I have been dreaming of being certified as a yoga teacher since I was in college. I have taken yoga classes on and off for 10 years and everytime I do it I wonder to myself: "Why don't I do this ALL the time?" After my daddy died suddenly in 2006, yoga became my refuge. I was off work for over a month while I grieved with my family. During this time, I literally spent 5 hours a day everyday doing yoga DVD's in my parents basement. The breathing, focus and de-stressing it provided truly helped me avert a mental breakdown. It was as if I was in a yoga trance. When all the guests left for the evening, I would dart to the basement, unroll my yoga mat and do poses for hours. I never started doing yoga with any goal of weight loss or flexibility in mind. It was simply a place to breath, meditate and center myself and as a result I did lose weight, stand taller and lowered my blood pressure.
About all the classes I have taken: I am usually the only black woman in the room. When I was living in Chicago, I would sometimes see a sister here or there but it was very rare. In my South Side neighborhood there were NO yoga studios so I usually had to hike 30 minutes away to the North side of town to find a good class. I always thought that yoga could really, really help the residents of my all black hood because of all the high rates of violence and unemployment. We could really use the de-stressing benefits of it BIG TIME! If anyone should be doing yoga in large numbers it should be us. Check out this cool article on the "Top Ten Reasons Black Women Need to Practice Yoga.
I moved to Atlanta a year and a half ago from my life long home of Chicago and while I have mostly enjoyed Atlanta I miss my friends and family back home. I had such a tight knit crew of friends that I could call up at a moment's notice to go grab coffee, a cocktail, theater and to just roam the city streets going to thrift stores. I miss it so much and my BFF suggested that I build my own tribe here after complaining about it to her on the phone. I have meet some friends thru a horrible call center job that I no longer work at, some from the theater work I did and two of my friends from Chicago actually also relocated here so that has been nice. I will admit that I have yet to find a full tribe and crew. I am hoping that by organizing a group around something I love to do will help to build it and also give me the fitness benefits that I need.
So, thats my story. I am very excited to connect with sistas in Atlanta that want to explore and experiment with the benefits that yoga can bring.
While, I am not a certified instructor yet I hope to:
1. lead you through simple breathing and yoga poses
2. share resources like conferences and free or low cost classes I have researched in the Atlanta area
3. organize group outings to yoga studios and connect us with black yoga teachers who could come out as a guest teacher
4. facilitate conversation and discussion around yoga and healthy living
5. meet some cool sistas for socializing
This blog will serve as a way to connect and share resources. As the group grows I may start a Meetup group and explore other ways to connect. Please share your ideas and jump right in with us.
Have you ever tried yoga? If so, what is your favorite pose?
Peace! Our first activity is being planned now! This is a great time to de-stress and regroup with the holidays and the end of the year. We should be up and ready for it all.