About the class
This class has been thoughtfully created by humans of color for humans of color. Our intention is to provide a safe space for those who identify as a person of color to come together to move, learn, talk, and create community with other humans like themselves. This will also be a gathering place for connecting and building communities of color.
We hope to create support for each other and share our experiences of being in this world with one another. This class will include an opening circle that provides time for each person to introduce themselves, mindful movement and breathing, and a look into the history and different branches of yoga. We will also address issues that people of color are facing in our current social climate using yoga as platform for release and restructuring.
Humans of Color Yoga will start at People’s on Saturday October 8th, and then be held every other week in the Community Room.
From the instructor Ayomide Njo
When people think of yoga they usually think of the physical practice of yoga, or Hatha yoga, but there are actually six distinct branches of yoga in the Indian tradition. I have been practicing yoga in one form or another most of my life. As a movement instructor I have been studying body awareness and movement for 20 years, but only in the last 5 years have I enjoyed and felt truly centered in Hatha yoga.
This was inspired by an encounter with an older woman of color who practiced yoga. This woman was beautiful, strong and centered in her body and I was inspired! I had never been exposed to an instructor of color except in yoga books, where they were primarily Indian men. When we talked I explained to her my disconnection to hatha yoga as practice. She then explained to me that there are many styles of hatha to choose from and that my exploration was part of the journey of finding a practice that was in harmony with my center. That moment changed my life. Her presence showed me that anyone could be a yogi.
This is the kind of experience that I hope to share through Humans of Color Yoga at People’s. It is important for humans of color to be able to investigate what it means to be in their skin in a safe and supportive environment, and the aim of the class is to provide a place for them to do so.
Ayomide Njo currently teaches dance at Portland Community College. You can also find her every Wednesday at The Co-op teaching Kaleidoscope community yoga. When not teaching movement she is busy raising a teen, creating art and bridging communities.