NamaSLAY! 6 Reasons To Conquer Your Yoga Mat Every D*mn Day

african american woman doing yoga

Yoga is awesome, plain and simple. Who knew that stretching and breathing could make you forget about that one friend who owes you $5000 and never paid it back. If I knew what I knew now I probably would’ve stretched a little bit more in third grade gym class. Yoga is dope, yoga is life, yoga is healing and yoga is for Black people. Yes, it’s for Black people. We have to shed this notion that yoga is only for white, thin women. BlackDoctor.org caught up with two Black yogis to talk about the health benefits of yoga. Trust, this article will make you want to sign up for your next session. You’ll be saying namaste in no time!

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Stacy Patrice, soul healer and Black yogi out of Chicago, made me a believer after talking with her about this awesome practice. Ms. Patrice’s journey into yoga started after the birth of her first child in 2009. She said her body was wrecked and was eager to get her body back to dancer form. Being the high-achiever that she was, she not only signed up for yoga class, but soon thereafter jumped into teacher training. Stacy Patrice’s “Soul Healing Yoga” class is offered weekly for free on Sundays on the Southside of Chicago. The classes blend a multitude of different components to heal the soul. Oh, and she has free mats and tea for you.

Stacy Patrice started teaching yoga on the Southside of Chicago because there was a “yoga desert’ in the community. She saw how much the practice healed people and changed lives and decided to bring it to a community that needed it the most. After attending yoga classes that didn’t represent her demographic she decided to innovate and start her own.

“I got tired of being the only one and wanted to see people enjoying it with me. Our community wasn’t reflected in the classes,” she shared.

A popular misconception is that yoga is only for white people. Stacy Patrice quickly lets us know that this isn’t the case.

“It’s on the pyramids. We’ve [Black people] done this before. We don’t have any tools to manage our lives and yoga helps out with that.”

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Here are the health benefits of yoga according to Stacy Patrice:

  1. Anything that ails you can be helped – Physical ailments are manifestations of your mental. So basically if it’s physical, yoga can help you to channel the mental energy to cure or manage it in a more positive way.
  2. Mental illness – Yoga focuses on the power of the breath and being present in the moment. Being present and at peace is a common missing element for many sufferers of mental illness. Yoga helps to harness the energy necessary to get you out of your head and in the pace and beauty of life.
  3. Blood pressure – Got a 3 year old who drives you up the wall and your blood pressure at the same time? Try yoga. Yoga has been proven to help lower blood pressure.
  4. Toning – Get cut for the summer without lifting a single weight. Well, you’ll use your body weight, but after several sessions you won’t notice the weight you’re carrying at all. You’ll be walking around showing off that June body in January.
  5. Injury – Athletes coming off injury use yoga to not only regain their flexibility, but also to mentally focus on returning to their pre-injury form. Ray Lewis, Lebron James and Shaquille O’Neal are a few athletes who use yoga in their athletic careers.
  6. Stress – Last but certainly not least, stress releif. It’s one of the most popular reasons why people try out this practice. Yoga is a perfect way to de-stress. Stacy Patrice says, “It’s not only in your mat. It’s in your life. Know peace, know power.”