Tierra Briscoe

I am Tierra B!! I have been practicing yoga since 2008. I am a free spirited being, lover of all things amazing and soulful. I love to eat, travel, and do yoga of course… I’m just me. A learner, still on a journey to my higher being. 

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Preferred Yoga Style: Vinyasa flow
Age:  27 & blessed
Random fact/favorite movie or book or word, food etc. :

My favorite movie is state property (don’t judge me lol, its one of my favorites), I love pineapples, tea, harry potter, traveling, eating good and the fewer clothes on my body, the happier I am!

City: PG County, MD currently residing in District Heights

Yogini on the Mat

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What made you start practicing yoga? What brought you to it?  

I started practicing yoga in August 2008, at Penn State. I needed a gym credit and I did NOT want to take regular gym and play basketball and all that other stuff, so I saw yoga and thought this may be interesting so I registered for it. After that I fell in love, I had an amazing instructor and she really motivated me to take my practice seriously. It has been what motivates me. I'm humbled for my journey to say the least.
 
Did something occur in your in life?  

I wouldn’t say something specific happened in life. But I will say this I went through a shift in August 2015 that pushed me to dive deep back into my practice.

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What anchors your practice? Do you set an intention for yourself before you practice?

I think what anchors my practice is the grounding and the release I have when on my mat. I am literally in my security blanket when I practice. I set intentions for myself, as well, there is no specific one each time, it changes most of the time. I just make sure it’s intentional.

Tell me about your practice? Any aspects you'd like to share

My practice is still developing honestly, but I love to just flow based on how I'm feeling… I enjoy being free just like that’s exactly the vibe I like to give off in my classes. Just be you, come as you are, let everything out on the mat. 


What challenges have you faced while practicing Yoga?  Finding my niche. Just making sure my practice stays genuine and I am not out here teaching people because it seems cool. I really want to make sure I'm having an impact on others I come into contact with. 

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What has been the most changing aspect of your journey?
 Wow. I don’t know, I think when I decided to make a GoFund Me page to go to yoga teacher training. I remember I calculated how many days I would need off work to attend and how much leave I needed. I just took off work for 2 weeks and followed my dream. Being vulnerable is so scary man, but you have to get to a point where it’s like fuck it, go do it!!!

How your practice impacts other’s lives? 
Another great question! Like I am soooo soooo blessed all the feedback I have been getting the past year and a half honestly. Like it really means something when people say “you never know who is watching you,” also who you are affecting in your actions. The fact that people reach out to me to want to practice under me still amazes me because I am still very well on a journey of my own. I’m just humbled and blessed. lol, I don’t know what else to say but the love and feedback received from people are amazing. I am truly looking forward to this journey. 

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What are some things yoga has taught you about yourself/others?

It has taught me that your journey can go anywhere literally. Never live your life by specifically set expectations. Just be open and free. Show yourself, love. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many beautiful souls thus far. I can only imagine how it's going be this year.

How does Yoga make you feel?
——  while practicing, after, and generally

Yoga makes me feel free and refreshed. After I feel cool, the vibe you get from working out or whatever your favorite hobby is, that’s how I feel. I’m not satisfied but I am full. My yoga is my therapy. It's my outlet.

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A quote or phrase resonates with you and your practice

I created this during yoga teacher training (corny I know lol), but I always say this at the end of my practice and when I teach because I am so huge on self-care, self-love all that good shit!! It goes like this: 

"honor SELF
acknowledge SELF
have grace for SELF
check in on SELF
love SELF
accept SELF
embrace SELF
observe SELF
CREATE SPACE"
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The advice you have for new yogis/long time practitioners

(can be two different pieces of advice)

The advice I have for new yogis is: just explore!! Do not ever limit yourself to what you think you know. There is so much to learn and uncover. 
The advice I have for long time practitioners would be, keep motivating others like myself and peers to strive for our full potential of king and queendom. The glow up is so real!

How can someone alleviate hesitation to yoga?

