February in Focus: The Wellness World, In Color – By Brittany Simone
In our present-day civil rights movement, we have all started to view ourselves, and the world around us, differently. The Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 began to shift paradigms, on many micro and macro levels, where the way we view ourselves and each other began to change. Thus, how we treated one another began to change. Through this movement, a deeper awareness, collectively and individually, was born. But let’s not forget how easy it is to return to old habits and perspectives during waves of relative calm amidst this revolution. This is precisely where our work comes in. This is our yoga.
The human experience is multi-dimensional. The many nuances of our experience are magnified when lived through black and brown bodies, yet there are only a few archetypes used in stories, media, articles, workplaces, and entertainment. Even in the rare moment when a black or brown body is magnified, it is through a narrow lens, a lens through which black cultures and people are viewed in a way that is diminishing or disempowering to the people represented. Such an inaccurate perspective does the collective a great disservice in its misrepresentation and perpetuation of racial biases. These same biases affect the way BIPOC are viewed, and how they are treated when entering white-dominated spaces. The wellness world, in particular, has been a space where the misconceptions of the BIPOC experience have led to many uncomfortable encounters that violate the practice of ahimsa (non-violence) and make people of color feel othered or even unsafe, simply through well meaning but un-researched actions. While much of this is unintentional, the impact and intention aren’t aligned.
This month, we will adjust the lens on our own inherent biases, assumptions, and inclinations, to decide if they serve us. Using meditation, breath work, movement, and discussion with our ONEYOGAHOUSE community, we will refine our practices of viveka (discernment) and ahimsa in order to de-colonize our thinking, and perhaps wipe clean the smudges of white supremacy that sullied our human experience. Every moment is an opportunity to move towards our own greatness. With all that we know, and all that we’ve seen, let’s choose love, over and over again.
“But let’s not forget how easy it is to return to old habits and perspectives during waves of relative calm amidst this revolution.
This is precisely where our work comes in. This is our yoga.”
Meet Brittany Simone, February’s Community Spotlight Member at OYH! Brittany is a New York-based wellness educator who focuses on sound therapy, the sacred rituals and ceremonies of cacao, and yoga-inspired movement. With a strong belief that well-being is our birth right, Brittany believes it is vital to take an active role in our own wellness.
By combining a variety of practices including sound, breath work, coaching, yoga, and mindful nutrition, Brittany empowers individuals to take their health into their own hands.