When I first began this journey, I had no idea where it would lead. I simply knew it intuitively felt right. I was drawn to yoga and meditation. The more I learned and was exposed, the more I wanted to know. Here I am on this journey for a second time after abandoning my practice for several years during a time I probably needed it most. As I exceeded my previous, heaviest weight, I knew that I had to do something for my own well being. I knew yoga would jump start everything I needed to get back to living a healthy and meaningful life. I began by slowing incorportaing a daily practice into my life. As I became more aware on my mat, I became more aware of all of my choices each day, from how I interacted with my children, to how schooled them, to how I ate, and desired movement/activity for my body. I have lost 55 lbs through diet and exercise but yoga was the catalyst. I have maintained a regular home practice for 16 months and my growth although visible on the mat has mostly been off the mat. I knew in 2010 this journey was taking me to a place I couldn't even imagine but I allowed fear to hold me back. Since I began my regular practice again in 2016, different opportunities to meet and network with some pretty amazing people, have fallen on my lap. I am learning to tune in to the ones that are meant for me. I have begun this Melanin & Yoga journey with a dear friend and we are excited to see what this journey will grow into for us and our families but most importantly for the communities of which we came from. The ones who need it most, the communities that are underserved and underpriveledged. The ones no one seems to care about. Those are the communities we want to impact through the practice of yoga, by empowering them with the benefits of self care, by providing them community gardens so that they have access to 'real' inexpensive foods, by promoting self care, acceptance and love through the principles of yoga, meditation and a helathy lifestyle in order ot promote better choices, community, and hope.