Wellness Wednesday: Black Girl in Om

TheSoulFlowYogi2

My sister-friend and yogi inspiration, Deaundra Audrey Cash (@thesoulflowyogi), is an incredible yoga instructor at Core Power Yoga in Decatur, GA. Photo taken by @hboshotit.

A few weeks ago, I shared a list of my favorite podcasts and destination spots. Not too long after that post, a friend of mine pointed me towards another podcast, and I’ve been addicted ever since! Black Girl in Om is a new(ish) podcast and online publication dedicated to promoting wellness and building community and culture among women of color. Co-hosts Lauren Ash (Founder), Zakkiyyah Najeebah, and Deun Ivory (Art Director) post almost weekly episodes that both empower and inform women of color on various ways they can and should practice self-care. In a world that very rarely shows Black girls any love, each episode celebrates Black sisterhood and provides a safe space that encourages me (and I hope women and young girls who look like me) to not only be my true self, but also–and more importantly–to simply love who I am and the skin I’m in, and to do so unapologetically.

Listening to the podcast and reading through the online materials brings me back to the best and most affirming four years of my life when I was a student at Spelman College, a Historically Black College for women in Atlanta, GA. Nothing can make you more empowered, more self-aware, and more authentically you than being surrounded by strong, creative, grounded, intelligent, confident, and complex beautiful Black women. I graduated from college seven years ago and now have to work hard to find a similar collective, but Black Girl in Om does a good job of filling in those gaps when my sister-friends aren’t readily available (sidenote: I miss my sister-friends).

Because I’m about to embark on a new chapter of my life and begin work that I anticipate will be important and meaningful, but also filled with stress, anxiety, and great emotional, mental, and physical difficulty, Black Girl in Om serves another great purpose in inspiring me to discover ways I can be more intentional about how I take care of myself. I’m looking forward to really learning yoga as I imagine that would be a wonderful way to reflect on my daily experiences and connect with myself in a more purposeful way. This is just the start of what Black Girl in Om has now unlocked for me, and as I listen and learn more, I look forward to cultivating more self-care strategies in the near future.

While both the podcast and online publication examine various topics like skin care regimens, spiritual life, and yoga (obviously), you can narrow down topics on the website to find the type of wellness advice you’re specifically seeking: mind, body, soul, and space. What makes Black Girl in Om so unique is its emphasis on the Black female experience, especially one that refutes stereotypes and demonstrates diversity within. Lauren, Zakkiyyah, and Deun also tackle issues and share advice on areas that are oftentimes ignored, especially within the Black community like mental illness, therapy, DIY natural remedies, veganism, self-worth, identity, creativity, and travel. If you’re looking to get away from the screen, Lauren even curates and guides monthly yoga, meditation, and reflection sessions in Chicago. For more on Black Girl in Om, take a look at their website and subscribe to their podcast. Before you know it, you’ll be chanting “om” and falling in love with yourself in ways you never expected!

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