Dara Brown, MPH, E-RYT 500

“Black people don’t do yoga.”

Dara Brown. Yoga Teacher in Columbia, SC.

Dara Brown. Yoga Teacher in Columbia, SC.

Photo courtesy of David Asiamah. asiamahphotography.com

Photo: David Asiamah

I  remember the first time I heard those words from someone’s mouth (they were quoting someone else but still…). I was never one to fit in a box or follow other people’s expectations so was not horribly swayed by the statement.

In fact, it drove me to my mat more.

I began practicing in my early years of college as a way to counter my gym workout crazed tendencies. Soon I found myself going to the gym just to do a yoga class to deal with the everyday stresses – school, crazy family life, and the physical effects of hours spent in a weight room. That time on my mat was the beginning of a lifelong relationship.

I have consistently practiced yoga, wellness, and health related teachings and methods since that time and have dedicated my entire career to helping people get healthier.  I often say, “On my mat, I can be me, really me. No need for a facade.  I have learned on my mat, that if I do something ‘wrong,’ I do not have to feel guilty. I simply choose to correct it. Through this I have found confidence in my ability to speak with more clarity…to listen with more than just my ears…to have more patience with others. (Ok, still working on that last part).”

Photo: David Asiamah Photography.

Today, I’m certified and formerly licensed in Anusara yoga and have specialty training in adaptive yoga.  I try to teach with passion – sharing my own struggles and triumphs on and off the mat, and humor – who doesn’t need to laugh? I also use relatable examples that everyone can apply to life so that their practice doesn’t end with the end of class. I do my best to encourage people to celebrate each triumph, no matter how small. I love to share yoga with anyone, whether in a class, at a retreat, a charity function, or on the street. It never bores me to share how yoga poses mirror everyday life and invites you to be fully you.

Photos Courtesy of David Asiamah Photography asiamphotography.com