Life Decolonizing the Black Male Body Through Yoga

Decolonizing the Black Male Body Through Yoga


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As a boy, especially a black boy, the policing of your body begins as soon as you’re taught that you are a boy.

Boys walk this way and girls walk that way.

Boys can’t switch their hips.

Boys can’t roll their backs.

Boys can’t move their bodies like girls can.

man practicing yoga

To move the black-boy body untethered to the stiff, oppressive weight of hyper masculinity is to move like a girl, which, in our heteronormative, misogynistic society, means moving your body inconsistent with that of a straight man.

Men, so our toxically masculine world teaches us, are to essentially move as physically unattuned creatures whose limbs don’t relax or move gracefully. Thank God I liberated myself from that imprisoning mindset after I finished my first vinyasa class more than a year ago. For me, yoga isn’t merely about flexing my muscles into positions that are unexplored—it’s much more. When my feet touch the mat, it is an act of resistance. An act of loving myself enough to move in a way that feels good, no matter how much it clashes with misconstrued gender norms.

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