I think someone can alleviate hesitation to yoga by just doing it. Don’t compare the idea of yoga to what you see on social media honestly. It’s so easy to get intimidated by what we see on social media so we unconsciously find ourselves comparing our journeys and progression to people who we don’t even know at all. I always tell everyone, your mat is just that, your space. Live in it, breath it, and just do the damn thing. Don’t focus on those around you. Everyone’s path is different. 

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How does yoga influence your specific mental health? overall wellness?

It influences my specific mental health as mentioned before my practice is my release. It keeps me sane, it keeps me focused you know. When I step on my mat or even when I'm just playing around doing some yoga things, I am in my own world. I feel comfortable in my element. It keeps me present and aware of my body, breath, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual being. 

What benefits have you found in yoga?

The benefits I have found in yoga have been spiritual, emotional, physical and mental honestly. My strength has built tremendously and I am just more aware of my being  But the benefits are there and I am still receiving them every time I practice. 

Favorite/ most challenging pose

As of now my favorite pose is chin stand (THANK YOU JARRICK!! Hahaha..) I just learned it lol, and the most challenging is pigeon (love/hate relationship)

 

Discuss

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 Black Yogi Stigmas

There are soooo many!! But the main one I hear is “I’m not flexible enough.” (grinds my gears, lol) but another thing is black people absolutely do NOT like to be vulnerable. Just the cue to close your eyes in a class is uncomfortable and I'm always reminding them this is a safe space, everyone is on the same plane and a vulnerable state as well.It is ok. Just be free and present. I just think due to all the stereotypes such as chanting, flexibility, and the practice itself is what drives people of color away. 

 Yoga, Black mental health & Wellness

 Mental health is the black community is taboo. We don’t believe in therapy lol and wellness of the mind. It isn’t funny, but these are the age-old ways of thinking because it is seen as a weakness when there is nothing wrong with seeking an outlet such as therapy. I think if some barriers are torn down that said stigma will slowly disappear.

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Yoga is a form of therapy and I have completed trauma yoga training and share my experience with others because trauma is so real and people need to be able to release and talk about such experiences. I know trauma, I teach from my experiences. Not from what may sound cool or be a trend at the moment. Yoga right now is a trend to me. Everyone is doing but it’s hard to find genuine instructors who truly care about their students. 

Body Image

Ohhh chile I can go all day with this one, lol. What you think about when you hear the word yoga? You think about skinny white women with washboard abs going to yoga class with their cute mats and outfits. The body image stereotype of a yogi is that you have to be super fit, skinny, highly flexible and able to do every single pose seen.

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Body image is so distorted that’s why a lot of people are intimidated because they feel they don’t belong honestly because what they see praised on social media and other platforms in physical fitness, not just yoga. 

How do you feel about the representation of black yogis?

It’s there, but uh not there. Did that sound right? Like there is a lot of black yogis, but not enough lol. Compared to the representation of other cultures you know. I think it is slowly growing though don’t get me wrong, but I definitely wish it were more and hopefully one day a bunch of us can link and have a super popping ass session. That would be epic as fuck.

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People of color do not have as many safe havens or aren't comfortable in some spaces to practice. My good soul sister Rachael Weathers started an amazingly beautiful and selfless movement for people to find safe haven yoga studios where they are not judged or biased against because of the color of their skin. This shit is so real man. At times like this, we need to work together more than anything. I appreciate Rachael for that man. She is so brave. 

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Tell a story/experience about something that’s happened good, bad, awkward, etc while you have been practicing yoga.  

That’s tough, I been practicing for years it seems. I think a cool experience would be when I taught 40 high school seniors from SEED. I was absolutely nervous. But they were so receptive and it was so cool to me man. That’s when I knew I was doing this for a reason. I'm just blessed honestly, I cannot reiterate that enough.
Recommendations:

Read read read, network, invest in yourself and your practice. I don’t have specifics but those are my recommendations. 

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Connect and learn with Tierra, follow her on Instagram @yogi.tb!