After returning from India, and being fully entranced in yoga, I embraced the yogic lifestyle. I had a solid daily yoga practice and I was a successful yoga teacher. My practice of Yoga and meditation was feeding me physically and spiritually, I was conscious of my health and habits, speech, and even the company I kept. My relationship to my body, mind and spirit grew deeper; yet at the same time I was becoming aware of my growing need for meaningful exploration of my life, my work, and my truth.
One day while browsing in my favorite bookstore, I happened upon a book with a curious title, Sisters of the Yam. It was the red cover I noticed first. The cover featured a photograph of a black woman walking away from us. Her strong back sashaying in a loosely fitted white dress, her hair blowing wild and free. I instantly felt a primal connection to this woman. She appeared to be floating, yet solidly grounded there bearing a silver water pitcher in one hand, and a plastic water bottle in the other, a juxtaposition of vessels. And I was moved. She was me and every woman of color attempting to balance life. I sat in the book store and read half of the book before I actually paid for it.
In Sisters of the Yam, author, Bell Hooks, examines a black woman's need for healing and self examination. She invites her black female university students suffering from depression, disconnection and other social problems into what I call a healing circle. A place where black women can come together to support each others growth, challenges and healing. I discovered, even with my years of intensive yoga study, practice and the healthful living choices and changes I had made, I was missing a connection to nurture, sustain and support my personal growth.
I decided then and there to create the sacred Sister Connection for myself and other women of color. This connection would provide an opportunity to unite as we shared our emotions and feelings openly and honestly, a place where we could explore yoga and other holistic approaches for our health and well being, a politically safe arena where we could deal with and dialogue about racism and its impact, and a sacred space where we could rest and renew. Voila, the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color was born.
Read more about the Sister Connection and the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color.
What I Believe