How do you feel the arts impact our culture?
The arts, whether through visual expression, music, dance, poetry, or yoga have the ability to ignite conversations, challenge societal norms, and inspire change. They serve as a powerful platform to shed light on social injustices, racial disparities, and the rich diversity of our shared human experiences. Through art, we can bridge gaps, foster empathy, and create spaces for dialogue and understanding. Art also has the power to heal. It serves as a therapeutic outlet, enabling us to process our emotions, find solace, and create meaning out of chaos. It empowers individuals and communities by giving them a sense of agency and hope. Through artistic expression, we can imagine new possibilities and envision a more inclusive and equitable society.
How did you begin your journey doing yoga?
My yoga practice stemmed from my martial arts background. I trained in Tae Kwon Doe for about 8 years ultimately getting my black belt in the practice. Martial arts and yoga, despite their different approaches, offer unique benefits for physical and mental well-being. Martial arts focuses on self-defense, combat techniques, and physical conditioning. It develops strength, flexibility, and coordination while instilling discipline and self-confidence. In contrast, yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to promote flexibility, relaxation, and inner peace. It emphasizes mindfulness, self-awareness, and the union of mind, body, and spirit.
Both practices offer opportunities for personal growth and self-improvement. Martial arts develops self-defense skills, physical fitness, and self-confidence. It instills a warrior spirit, resilience, and a competitive mindset. Yoga, on the other hand, encourages self-reflection, mindfulness, and a deeper connection with oneself and others.
Tell us about your company.
IndigoWave Yoga is a pandemic baby. It was born out of a need for more authentic, inclusive safe spaces that allows for our communities to grieve, release and self actualize. Indigo is the color of the third eye chakra, also called the mind's eye or inner eye. Metaphysically located in the center of the forehead, it acts as the individual’s center of wisdom, and higher consciousness. Offering services like hatha yoga, sound therapy, synergy stretch and animal flow I give the students the tools to not only explore the full range of motion with their body but the opportunity to connect with their inner worlds just as they use their mobile devices to connect with the outer world.
What are some of the benefits from doing yoga?
Through a combination of mindful movement, breath control, and meditation, yoga cultivates a deep sense of self-awareness and inner peace. It enhances flexibility, strength, and balance, promoting a healthier and more resilient body. Regular practice of yoga can alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, fostering mental clarity and emotional stability. It encourages mindfulness, allowing us to be fully present in the moment and embrace a more conscious way of living. Yoga also improves sleep quality, boosts energy levels, and enhances overall vitality. Beyond the physical and mental aspects, yoga connects us to a broader sense of spirituality, helping us cultivate a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us. It offers a holistic approach to well-being, providing a sanctuary for self-care, self-discovery, and personal growth.
What is the most challenging aspect of being an entrepreneur?
There have been a lot of hard pills that I have had to swallow on this journey so picking one is difficult. Many self-reflective mirror moments that caused me to spiral into an abyss that had me questioning why I even set out to do any of this. I will say that being ok with being comfortable in discomfort has been the one that I have had to sit with the most. I have found that getting too comfortable with how things are in their current state is a breeding ground for complacency and in the tech industry this is a recipe for disaster. Being able to be ok with a constantly changing landscape and being able to navigate the space with a calm crown has been a challenge but I think I have been able to do so effectively. It has been challenging yet exciting because I have been given the opportunity to learn and relearn something new about myself on a constant basis.
What will it take to get more people of color engaged with yoga?
I want to shoutout my yoga tibe, Malik Khalid with Amador Yoga and Lululemon and Daniel Edwards with Clear Pathworks. This is something that I have actively been working on that requires a multifaceted approach that addresses various barriers and promotes inclusivity. First and foremost, representation plays a crucial role. By showcasing a diverse range of yoga practitioners and instructors in marketing materials and media, it becomes evident that yoga is for everyone. Outreach and community engagement are also vital, as actively reaching out to local communities of color through community centers, cultural organizations, and social events helps make yoga more accessible. Offering free or discounted introductory classes can further demonstrate the benefits of yoga.
Culturally sensitive instruction is essential in creating inclusive safe spaces. Yoga instructors should receive training on cultural sensitivity to acknowledge and respect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of participants. Collaborating with community organizations that focus on wellness and health in communities of color allows for impactful partnerships, where joint workshops, classes, or events can be organized to promote yoga. Addressing affordability concerns by offering sliding scale fees, discounts, or scholarships helps overcome financial barriers and ensures yoga is accessible to all.
Creating safe and welcoming spaces is crucial, involving staff and instructor training to foster inclusivity and address biases. Incorporating cultural elements and practices that resonate with communities of color into yoga classes is another effective strategy. By integrating music, movements, or spiritual aspects meaningful to different cultures, yoga can become more relatable and appealing. Additionally, providing educational workshops or seminars on the history and philosophy of yoga can help dispel misconceptions and promote a deeper understanding of the practice.
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