…his students to the numerous benefits of the practice. Copeland shared with BlackDoctor.org that yoga can help to improve balance, strength and flexibility—which he describes as the “holy trinity” needed to access your deep breath. Yoga can also prepare your body to meet more of life’s physical and mental demands.
Yoga has also been found to provide some relief to people with chronic conditions from arthritis to depression. Copeland recommends that students try a variety of yoga styles and classes to take full advantage of yoga’s unique benefits.
Copeland offers some of that variety at his Washington D.C. studio where students can begin and expand their practice with classes like:
- Black Girl Magic: A slow Vinyasa flow yoga experience that celebrates the beauty and strength of Black women. All students are welcome “as long as they are willing to listen to and uplift Black women”
- PowerHouse Yoga: A yoga class driven by pumping Afrobeats to push students to their greatest potential, and inspire a sense of movement through rhythm, and create a smooth and relaxing flow.
- Trap Yoga: Mixes Power Yoga with Trap music, a form of hip hop with heavy bass and themes ranging from working hard to being your best self.
- Vinyasa Yoga: A series of poses that keep students moving between asana on different sides of the body. Vinyasa allows students to “flow” from one pose to the next without stopping breath or focus.
You can learn more about Copeland’s yoga studios in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta by visiting kheperawellness.com. Otherwise, if you’re inspired by Copeland’s story and practice, you can explore the benefits yoga by trying another class in your neighborhood, and add some much needed melanin to the “traditional” face of yoga.
Sharita Jennings is a health policy attorney, ACE certified group fitness instructor and nutrition specialist. She leads fitness classes in Washington, DC and provides online coaching and tips on her site, GetFitLikeThat.com.