A Sept 15 yoga class in Brooklyn focused on a very specific demographic – women with curls. And curves. The Yoga to the Curvy Curly Facebook page described the event as “a free, open to the public, 4-hour, weekend day event of yoga, well-being, and hair care activities for women of the Curvy body & Curly hair community.”
As The Brooklyn Paper reports:
The Fort Greene-based classes — which are open to curly-haired women of all races but widely attended by women of color — combine postures that purportedly help hair follicles, such as a standing head-to-knee pose, with tips about what to do with your ’do before, during, and after a yoga session.
“A lot of ethnic girls are worried about ‘sweating out’ their hair — it can be a real mental block,” said instructor Natalie Cosby. “We’re helping them get past that.”
Cosby’s “Yoga to the Curvy Curly” classes, which debuted last week in Fort Greene Park, also seek to bust through the stereotype that yoga is reserved for ladies with “perfect” bodies.
Personally, I didn’t realize that there were yoga postures that had an affect on hair follicles. But I’m all for anything that helps women get over blockages to both yoga practice and self-acceptance.
Apparently this first class, which was offered free of charge and attracted 75 people, also included “a discussion about natural hair products, wrapping hair for class, and getting over the ‘mental barriers’ associated with physical appearance.” The panel discussion was made up of a yoga teacher/visual artist, a make-up artist and hair stylist.
The event seemed geared towards budding “yoganistas,” rather than future yoga revolutionaries. It also made me wonder: does an event like this provide a more comfortable entry point to yoga than something like Yoga for Brown Girls or other efforts to create inclusive studio spaces?
Either way, it’s a step towards the vision that Anna Guest-Jelly puts forward in her recent post, When More Curvy People Practice Yoga.