Representation matters: finding diversity in wellness
“Keep showing up…”
This is what I often told myself every time I walked into a yoga studio, wellness event, fitness class, meditation workshop, or any other health promoting space. I look around the room and I do not see myself, it can get frustrating and discouraging. I would think that maybe I was different and that maybe those spaces weren’t for people that looked like me. I know now that is completely false and black women’s need to find wellness activities is literally a matter of life or death.
Black women have disproportional rates of heart disease and stroke. Why you may ask? Diet, stress, and lack of exercise play a role in those numbers. There is a lot of focus on how to treat the disease but not a lot on how to prevent it. Incorporating wellness into your life can change those outcomes.
Start showing up to wellness spaces, you are not only doing it for your well being but you may not know the impact that you have on another POC. You may have given that person the courage to try out that meditation class after work or book that package at a yoga retreat. The more diverse representation that is present, the more “normalized” it will be in the black community and generations will be impacted!
If you are still hesitant, don’t be afraid to ask a friend and/or create your own fitness tribe. A few years ago, I was thinking about how I wanted to find people to attend fitness classes with when I didn’t want to go alone. I downloaded the Meet Up app and the rest was history. I found a Meet Up group where I could attend fitness classes/events with other black women. This was an amazing experience because I found some really awesome people that I’ve formed friendships with and it gave me accountability to meet my fitness goals! Most importantly, it taught me that I wasn’t alone in my pursuit of wellness and there were other POC like me that love yoga.
Today I encourage you to keep showing up and bring a friend too! Representation matters.