#thisiswhatayogilookslike #yogisofcolor #natarajasana (Picture taken by Ponlork Mongkoul)

A little over a year ago, I started my yoga journey and teacher training with a vision to make this practice accessible to survivors of sexual trauma and people of color. Even though I'm still one of the least flexible people I know, this is the most at home I've ever felt in my body.

I taught my first class exactly two months ago, the same day our first ever People of Color Sangha Yoga & Meditation group was launched in Long Beach. Someone else was supposed to teach, but she got sick last minute and I couldn't find any substitute under such notice, especially a yogi of color -  which forced me to finally take my practice out of my living room and into the community. It was the Universe's way of saying, "IT'S TIME!" Considering I had spent the last 7 months being surrounded by gymnasts at a pole and aerial studio (story for another time), I was nervous that people would think I wasn't good enough to teach. However, it turns out that majority of attendees had never even taken a yoga class before! Then I remembered, this is why I came into this practice. Because yoga in the Western world has become equated to middle-upper class cisgender able-bodied skinny white women with flexibility and an expensive studio membership in a hip gentrified neighborhood, there still exists this stigma that yoga is not for every body. And while I still can't do the splits, I am grateful to provide a space for people of color to reclaim what yoga means to them. 

I'm still expanding my community of yogis of color in Long Beach, but in the meantime I hope you can join me on Thursdays, 6PM-7PM at the MAYE Healing Center in Cambodia Town for gentle yoga, followed by meditation and Dharma Sharing from 7PM-8:30PM! Yoga allows our mind to take a break from overthinking, and to prepare our bodies for meditation. The teachings we explore as a sangha (community) are greatly influenced by Thich Nhat Hanh and other Dharma teachers who practice Engaged Buddhism.  When we learn to sit together as a collective, imagine how much more powerful we can be in movement. 

Basic Sangha Tools

Basic Sangha Tools

Also, you will not find spiritual bypassing in our circle - a topic for another time. :)

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh