This episode of The Yoga Inspiration Podcast is important for every yoga student, teacher, and yoga studio owner to hear. I’m very excited about the energy Davina Davidson brings with her to the yoga mat, and the perspective she shares with us today is something the yoga community needs to hear.
Davina is the founder of The Melanin Yoga Project in Houston, a project that focuses on creating a space where people of color can learn, ask questions about, and ultimately practice the benefits and teachings of yoga.
The reality is that there is not one singular black experience in the yoga community. There are unconscious biases built into the business standards of the yoga world that, quite frankly, do not create a safe space for POC yogis to learn or even teach their practice.
More than that, these biases greatly limit the opportunities yoga students and yoga teachers have to interact with diversity.
From Davina’s point of view - as a successful black woman and as a yoga teacher - it is the responsibility of the yoga teachers and the yoga studio owners to start these inclusive conversations. As leaders, we need to be open to receiving feedback and constructive criticism. It’s time to ask - what is your experience coming into the yoga space?
Davina and I discuss the different ways yoga teachers can engage with their POC yoga students and ask these kinds of questions. Not only to make sure that they and their yoga practice are doing well, but also to see where we, as teachers, can create more space and opportunities for them to get the most from our yoga community.
Doing this sometimes means having those difficult conversations. It’s not easy to look inward at yourself and start unpacking unconscious prejudice you didn’t realize you had. But if you can acknowledge the privileges you’ve been afforded, then you can recognize the areas where you can make a positive change.
We want to make a positive change on a bigger level. Davina says it’s time to move past our individual experiences and realize we, as a community, have a systemic issue with race and blackness in the yoga world. We can still embrace ahimsa while taking actions that benefit the POC yoga community, and Davina shares with us further steps we can take to acknowledge race and turn them into teachable moments, not only for ourselves but for our yoga students.
Check out some of the resources Davina recommends for self-study:
13TH Documentary on Netflix Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown If you’re a practicing yoga student with an inspiring journey, I want to hear your story. Please share a bit of your yoga journey with me and my listeners. Send me an email at email@example.com and tell me - what does yoga mean to you? I would love to have you as my guest on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast with Kino MacGregor!
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