This Baltimore Yoga Instructor Wants To Teach Black Men The Importance of Holistic Health

By Posted on 68 3 m read

If you’re into yoga, then I’m sure you’re aware of the great mental and physical health benefits associated with the ancient Hindu practice. It decreases stress, relieves anxiety, fights depression, can improve heart health, and more. It is something that everyone, both men and women, is highly encouraged to participate in.

After suffering from a heart condition that he says forced him to transform his lifestyle, Changa Bell started to use yoga as a way to improve his physical and mental health. He grew up watching his father do yoga, but it wasn’t until he suffered a major health infraction that Bell turned to the yoga studio to “save his own life.”

“I was raised in the ’80s and yoga was totally not the cool things to do, but I always grew up having yoga as a part of my life,” the 46-year-old Baltimore native tells PEOPLE. “I had a major health infraction and I wanted to do better. I needed to turn my life around. I was in the yoga studio to save my own life.”

Bell began to take yoga seriously, eventually becoming a certified instructor. As a way to encourage fellow black men to find the same healing he did by practicing yoga, Changa Bell created the Black Male Yoga Initiative (BMYI) in 2015. He says one of the reasons he founded the organization was to create a space where black men didn’t feel out of place.

“A major factor was my own personal discomfort in yoga studios. I didn’t feel anybody cared about whether I was there or not. It seemed like I was being judged over my appearance and I didn’t fit the mold,” Bell admits. “I just didn’t want others to feel that way. And once I did indeed get myself better, I wanted to make sure other men didn’t feel the same way I did. I wanted to create a space where they could be themselves and be better.”

Within the last year or two, the conversation surrounding mental health in the black community has become a very hot topic. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health issues than the general population, including depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. We are also at greater risk for societal circumstances that increase the risk of mental illness, such as homelessness and exposure to violence. Bell admits that it’s not easy to persuade black men to take on yoga.

“It’s still a work in progress,” says Bell. “Getting men to follow you as a yogi is hard, so I have to model the lifestyle. I just try to stay centered and be who I am and that resonates with people. I show that it’s okay to love openly, it’s okay to love yourself. It’s really modeling this openness and ability to grow spiritually that I think really resonates.”

Since starting BMYI in 2015, Changa Bell has been able to encourage dozens of black men to attend his yoga classes and hopes to help at least 1,000 Black men become licensed yoga instructors.

According to PEOPLE, Bell now travels around the country teaching and talking about the importance of holistic health. The loved ones of those he has been able to reach says they’ve seen positive changes in their partners both mentally and physically.

“I’ve seen changes in their emotions,” Bell said. “They’ve talked to us about changes in their home life, in terms of literally being ‘different people.’ Sometimes their wives will come in and say, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep on doing it!’ Right now it’s been a lot of emotions, mood, and anger management changes for the positive!”

  • Linkedin Oliver Isaacs
    May 21, 2019

    I have learned some important things through your blog post post. One other point I would like to state is that there are numerous games in the marketplace designed particularly for preschool age small children. They include things like pattern recognition, colors, animals, and models. These usually focus on familiarization rather than memorization. This will keep little kids occupied without sensing like they are learning. Thanks

  • 야마토릴게임
    May 21, 2019

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

  • healthy eating fruit
    May 21, 2019

    I am only commenting to let you know what a extraordinary discovery my friend’s princess experienced reading your webblog. She realized plenty of things, which included what it’s like to have a great helping mood to make the others really easily gain knowledge of specified advanced subject matter. You truly did more than her expected results. Thanks for showing the warm and helpful, trustworthy, educational not to mention fun tips on the topic to Kate.

  • double bitcoin
    May 21, 2019

    You have noted very interesting details! ps decent website.

  • Free MP3 Downloads
    May 21, 2019

    I am now not sure the place you are getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend a while learning much more or understanding more. Thank you for magnificent information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  • voblerone
    May 21, 2019

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  • hello there and thanks on your info – I have definitely picked up something new from right here. I did then again expertise several technical issues using this web site, as I skilled to reload the website a lot of occasions previous to I may just get it to load properly. I had been considering in case your web hosting is OK? No longer that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances occasions will very frequently impact your placement in google and can damage your high-quality rating if advertising and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot extra of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you replace this again very soon..

  • Troy Koubek
    May 22, 2019

    I will right away snatch your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me know in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  • затворы sung do
    May 22, 2019

    I have noticed that online degree is getting well-liked because obtaining your degree online has become a popular solution for many people. A large number of people have not really had a chance to attend an established college or university nonetheless seek the increased earning possibilities and a better job that a Bachelor’s Degree offers. Still other individuals might have a qualification in one field but would want to pursue anything they already have an interest in.

  • I simply couldn’t depart your web site before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard information an individual supply in your visitors? Is gonna be again regularly to investigate cross-check new posts.

  • W88
    May 22, 2019

    I really enjoy reading through on this internet site, it holds fantastic content. “Never fight an inanimate object.” by P. J. O’Rourke.

  • 토토사이트 추천
    May 22, 2019

    Thanks , I have recently been looking for information approximately this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered so far. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  • impact windows
    May 23, 2019

    I genuinely enjoy looking at on this web site , it contains great posts . “Dream no small dreams. They have no power to stir the souls of men.” by Victor Hugo.

    May 23, 2019

    I believe you have remarked some very interesting details , regards for the post.

  • 토토사이트
    May 23, 2019

    You are my breathing in, I own few web logs and often run out from to post .

  • I believe that avoiding prepared foods is a first step in order to lose weight. They will often taste fine, but packaged foods have got very little nutritional value, making you eat more in order to have enough strength to get with the day. For anyone who is constantly feeding on these foods, transitioning to whole grains and other complex carbohydrates will make you to have more strength while eating less. Great blog post.

    May 23, 2019

    I must express my admiration for your generosity supporting folks that need help with this important content. Your real dedication to passing the message all through appears to be certainly important and has consistently encouraged others much like me to attain their targets. This insightful useful information indicates a whole lot a person like me and a whole lot more to my office colleagues. Best wishes; from everyone of us.

  • Thanks – Enjoyed this article, can you make it so I get an alert email whenever you publish a new post?

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *