By Jesse Brooks
As African Americans continue to lead our nation in disproportionate rates of health disparities, it is time we look at our health in different ways and start to incorporate practices in our community, to promote better outcomes. Yoga means different things to different people. To some, it’s just an exercise to trim off a few pounds, to others it is a way of life and never ending happiness into an enlightened state. Whatever your motivation, it is definitely a health benefit, and worth a try. So if you love yoga or never tried yoga, come and experience “Soul Yoga Saturdays”. It’s part of an all new Fitness series at the Malonga Casquelourd Center in Oakland, and get this it’s free for the month of February! Make getting in shape your resolution for 2010. Their theme is, “fitness for the mind, body and soul”. So we’ve already missed two classes but still have a chance to catch the last two, February 20th, Tai Chi Chaun, led by instructor Terry Leo, and on the February 27th, the instructor will be Nikki Thomas, renown disc jockey of KBLX, 1029.9 morning’s radio show. Nikki will be leading a class in soul yoga. Nikki incorporates the sounds of neo-soul, jazz and R & B while taking the class through yoga positions that act upon various joints of the body, including those joints that are never really on the radar screen, let alone exercised.
Thomas became a instructor after a two-year training course with Niroga Institute which mission is to foster health, strengthen communities, and transforms lives through the practice of yoga. The Sanskrit word, Niroga means freedom from disease.. The purpose is to bring this transformative life skill to those who might not ordinarily have access to these practices. One requirement of graduates are to give back to the community. Thomas graduated in 2009. “My first yoga experience was back in 2000, when I lived in Buffalo, New York”, says Thomas, “there I tried a hour long yoga tape, and got hooked, finding myself stretching places in my body, I had forgotten was there”.
Yoga is one healthy activity that can be enjoyed by all. Get up bright and early Saturday morning on the 27th and join Nikki in getting our community healthy, one person at a time.
Malonga Caquelord Center located at 1428 Alice St. (Studio E) Oakland; (childcare available at a low price of $5.00, where the children will enjoy all sorts of activities).
Starting in March each class will be $10.00. Nikki’s soul yoga will be monthly.
For more info go to thenikkithomasnetwork.com