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Embracing Your Fears Through Yoga
Wellness
Published Thursday Jun 21, 2018 by Georgina Marie

Embracing Your Fears Through Yoga

Yoga
Personal Growth

In June, my guiding mantra is “great things never came from comfort zones.” This holds true when starting, maintaining and growing through a yoga practice—especially when you enter into the wonderful world of yoga with fear, nervousness or insecurity. I know this feeling all too well. Two and a half years later, I now understand that fear does not need to be an action that holds us back, but rather one that springs us forward.
 
Before yoga, I was stuck in a toxic, long-term relationship. I was plagued with stress, depression and felt disconnected. My relationship, along with many other life factors, became a weight I was obligated to carry around, leading to an overwhelming feeling of stagnation. I needed to take action, or I knew my life would never improve, and my body would ultimately suffer. My first step towards personal recovery: yoga.
 
One day, I found a local Iyengar studio in my hometown. Starting with a beginner’s class, I was unsure how I would feel and if I would fit in, especially as a woman with a larger body. Yoga is only for fit people, right? I was worried about how I would appear to others, if I could handle certain poses, if I would fall…or fail?
 
That first class changed me. After years of neglect and disconnect, being in a yoga class where I was immediately forced to find my connection—even with some discomfort or tension as I settled into new ways of moving my body—was exactly what I needed at that phase in my life. Sometimes we stay right where we are, no matter the pain because we fear change. But in yoga I found change and fear to be synonymous with strength. I faced my fear and guess what? I didn’t fail. I blossomed. 
 
I practiced Iyengar for a few weeks before I found and fell in love with vinyasa, which is all about heat, flow, and heart-racing movement. I have also since practiced Bikram, restorative, Buti and aerial yoga, but my heart is in vinyasa. No matter the yoga class, I have practiced with people of all shapes, sizes, and ages and there was never any judgment. I learned quickly that yoga is not discriminatory. It is for everyone. It is for every body
 
Each instructor I’ve encountered since beginning yoga always inspires me with the same message: If we fall, we get back up (and we do fall in yoga, many times); we bend so we don’t break. Fear ultimately has the potential to turn into motivation, rather than a setback. By accepting this truth on the mat, I changed how I handle situations outside of the studio—trusting myself to face what I am afraid of. But this doesn’t mean life, or our yoga practice becomes easier.
 
Less than a month after finding yoga, I gained the courage to end my relationship. An incredibly significant, scary, and courageous decision that I couldn’t have done without learning what I did from my yoga practice. Don’t get me wrong, there are still moments of discomfort and weakness, but focusing my mindset on embracing fear shifts my ability to handle the hardships that come my way. Don’t be afraid to jump! Let yourself fall, and you’ll find that you do get back up. May your practice lead you to the fearless warrior you are inside.
 
Namaste.

Georgina Marie
Written by
Georgina Marie
Contributor
About the author
Georgina is a poet from Lake County, CA. Working with a community nutrition program serving low-income families, Georgina also volunteers for a non-profit animal shelter. She enjoys dancing, hiking, painting, practicing vinyasa yoga and spending lazy Sundays in bed with her two dogs and cat.
black-owned beauty and wellness businesses
Beauty
Published Sunday Jan 30, 2022 by Denise Prichard

Black-owned Beauty and Wellness Businesses to Know

February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society.  As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.  

While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support. 

1. Beauty Bin 

Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.  
 

2. KIKA Stretch Studio  

The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.

3. Kimberly Coleman Salon 

At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads. 

4. Pressed Roots 

Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.  

5. SW3AT  

Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins. 

6. The TEN Nail Bar 

Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days. 

7. Bettye O Day Spa 

Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.  

Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well! 

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Senior Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.