To be a Black woman in fitness is often to be the only one. Sure, diversity equity and inclusion may be among the buzziest of buzzwords this year, but for Black women fitness leaders like Deja Riley and Pilin Anice taking up space in a very white fitness world isn’t new. It also hasn’t been easy. Still, it’s a cause both women have been dedicated to for years.
Pilin Anice knows how important representation is for women and especially women of color. Anice’s first experience with yoga was at the renowned historically Black institution— Howard University. A truly unique introduction into the space of wellness, Anice remembers, “My first yoga class was at Howard University and I was taught by a black woman. So the practice was always something that I saw as accessible. Even when I got to New York and saw that there weren’t a lot of people of color [and] I would be the only black person in my class. I never felt like the practice wasn’t for me. I think it was because of that introduction of having my first teacher be a black woman.”
Representation or the lack of it in the wellness space has a huge impact because it literally affects the health and well-being of those less visible. Anice works every day to create an inclusive experience for other Black and brown women around the globe as a yoga instructor with the Mirror app and as a global ambassador for lululemon. As an ERYT- 500, yoga, dance, meditation, and wellness expert, Anice wants to create space for other black women and women of color to see themselves in yoga and to bring them into this healing practice to support their overall health and wellness.
But most women of color across the US, never see themselves exemplified as the standard of beauty and certainly not as the pinnacle of fitness. But that is beginning to change more and more with women like Deja Riley and the latest lululemon campaign. (more)