About a seat on the mat
A Seat On The Mat is where black people who practice yoga are celebrated and supported. A platform where yogis and yoginis come to share their stores, practices, and experiences-both good & bad. Here we disprove the idea that black people do not do yoga, but we practice, while adding our own "magic". A Seat On The Mat works to connect yogis, for yogis in search of representation, for people newly interested in yoga and long-time practitioners. It's a community to unify, educate, and empower black people embracing yoga. A Seat On The Mat is a call to action to be an advocate of yoga as a way to combat the pressures and perceptions of social "norms" that arise from being black in this era. A Seat On The Mat is dedicated to maintaining an atmosphere which invites open discussion of black mental health, wellness, and yoga. In taking A Seat On The Mat or asana ("to be seated in a position that is firm,but relaxed"), is an act of love & self-care. This seat acknowledges that "Now is the right time to undertake the practice of yoga." ( Yoga Sutra 1.1 Patanjali)
The Urban Renaissance Project is reminiscent of the Harlem and D.C.’s Black Renaissance in that, this space supports and showcases black people who are dedicated to living their most creative lives; people who embody what they are passionate about, as well as those journeying to discover what their passions are. Urban Renaissance upholds "the conversation" -- the discussion of the realities and issues that disrupt or unify the black community-- combating "ignorance with enlightenment"
NOTE FROM THE FOUNDER
Hello there and Thanks for visiting! I was inspired to create " A Seat On The Mat" as a solution to the problem of not seeing enough black yogis, in my classes or media sources. I want to use this blog to share how I've come to learn and appreciate yoga, but also feature the lives, practices and experiences of black yogis and yoginis to connect and strengthen the community. Yoga is something I have always had an interest in, but never committed to a regular practice. Yet, I decided to begin my practice for the mental and physical health benefits. I came to see the value of yoga - as a means to restore, increase, and maintain balance in the mind, body, and spirit.
My goal: is to motivate and encourage black people to try yoga, regardless of what might be holding you back; to help others be open to the different aspects and benefits of yoga.
About the founder
Felicia Taliaferro is a practicing yogi and founder of the “ A Seat on the Mat and Urban Renaissance Project” Black media experience. She graduated with a B.A. in English and a minor in Sustainability from University of Maryland at College Park. She engages yoga in recreational capacity and is a humble student of the philosophy beyond the practice. Outside of yoga her interests extend to various modes of media expression including, quite obviously, blogging and cultural media. She is a lover of poetry and believer of the power of language. She enjoys spending time outdoors and adventuring to new places near and far. Felicia is a caring sister with a fiercely innovative spirit who recognizes the importance of spaces for Black self-development.