57

I enjoy it too, I look forward to getting on a regular schedule and being in the right class for me. I do think that there are pockets of black or dark skinned people who do yoga, but it is not well known to me and the reason I think it perpetuates the stereotype that it's not something that black people do. All about breaking and challenging stereotypes, I look forward to getting back into the habit of it. Thank you for posting Pam!


Leave a Reply.