“A space that doesn’t burden you”: Yoga clubs bring black health and wellness to life | Small businesses

MeIt is a well-known fact that the health and wellness sector is booming, and the current global reputation is $ 1.5 trillion..But in the case of Paria Alexandra and Alicia Ferguson – co-owners BK Yoga Club In Brooklyn, New York – Providing a healing space for Bipoc’s body is more than just a savvy business venture. Their body-positive and comprehensive yoga studio is an urban sanctuary where people of color can grow their bodies without being shy.

Alexandra and Ferguson take it seriously, especially in the light of the white-dominated world of yoga in North America. “Our body may look different from the traditional European body shape,” says Ferguson. “We want to be in a place to see other black and brown bodies moving, breathing and gathering around creativity ideas.”

Ferguson and Alexandra first launched the BK Yoga Club in 2019, but last year the original Dumbo location was closed by Covid-19. The duo made a fresh start this summer in the historically black Bedford-Stuyvesant district.In addition to a brand new studio, they have opened About Dekalb by BK Yoga ClubA coffee shop that sells tea and household items by black and brown makers and hosts a reading club that spotlights black writers.

Respect for the shared experience of their black and brown customers is at the heart of Ferguson and Alexandra’s mission.

What was the inspiration behind the studio?

Alicia Ferguson: When you think of Brooklyn, you’re not thinking of a yoga studio, and you’re not thinking of black people getting together and focusing on wellness ideas through yoga lenses. I just wanted to be an expression that I couldn’t see.

How important is it to have a positive size expression at the BK Yoga Club?

Paris Alexandra: I always say that self-determination is important at the BK Yoga Club where people can define their journey. So wherever they are on a journey to foster self-acceptance, I want to meet them there. Besides losing weight, the main premise of body positivity is to look for strength and a marker of success. It’s about focusing on the implications of building habits, and really focusing on the markers of success that inevitably help us build a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

How does your space help blacks release the trauma we have as a result of their experience in the United States?

Ferguson: As blacks, our bodies have so many microaggressions and crimes. Yoga allows us, especially black people, to be free.We don’t have to hold it, or feel we need to carry the weight of what’s happening in society, or [negative] Perpetual family dynamics. We can give ourselves space to discuss how we really feel.

How did you weather Covid?-19?

Ferguson: When Covid hit, we just started picking up steam. We took some time to pray about it, and what we were getting was to stay still, pray, and not feel anxious. So we asked, “How can I serve?” We found out what the community needed and started writing programming. We’re digitizing pretty quickly, partnering with therapists in the network, Hey Sis, You Good! We provided a support group called. It was a space that didn’t burden me.

Tell us about OnDekalb at BK Yoga Club

Ferguson: The coffee shop was part of the original vision of the BK Yoga Club. When I moved to Brooklyn, the coffee shop was where you knew everything about your neighbors and they had something to rent or give. You don’t necessarily have to do yoga, but it’s important to create a space where you can feel calm and focused.

How is storytelling an integral part of your practice?

Ferguson: We really show the breadth of what blackness looks like. Our experience is very different and we can show it through Our Instagram.. In general, storytelling, and telling the story of a black woman, is important. It’s a lens that I see everything and how we appear in life.

Alexandra: In our space, we are black and we celebrate the multidimensionality of being black. I’m not asking for permission. It is to know that we deserve a blessing and that we deserve joy. It really is to tell our story together, and by default I think it’s an anti-blackness effort. But we do not defend our blackness.

“A space that doesn’t burden you”: Yoga clubs bring black health and wellness to life | Small businesses

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