Now, more than ever, Black men need a safe space to find a brief moment of peace. The headlines paint a picture of devalued Black lives, while our justice system repeatedly turns a blind eye to basic human rights whenever Black men and women try to stake their claim. Fortunately for Black men (and women) in Washington, DC and Atlanta, there is a new sanctuary—the yoga studio.
Brandon Copeland, founder of Khephera Wellness Group, is the genius behind “Trap Yoga,” a class intended to appeal to a new brand of yogis. Copeland began practicing yoga while attending Howard University as a way to alleviate stress and deal with increased pressure in his personal life. Through his own practice, he started to share his passion for yoga with fellow Howard students, most of whom were new to yoga practice themselves.
Still noticing the lack of brown faces—particularly those of Black men—in DC’s thriving yoga community, Copeland sought out to create a class that would help to bridge the gap between yoga and his peers, with the help of trap music.
As Copeland explained in his interview with BlackDoctor.org, the “heavy base” and “good vibes” from trap music inspire the flow of this class. It’s no surprise that Trap Yoga has taken off from its humble beginnings in Washington, DC and expanded to new cities like Atlanta, another mecca for young, Black professionals.
Black men, in particular, have much to take away from the practice of yoga. Copeland explains, “Black men have a stigma placed upon them,” that can make some men apprehensive about practicing yoga. Fortunately, “yoga can give [men] a certain level of control and focus to allow them to make better decisions about themselves, which can impact their lives more than they know.”
In Copeland’s class, Black men don’t have to live up to stereotypes. Rather, “yoga can give them the power to rise above expectations,” that are oftentimes unfairly placed on them.
With the help of Trap Yoga, Copeland has been able to change the face of yoga, and introduce…