You may have heard about Black Girl Magic and maybe you know something about yoga. Maybe for those that don’t know, Black Girl Magic is the divine, innate wisdom, presence and power of a woman to know herself, her worth and capabilities without explanation or apology to society, to anyone.
As for Yoga, it is an ancient practice that was developed nearly 5,000 years with origins in India and Africa. It’s a holistic system to expand not only the physical but the emotional, mental and spiritual wellness of all beings.
Since yoga can be a subtle experience, an individual or a collective can manifest the benefits of yoga in many different ways. Whether you pursue traditional or an alternative form of yoga, a person that seeks yoga may find themselves in an experience beyond the physical. At least that is the hope.
So what do you get when you add yoga with Black Girl Magic…
OK I had to get that out first but with all kidding aside, it truly feels like a magical experience to be in the presence of your sister. There is a sincere feeling of connection, history, compassion and comfort that comes with the gentle touch, a smile, a nod or with a deep embrace. Whether it’s a sister practicing in the same room with you or guiding you from the front of the room. There is an authentic feeling of I see you.
As a yogi, we say “I see the light in you” and I believe we are ultimately all one. However, in our society, one would require glasses to not see that there is an imbalance. We may not always see each other, each others’ humanity therefore, a woman that embraces her MAGIC in a world that works tirelessly to suppress it, it is powerful. And when she spreads it, it’s magical.
I was truly contemplating not going to Yoga Journal Conference this year for personal reasons. Instead, I went with it because a friend of mine was going. We both volunteer the event each year.
It’s long days but it is fun, inspiring and I am so happy that I did go. I definitely learned a lot and conferences and workshops certainly help deepen my practice. I am continuously inspired to continue to learn and share with my students but this year was different.
There were two women, black women, teaching at Yoga Journal this year and I wanted to make sure that I had an opportunity to practice with them. When I met them, I felt their warmth. There was no run of the mill, “I am a yogi so let me smack a smile on my face” niceness. It was sincere, gracious. Not only the instructors but there were other black yogis in attendance. A few but they were there. I see you. We saw each other.
That is the magic of yoga. That is the magic in Black Girl Magic. We see you. We see each other despite all the hurdles and projections that others may place upon us. We don’t simply survive, we are here. We are thriving.
So, with that I want to share a special gratitude to these beautiful spirits.
Thank you Pilin for your warmth and kindness.
Thank you Chelsea for your radiance and your infectious smile.
Thank you Sara for your words and your eye contact. When I said that you were amazing, you responded that I was too. I held my tears. I am working to stand in my magic too. Thank you.
This is my dedication, my love letter to the wonderful, kind women that entered my life and heart this weekend. I am overcome with hope to be kinder to myself, to broaden my heart and share this love and openness with my sisters.
If you want to learn more about these amazing women, see their information below. Also, if you are curious about how to find other local yogis of color, I have listed a few more resources below.