On Talk of the Bay December 22, 2020 Christine Barrington interviews local yoga teacher, Zac Brown, about being Black in the world of Yoga. Zac brings sensitivity, compassion and wisdom to explorations around philosophy of Yoga and what it means to be free when so many suffer. He asks all to consider: Are we at peace, or are we privileged?
How one experiences Santa Cruz depends upon the lens through which we view life. For many, Santa Cruz is perceived as extraordinarily liberal, and with that comes an identity of being open, inclusive, and on the right side of social justice. For some, this may be an accurate reflection of their experience in our region. However, scratch the surface and the reality is much more complex. Zac shines a light on an aspect of this complexity through his own experiences in our region as a Black man, a leader, and a teacher within the rich yoga community that makes up an influential facet of our local culture.
Zac Brown teaches with the Ashtanga Yoga institute at the Pacific Cultural Center’s and has lived in Santa Cruz for 5 years. Highlighted in this interview are three communities that create safe and healing communal learning spaces dedicated to the Black experience.
Black Men Bend This Facebook group “was created to include black men in the conversation in regards to yoga. they are ALWAYS left out. The founder thought it would be brilliant to get a bunch of dope ass black men together to spread the word about black male yogis.” (From the Facebook page) IG Link for Black Men Bend
Black Boys OM This facebook group features 200+Black Male Yogis For the Culture of Engaging Community Wellbeing World Wide. (From the Facebook page). You can also visit blackboysom.org
Black to Yoga is an Oakland-based yoga community with online classes available. “Black to Yoga exists to bring the transformational power of yoga to Black people of the Afrikan Diaspora. We seek to develop a deeper representation of Black yogis within the larger yoga community, both as teachers as well as students.” (From the Black to Yoga website)