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Building my Tribe!

“Guess what, Black Women are Happy. Sassy. Polite. Loving. Gorgeous. Friendly. Funny. Flexible. Clever. Smart. Eclectic. Gardeners. Goddesses. Witches. Creative. Quiet. And yes, sometimes angry. Just like every other person on the planet. These photos aimed to show all those sides.”

Do me a favor. I’m sure you still have Instagram App open so, go and type this in: #Goddess. #YogaTeacher. #Yogatribe. #Gypsy. #Boho. #Wanderlust. #YogaBliss. Now just try #Happiness. Tell me what you see. I see no one who looks like me. No one who lives in my community. No one who owns a business that benefits me, my children, or my practice. I see NO ONE BLACK! Some of those tags have millions of post. Millions. I literally started a tag with a friend #yogismakebetterlovers, go type that in too. Come back and tell me what you see. I’ll wait.

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already heard. Black people are not represented in any market as a priority. We are simply an afterthought. After complaining, after mentioning, after creating our own, after rebelling, after rebuilding then we seem to get a few reposts, a few “We are doing our best ”, or, “Everyone is important to us and our brand.” I’ve been over the struggle to be noticed as a Yoga Teacher for years. I stopped teaching for anyone. I stopped going to studios, and I stopped following folks, I even lost friends and I could care less really. I’m not interested in being apart of some mediocre movement that’ll last for a month or so and then be over. I have always been a rebel. Leading my own path to my own victorious end. I walk, dance, and sing to my own drum, and very rarely do I ever consider seeing what’s happening on the other side. But recently, I’ve been annoyed with the amount of whiteness in everything. I mean really, we must create another tag just to post so we can see each other. It’s just tiring the amount of effort we must do to find each other, to support each other, to reconnect and reestablish with each other. In my quest I decided I’d do it! I was over searching the internet for photos of “Happy Black Women.” I was over looking for Black Yoga Teachers, teaching black students. I was over trying to promote my Girlfriends Givings with no photos of my girlfriends. I was exhausted looking for Black Gypsies, Goddesses, and Healers. I said… Fuck it! You do it! You go out and create the photos, and the images you want to see.

#GypsyYogaMamaTribe was born. I didn’t pay anyone, I didn’t beg anyone and I didn’t trick anyone. I didn’t ask any insta-celebreties. I just created the tribe I dreamed of! Right where I am, with love, honesty, and passion. These ladies all found me, and I found them. Our relationships are real. We’ve cried together, laughed together, grown together, and practiced together. We are real. Real mothers, daughters, friends, business owners, students, nurses, teachers, wives, girlfriends, dancers, creators, healers, witches, gypsies, goddesses, and Black Women. I want girls to see women who look like them. I want my daughters to know we do everything! We are everywhere! In every studio, every school, every business, every job, every city, in every shade and every size. I’m over creating wealth for neighborhoods that I don’t live in. I’m over teaching in studios that only hired me to fill a quota. I’m over supporting businesses that don’t support my people. I’m over it. It is 2019 and it is now time to stop acting like you don’t notice the bullshit that’s being spoon fed to the people. I opened my own studio because I was simply tired of being the only Black chick in the room. I was tired of walking into a studio with a $120 mat on my back, and the front desk girl who just started taking classes a week ago asking me if I’ve ever done this before? I desired to build a space where we could come, and be free to practice, listen to funky beats, and maybe say a few fucks in a yoga class. I wanted to build a tribe that would become a family. I believe I’m well on my way. I may do this and never be rich, famous, or even thanked and I’m okay with that. Being the poor righteous teacher. Because I know some of us must walk alone, so that the tribe can thrive. We have to work together to build a solid foundation. Not just for yourself, but for your children, our children, our ancestors, and our lineage. Sometimes being an outcast is a must to create something new. I’m cool with rocking the boat, because even though I can’t swim, I know my tribe won’t let me drown. Can you say the same thing?

By Briana

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