Yoga is sacred to me because it provides a tool for deep connection to our truest self. Therefore yoga spaces must be accessible and welcoming to all. That can look a lot of different ways. This includes pictures that are used, to music played, to a staff from a wide variety of backgrounds. Students can be going through so many heavy things and a safe space can make or break their journey. I myself have cried several times while taking a yoga class and I share this with my class when I teach. I’m so grateful for the safe spaces that have been created that have allowed me to peal back layers of conditioning and be kind and compassionate with myself. This also allowed me to get in touch with my vulnerable side which is what I believes connects us all – OUR VULNERABILITY.
As a Black man living everyday life I go through interactions all the time that If my skin was a different color I’m sure the situation would have been different. The fact the I have to consider almost every action and word to not be seen a a “typical” Black man is exhausting. Just something to keep in mind when a person of color comes into a wellness space look for a safe haven to help them be their best self. Yoga says that we want all beings to be happy, well and free from suffering. The very least we can do is not add to the suffering, at best we can help others been seen and heard and feel safe in our space. They need to know they are included in dominant culture and they need to be included and feel included in the healing yoga offers.
What I like about wellness spaces is how welcoming they can be and that starts with the front desk. So many times I have been rushing, or just in a mood, and the helpfulness and patience of the front desk made the whole experience start off right. I really like when teachers use inclusive language and give modifications. It makes me feel included, even if I’m already a yogi. I also love how much time I have to rest at the end of class. It really allows me to clear my mind and it gives me a safe space to process my emotions.
By Jirod Webb
Jirod is a yoga instructor at The Bella Prāṇa Wellness Collective in Tampa Florida