Why Black And Brown Womxn Should Support Each Other's Breath

Picture taken on Signal Hill Road, Cape Town, South Africa
Photo Credit: Photo: The Cape Town Photographer

| January 22 2017,

11:20 pm

The combination of returning from the beautiful continent of Africa & this presidential election has felt like a natural firestorm within me to unite all the brown & black womxn of the world.

Our collective voices, experiences, & stories are so much more powerful than we are given credit for. Our collective voices will not be silenced. Our collective breath can change the world.

We are healers.

We are creators.

We are survivors.

We are lovers.

We are strong badass womxn.

We are activists.

We are poets.

We are movers.

We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams.

We are divine beings.

We are the moon's physical form.

Despite this inner knowing, we are still bombarded with cultural messages that say we are “too much” of this and “not enough” of that. The time to organize, support, & empower one another is more urgent than now. Growing up with sisters and powerful ass womxn has been my driving force since the moment I took my first breath. But I’ll be honest with you, growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood has had its own unique psychological & emotional impacts on me.

I remember while in college having a conversation with another black womxn about my desire to go hiking & travel the world. Her response,” I’m not surprised you would do activities that white people do,” still has a profound impact on my psyche a mere six years later. “Why do we do this to ourselves? Why must we limit our opportunities of experiencing connection to mama nature? Why would we equate wellness as an activity that doesn’t belong within our community?”  

Queens, we need to support each other’s breath. Our unique interests. Our unique beauty. Our unique creativity. Our aliveness. Our ancestors’ dreams of us to succeed and defy all barriers. Our deep yearning & desire to break out of stereotypical roles.

Understanding the intersection between spiritual practice & social justice work is the primary reason I completed my yoga teacher training in Spring 2016. Since then, I have been inspired to teach at centers & studios that focus on inclusivity & conscious about their community outreach. I can’t even describe to you the feeling of seeing sisters with their head wraps in downward facing dog. I almost cried witnessing all the #carefreeblackgirling happening in one room.

The challenge to overcome those mental blocks we’ve created for ourselves and internalized from our culture can spark important conversations about mental health within our communities. Sadly, none of us are immune to the inner critic that pulls us away from seeing our own worth. Yet the opportunity to defy these messages is one of the most artful, liberating expressions. Why not transform those messages into uplifting one another? 

Let’s support each other’s breath! Especially in the wake of this political season, we should be able to cry, grieve, hug, dance, create & love on each other without judgment or criticism. Imagine the world if we can redefine intimacy & strength within our vulnerability? What if this vulnerability was the key to our empowerment & support? This new narrative has the ability to heal our mothers, our mothers’ mothers, and those womxn even before them. 

Yoga has helped me manage my own emotional instability & cultivate inner strength that nobody can take away from me. Finding myself on the mat has allowed quality time to foster a relationship with my whole self and heal parts that I had neglected for years. Starting with the breath, practicing yoga is a gift in aiding personal growth and transformation even as I move through the world without a foam pad under my feet. This goes far beyond mastering any physical pose but changing the narratives of our interpersonal relationships. Self-care practice has room for abundance & creativity as long as it supports your openness & highest self.

Our breath is a resource to guide through the pain & mental fatigue from the injustice we see every day. I encourage all my brown & black queens to actively take part in self-care by making deliberate steps to improve overall health & wellbeing. In fact, yoga & mindfulness develops useful sensitivity of the body and promotes improvement as we begin filtering out toxic people, habits & situations that have held back all of our innate power. Let’s do all we can to support those who are seeking to unlock the potential of their unique, dynamic, divine and intellectual goddess within. 

If not us, then who? Who will recognize & honor the light that has always been within us?




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