Our Black Women Yoga Retreat is the very first international yoga retreat dedicated to black women who practice yoga and for those who are interested in the practice. In the western and non traditional eastern world, most yoga classes are led by caucasian people and classes are often focused mostly on the physical , but yoga is a spiritual and physical practice created by people of color. Here at Black Women Yoga Retreats , we respect, practice and honor all aspects of yoga while loving ourselves and each other!
Do we believe that yoga originated in Africa?
Our ancestors are waiting for us to heal the scars that dim our blackness. They are waiting for us to understand the importance of who we are. There we must meditate. When we heal our selves we heal future generations and our ancestors. We do this when we practice yoga and meditation.
So many black women and people are curious about yoga but question the practice because it is believed that you must be flexible to do yoga or wonder what level they would be in.
Yoga does not require any sort of flexibility; it is a practice that will bring you flexibility.
Yoga allows us to realign our body, heal our nervous system, heal anxiety and depression and It teaches us to breathe through things we may not be able to know how to deal with on a daily basis. It gives black women a non western way of healing themselves.
Here at Black Women Yoga Retreats, WOCHR our hand selected and amazing teachers provide modifications to suit all students, some classes may be more strenuous than others but there are no levels in traditional yoga, all are always welcome to the practice as yoga is about accepting exactly where you are in the journey on and off the mat.
Yoga is an important self care tool for black women, it teaches us that everything we need is inside of ourselves. It allows us to tune into ourselves and away from all of the toxins and stereotypes we deal with on a daily basis, it teaches us how to navigate the world peacefully. This practice teaches us to connect our minds, bodys and spirits on and off the mat. It allows us to connect with our ancestors by detoxifying the mind, body and spirit.
The practice of asana (postures) , pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation, cleanses and purifies the body and mind, as well as strengthening their capacity to maintain a pure state of being.
Yoga is not a competition, it is not a sport,
Today we see Hatha Yoga being practiced in all forms of yoga whether in power yoga or vinyasa flows, Hatha Yoga is one of the most ancient intelligent practices. "Hatha Yoga was created because People tried to sit quietly and they couldn’t. They encountered pain and stiffness, bile, gas etc and thought “What is the reason for these things, and how can we get rid of them?” They realized it was due to toxins from eating the wrong foods, at the wrong times, in the wrong qualities. These people pondered “What is good food that won’t leave toxins?” “What should the limit be?” “What is the proper time to eat?” They formed the yogic diet free of meat, fish, eggs, dairy, stimulants and excessive use of spices. The next was what to do with toxins already in the body. They concluded that these could be gotten rid of by squeezing the body in all different directions. For example, they found the way to cleanse the liver, spleen, and intestines was by doing the forward bend pose Pascimottanasana, which is bending forward and crushing the stomach a bit. If this wasn’t enough, they developed Yoga Mudra in order to crush it more. If toxins were still present they came up with Mayurasana , the peacock pose. If this still wasn’t good enough they created Uddiyana bandha, the stomach lift, and nauli, the stomach churning.
"The ancestors did not gain their knowledge from books; instead they observed nature and felt its pulse, they felt the vibration of the earth and stars, the rhythm of day and night. They did not view themselves as separate from their environment but as functional parts of a whole. By returning to the ways of the ancestors , we can learn to live in harmony with ourselves and our environment. "
Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful peaceful countries in the entire world. It owns 5 percent of the worlds bio diversity, its an eco based country, it has no military and even in the winter the sun is shining and the weather is warm.
Black Women Yoga Retreat is also a space for black women to relax, and connect with themselves and their sistars, most people come as strangers and leave as friends, in between this there’s never ending laughter, tears, joy, and love for ourselves and community.
When we decide to practice self care, we are also deciding to dismantle the shackles of the system that binds us and teaches us that our well-being isn’t important. Although society would have you to believe different, the potential of a black woman’s life is beyond infinite.
We carry the Earth in our wombs.
From chanting in the beautiful jungle of Costa Rica , to meditating in a room filled with black yoginis and women on their yoga journeys, this is a safe space for community and cooperative healing, whether you have been practicing for years or if this is your very first day, we welcome and honor you.
Photography for the June 2017 Black Women Yoga Retreat
Courtesy of Passion Ward | @passionward
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