5 Reasons Black Women Need Yoga

November 2, 2011  |  

One hundred years ago when Madonna announced that she maintained her svelte body through yoga, I was intrigued. I was probably on my second child (I think) by then, milking myself like a dairy cow, and was a bit worried my body wouldn’t snap back as easily as it did the first time, because nobody’s that lucky, right?

Turns out I was wrong. I didn’t get my pre-pregancy body back. I got one better. My waist continued to shrink but I was still able to cling to my curves. I was wondering why everybody and their mama wasn’t doing it.  When my mother asked me what I was doing to keep “streamlined,” as she calls it, I told her of the ancient Indian exercise ritual, and the news was not well received. She said something about holy water and I could have sworn I saw the hard-cover Bible whizzing by my head.

I only exaggerate… a little. My mother, one of the pennies in the house of Creflo Dollar, was concerned that I might be converting. “Daughter, don’t you know all that chanting invites the debbil?” I mentioned that she misunderstood yoga for Buddism, but she pretty much said “Same difference. Please stop, Christelyn. I want you to go to Heaven so I can nag your arse all over the Pearly Gates and the Yellow Brick Road.”

I looked at her, in all her Fruit-of-the-Loom apple glory, and thought, she could use as few down and up dogs. She has high blood pressure, diabetes and most recently, a brush with breast cancer. Also “blessed” with the proclivity to morph into a Red Delicious of Figi, I am a bit paranoid about the deep, viseral fat that wraps itself around the vital organs of the body, causing a host of ailments and diseases like the three my mother suffers from. I’ll make it plain: Black women need yoga. Here’s five reasons why.

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