As long as I remember, mainstream media has fed us an image of what a “yogi” is supposed to be—a skinny, athletic, affluent white woman dressed in head-to-toe Lululemon. These are the same stereotypes I encountered as a ballerina in Chicago in the 90s-2000s. How many black dancers or yogis can you name besides Misty Copeland or Jessamyn Stanley? It’s so shocking as the practice of yoga originated in India. That’s why I’m excited to host  ELEVATE to bring inclusive wellness and yoga to every body.

inclusive wellness elevate with melissa chataigne

Like many other women of color in Los Angeles, I’m the only black yogi in most of my classes. Also, being a woman with curves, I’m mostly the thickest woman in the room. It doesn’t bother me as I celebrate my healthy body, but most women of color and curvy clients refuse to join me at hot yoga. So how do you engage community when you don’t fit the mold? You create your own SPACE. I decided to expand mission to promote body positivity by receiving my RYT 200 certification last May and launched SPACE (part of MAKING SPACE) a monthly circle for women all women to experience yoga in a comfortable environment. ELEVATE is a day of wellness retreat in partnership with Eighth Light Yoga to bring you yoga, meditation, reiki, infusion shots, journaling, spirituals readings, massage, essential oils and more.

ELEVATE invites all bodies, abilities and levels to join us on the mat. Leave thoughts of how you feel or look at the door and cultivate self-compassion while connecting to you body to elevate your life off the mat. Feel empowered with a non-judgmental “come as you are” heart-opening yoga flow with a live DJ to inspire. You will leave with actionable tools that will help you feel inspired, refreshed and connected to a vibrant community of like-minded change-makers.

elevate inclusive wellness and yoga

I encourage you to attend ELEVATE if:

  • You desire a retreat-like experience but have limited with time and resources.
  • You would like to connect and explore inclusive wellness with like-minded people in a safe and supportive space.
  • Have felt intimidated by yoga and want to try
  • You feel stuck in certain areas of your life and and you are ready to discover wellness aids and support to move forward.
  • You are a person of color, plus-sized and identify as a man or woman. It’s for EVERY BODY!

So will I see you at ELEVATE on February 23rd? Tickets start at $28 and everyone receives a self-care gift bag!


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