podcast

Prepare your favorite adaptogen-infused drink, get your diffuser loaded up with your favorite essential oils, and cozy up to me and some of my favorite people. We’ve got a lot to learn (self-actualization, people!) and I’m so excited to be on this informative journey with you!

Yoga Teacher Jeffrey Thomas on The Mandela Yoga Project, growing up as a Black man during the Civil Rights movement, & making yoga accessible to people of color & low-income communities

Jeffrey Thomas is living history. This wonderful man is a friend and sangha-mate of mine from my YTT, and I’m so grateful that Jeffrey agreed to allow me to interview him - this is one of the most important interviews I’ve done thus far. Jeffrey shares his experience of being a young Black man growing up in the south in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, and candidly shares how this has shaped his teaching today, as well as how his experience inspired him to create the Mandela Yoga Project.

It’s an honor to have sat down with Jeffrey, and it is truly an honor to call him a friend; this episode is truly incredible and I’m eternally grateful for Jeffrey’s willingness to share, his vulnerability, and candidness.

One final note, please consider supporting his Mandela Yoga Project here, any amount helps!!

*Skip to 6:58min mark to bypass the intro and get to the interview

In this episode we hear:

  • About Jeffrey’s upbringing as a young Black man growing up in the south during the Civil Rights movement

  • About his views on the commercialism of yoga and lack of diversity and inclusivity

  • How Boston could help make yoga more accessible to low-income and underserved communities 

  • How he believes diabetes saved his life

  • About his mission to make yoga accessible to everyone with his company The Mandela Yoga Project

  • How yoga helps him manage his diabetes and promote his wellbeing

  • How he views trauma informed yoga and the importance of it 

  • How Jeffrey believes the body can heal itself, as he is living breathing proof

  • How he decided to start his non-profit the Mandela Yoga Project, and his plans on bringing free trauma-informed yoga to people of color and underserved communities, led by members of the local community

  • About his experience being a black man in a predominantly white yoga community

Mentioned in this episode (aka, the “shotes”):

GoFundMe for Mandela Yoga Project
4 Little Girls film
Medgar Evers
Emmett Till
Yoga Alliance
TIMBo
Prison Yoga Project
Five Doors Yoga
Iyengar Yoga
Follow Jeffrey on Instagram
The Yogi Therapist website
Follow me, The Yogi Therapist, on Instagram

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Hear the episode on these platforms:

iTunes // Spotify // Google Play // Stitcher