Health is our wealth - And the “business of yoga” has tapped into this!
I am delighted, yet curious about how I feel about this. The yoga teacher and holistic therapist in me wants to jump for joy and scream “FINALLY… It’s out there in the mainstream!”. And this is true.
Over the last few years, holistic health (and more specifically, yoga) is now everywhere. This is now a huge money-making industry - with products, yoga stars, spas, retreats, hotels, dedicated holiday agencies and more. I love that people have more choices than ever before to make it part of their life.
Now for the other side of the coin - With this growth, we can already see that the “representation” of yoga has now got a dominant image. And not everyone fits in it. Just pick up a glossy yoga magazine and you will see what I mean. Let’s get to the point.
If you browse through most health magazines, go to yoga centers and observe the “yoga selfie” culture on social media, ask your Self: Where is the diversity here?
Sadly, it is still very clear that many communities are not being represented - Yoga, as the West embraces it, feels like a tight box of Middle-Upper class White women of a certain size. Luckily, this is changing as more and more yogis are voicing this.
I would like to see an image that reflects the fact that yoga is for EVERYONE - no matter what your class, gender, race and ability. Let’s celebrate what yoga truly means -Union.
This post specifically will celebrate a variety of amazing international yoga teachers from the Black community. I hope to see more people of colour in the yoga classroom - I am usually the only one there. Let’s change this!
Check out these 5 international yoga teachers… Be inspired!
If Bibi McGill looks familiar already, there is a good reason you may already know her! She is an internationally known musician and lead guitarist for Beyonce, Bibi McGill is also an acclaimed yoga teacher, wellness educator, and health food entrepreneur. Since discovering yoga in 1998, Bibi has traveled around the world extensively studying numerous Classical 8 Limb Yoga Systems including Ashtanga and Kundalini Yoga. Bibi's Yoga is a practice that challenges the body while supporting spiritual growth within each and every student. An advocate of making yoga available to everyone, Bibi is actively involved with Street Yoga, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading healing and wellness to youth populations. You will find her in many international yoga festivals, spreading her heart-full energy.
Various locations and venues
Faith is a DC/NYC based yoga and meditation instructor, speaker and lifestylist, sprinkled with a dash of Louisiana charm. She is the creator of Spiritually Fly™, a philosophy that celebrates every moment of life, and uses the yogic tools of breath, movement and sound in a fresh, modern way to encourage students to embrace their unique flow in life - on and off the mat. Her passionate and free-spirited teaching style is influenced by her study of Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Kundalini. A next generation yoga teacher, Faith melds classic yogic principles and real world personal experiences into an integrated flow that is at once totally grounded and Spiritually Fly. She also conducts 200 and 500 hour level yoga teacher training programs. Faith owns Embrace Yoga DC, a training and creative wellness space located in Adams Morgan - a multicultural nest of Washington DC.
As a Kundalini yoga teacher, I was delighted to come across Krishna Kaur, who studied with Yogi Bhajan in 1970 and has passionately taught the art and science of Kundalini Yoga and Self Awareness for over 40 years. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her teaching in Africa, Mexico, and inner cities throughout the United States. A master teacher trainer of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, she conducts workshops in Canada, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
She is certified by the 3HO Foundation and the Kundalini Research Institute as a Kundalini Yoga Teacher and TrainerI. She is the regional coordinator for 3HO Africa, which unites Kundalini Yoga in Africa. Krishna also founded and runs Y.O.G.A. for Youth, a non-profit dedicated to training yoga teachers to work with at-risk youth and creating yoga programs in schools and juvenile facilities. Under the business name of 10th Gate Yoga, Kaur opened the first yoga center in South Central Los Angeles and continues to train yoga teachers, teach workshops, and bring yoga to the underserved populations throughout the world. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California and teaches on Monday evenings at her 10th Gate Yoga home studio.
Classes, training and workshops at every Monday night (7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, $12.00 donation) at 10th Gate Yoga, 1035 S Cloverdale Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90019
Jessamyn Stanley encourages her students to reflect on this question when practicing yoga: “How do I feel?” (rather than “How do I look?”). Her energetic vinyasa flow has a way to move past mental and emotional barriers - She inspires her students through her body positive approach to yoga.
This yoga teacher, writer and body positive advocate has won the heart of many followers and is based in Durham, North Carolina. You will see her works featured on Mind Body Green, Wanderlust, & Elephant Journal. She's been featured and profiled by a variety of International and National media outlets including Good Morning America, The Daily Mail, New York Magazine, The Sunday Times, New York Times' Women In The World, and People.
Click here for more information & classes: She is currently touring at Every Body Yoga Tour across the USA. Check her website for full details.
This is one lady that I will never forget! Many women will remember her book “Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind and Spirit” from back in the day. Her work was also featured in a documentary “Holistic Wellness for the Hip Hop Generation” where many artists such as Erykah Badu, Common, Dead Prez and many more spoke openly about the importance of health.
She has over 40 years experience as a holistic health practitioner and wellness coach. A pioneer in the green foods movement, Queen Afua is the author of 6 books, the creator of the Heal Thyself product line, and CEO of the Queen Afua Wellness Center. Queen Afua has devoted her life to fighting the overwhelmingly high rates of hysterectomies, fibroids, hypertension, and other diseases by teaching people how to understand and utilize the power of food, self-care, and holistic healthy choices as an empowering lifestyle.
She has many wellness products and books. You can find all her details at Queen Afua Wellness Center, 964 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY 11213
Be inspired on your yoga journey and support other WOC furthering self-love and acceptance.
Tera Kaur is an African-Spanish life-long traveller and TCK (Third-Culture-Kid), growing up in different countries. Working as a yoga teacher and holistic therapist (Tera Kaur Yoga), she is currently based in both London and Barcelona. Healthy natural living and travel is her true passion and she loves to share this in her blogs OM Barcelona and Holistic Locs.