First, I want to say thank you for doing this. It’s so awesome that you’re helping people get their message out there. You’re also allowing me to take a moment to be introspective. I’m Jermil. I’ve lived in 2 countries besides the US. I created BlackYogaSuperstars.com. And these days, one thing that I’m thinking about is, when I’m thinking about someone, how do I know it isn’t really them thinking about me???
When and why did you start black yoga superstars?
I started BlackYogaSuperstars.com in February of 2014, a year ago now! Wow. Here’s why I created the website… I’m a black male and I’m into yoga. But based on my experience with yoga, I’m one of the few black people who have even heard of yoga. So I wanted to have one website with millions of pictures, videos, and personal experiences from black people on Earth who do yoga. One day I’ll start MoonPeopleYogaSuperstars.com.
When did you first fall in love with yoga?
A few years ago, I wanted to workout regularly but I didn’t want to do anything hard. I knew that yoga was flexible and versatile. I could get great benefits from yoga no matter how much or how little I did, as long as I did it consistently.
Who are your yoga inspirations?
I get really inspired by scrolling on BlackYogaSuperstars for just a few seconds and seeing that while I’m on the computer, there’s people out there doing what they said they were going to do. One in particular on instagram is of course JWerd, herself, as well @beautifullygrinding. She’s always finding a way to squeeze yoga into her life no matter what else is going on. Another that I check into every so often is @movinglights. She’s always doing challenges and now she’s challenged me to do a challenge. Challenge accepted!
How long have you been doing yoga and where do you see it taking you?
I’ve been doing yoga off and on since 2007. I actually see me taking yoga wherever I go. I know yoga will be a part of everything I do. I believe yoga will help constantly remind me of my greater purpose to help myself and others in any way that I can and to infuse that into every aspect of my life.
What’s your favorite yoga pose?
Camel pose is one of my favorites. That rarely comes up in a yoga class unless I specifically ask for it. The first time I did camel pose in a bikram yoga class, it opened my shoulders up like nothing before. Upward facing bow pose is another recent favorite. I was in a class and the teacher focused on me during that pose and got me to go further than I ever thought possible. I’m really into backbends.
What’s the most difficult pose for you right now?
I’m working on the splits. I remember a time when touching my toes was impossible in my mind. Now I can touch my toes effortlessly. Right now, the splits are like that. I want to see how long it takes for impossible to become effortless again.
What changes have you noticed about yourself since starting yoga?
- I have more flexibility than ever.
- I want to spend less of my day sitting and more of it bending, stretching, and jumping.
- I know how to stretch out any part of my body that’s bothering me.
- I feel taller. I must have grown another inch just by learning how to stand up straight with my shoulders back.
- I’m able to focus for longer periods of time.
- I don’t take things as seriously because I know the real trouble comes when I’m practicing headstands tonight.
How do you feel as a man in this female dominated industry?
I thought about that a lot when I was first starting. I went to yoga studios a lot in the beginning and I’ve been in so many rooms filled with sweaty women. After being in that for a while, it became like anything else. It didn’t matter. It became more about the yoga itself and not about anyone else in the class. It could be a room full of Vanessa Williams’s and it wouldn’t really matter, until class was over.
Any advice to anyone thinking of getting into yoga?
I like to suggest people go straight to youtube and try it out. If it’s something they are excited to do pretty regularly, then stick with it. But if it becomes like painting or writing or travelling or something else from the list of things to get around to one day, then leave it alone and keep searching for what you’re really into. It might be yoga. It might be the violin, growing your own vegetables, or making stencils out of your friends’ faces and spray painting them all over your city. Whatever it is, do it in your own unique way until there’s nothing left!
I repeat! IT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN. Shortest month of the year, other people stop and pretend to pay homage to the backs this country was built on. For your listening, and reading pleasure I am going to spit facts and new ideas to truly open your mind. I hope you enjoy my first feature. A writer named Prentice Powell performs, “The System” and because I love ya’ll so much I took the time to transcribe the entire poem myself. Enjoy!
we live in a system that was designed for us to fail.
a system that will tell you no matter how wonderful, how fantastic, how great you think you are…. there is no “you.”
there is only who I want you to be.
from your latest cell phones to the styles seen in your most recent videos, to my implementation of what you call “swag”
if you can’t brag about how many women you have or the $200 denim on your butt, you are worthless
your purse is not hot if it is a fall edition and we are in the winter
and as long as your kids has Jordans on their feet, it is ok if they have to eat top ramen for a week for dinner,
your check is in the mail
you fail at becoming grown men so you don’t bother with your younger ones
give them to me, I’ll program them to Viacom
have them growing up with a single mom and no males to emulate
and wonder why so many begin to have extensive rap sheets and ADD with no off switch
and download a defense that is nothing but false self confidence shown through them being overly aggressive
your misguided women want nothing but diamonds and Fendi,
or dreams of finding a professional athlete to pay for their lives because to them being a wife is not a lifestyle
it is trendy
trendy to have life a little black dog carried around in a bag
the demasculinization of your black man is going according to plan
flip flip the coin and for those who have chose not to go down that road
make sure that any statement they make that may challenge their masculinity
are followed by statements of insecurity
we can’t have them thinking for themselves
program dreams to be a mirage
close enough to see, yet too far to reach
set their aesthetics to pathetic aka camoflauge,
allow them to blend in
Downtown corners full of rappers who refuse to give up
even though their stuff sucks
but will allow them to say their peace, at the very least it will allow them a quick buck
anymore success initiate Operation: Exploitation
throw them a bit more cash
I am, I Am The System
programmed to initiate commands
you Negros :ERROR: you people are programmed not to ask
you are nothing more than empty vessels who have sold their souls a long time go
and you call me robotics
I am the System
systematically to just do
you are systematically set to just do and not think
and you call me robotic
:ERROR: redundancy :ERROR: repeat, :ERROR: redundancy, pardon me
I was scanning your culture’s current popular music
you want a cop to pay for killing one of you
but carry a “no snitching” policy
in your own community
which allows, which allows, which allows, which allows, which allows
you negros, :ERROR: you negros, :ERROR: YOU NEGROS, :ERROR: you people to have absolutely no accountability
I re-OVERLOAD. RESET.
I am the S-S-S-System
Systematically set to des-sensitize your sen-senses to sen-senseless activity, and s-surround your society
Simultaneously, making you love me while sh-sh-shaking in your boots
and for those who dare to overthrow me
allow me to remind thee
’tis I who provide you with the land and seeds
you use to grow your little grassroots
I am The System