Empowering Roots: Celebrating Black History in Yoga

Yoga, with its ancient origins in South Asia, might not seem an obvious part of Black history at first glance. However, delve deeper, and you’ll discover a narrative woven intricately into the fabric of the Black experience – a story of resilience, empowerment, and cultural integration.

For centuries, yoga has quietly thrived within Black communities, offering solace and strength amid adversity. Despite the challenges of racism, oppression, and marginalization, Black individuals have embraced yoga as a tool for healing, self-discovery, and empowerment. 

Yet, acknowledging the relationship between yoga and the Black community also means confronting the complexities of its history. For many years, yoga was shrouded in taboo within Black culture, perceived as a practice reserved for the privileged or inaccessible due to its association with predominantly white spaces.

For Black History Month, we’re celebrating the resilience and empowerment found within the Black community’s engagement with yoga. It’s essential to acknowledge that there have been historical challenges and barriers to access, including issues of representation, cultural appropriation, and systemic inequalities. At Folk, we aim to bring inclusion and a safe place for every person to practice. In doing so, we honor the resilience, creativity, and enduring spirit of the Black community – and reaffirm yoga’s transformative power to unite, heal, and uplift us all.

Folk's recommended reads for Black history month

Black Yoga Collectives Aim to Make Space for Healing

Instructors and students say that diverse communities can benefit from classes focused on people of color.

Yoga Has a Diversity Problem—Black-Owned Studios Are Changing That

Yoga is a healing practice. It’s also overwhelmingly white, which is why I created a way for women of color to find diverse spaces to practice.

Celebrating Black Yogi's - Then & Now

In the context of America’s history, the story of black yogis is layered. It’s a story of now and then.It’s a story of two Americas. It’s a story of the fight for equality and representation.

Creating space: how Black yogis are increasing access to soul-healing practice

"Yoga is a powerful tool that can aid in the healing of systemic trauma, chronic stress, and anxiety in a community that has suffered for generations. A safe yoga space can provide a path to physical strength and emotional healing, says Stafford, who is credited with founding the BeMore Yoga community."

Folk's mission