One day, I was on my community Facebook Page and saw a post from a friendly neighbor sharing that she was beginning to teach yoga classes at the local community center. I chose to practice yoga to support a great person.
Yoga has since built a beautiful confidence in me. I began practicing at home after my runs and I could literally feel the stress leaving my muscles. Yoga became the Ying to my running Yang. My practice seals my run and renews my mind for the rest of my day.
What did you think yoga was before you tried?
Honestly, I thought yoga was glorified gymnastics. I also thought yoga was decidedly for people who were naturally fit and of spiritual mastery so they decided to start bending and balancing on fingers to defy gravity and the universe and what not.
The media grossly portrays yoga in a light that is affluent and thin as well. So, in my classes, I expected just that. I would position myself in a corner or near a wall to isolate myself socially because a) I am black b) I am curvy and, c) I am not wealthy. I felt like I didn’t belong at all! But I continued and that consistency is what changed me. Being the only black curvy chick was old news.
Do you identify YOUR body as a yoga body?
A yoga body has happy muscles, including the brain muscle! When our muscles are happy they bend, flex, balance, and support us both physically and mentally. My muscles are very pleased that I joined the yoga community and they reap the rewards daily yoga has given me.
There is no better measure of strength to me than seeing someone support their body, especially a curvy one. For me, seeing a strong thigh hold up someone in a warrior, or long, fluid muscles in a split is awe-inspiring. It just takes mind over matter.
How do you identify as being Audacious?
I am audacious because I am a breathing expression of self. I wear my hair natural with a funky cut because, well, I am a funky cut! I am the plus-size woman that had the audacity to lose weight and get fit not for the world to see, but for myself; without a gym, dance class, pill or shake. I practice yoga and share my light because yoga is a state of mind and a state of self, and the world needs more light, of all different iridescence!
Advice for beginners?
Yoga is not as limited as one might think; it can be as challenging or as gentle as you decide at any given moment, so don’t be afraid. Find a local yoga class. When you get there, introduce yourself to the instructor and tell them you are new. Make a connection, that’s all it takes.