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
Prison Yoga Project
Five Doors Yoga
Follow Jeffrey on Instagram
The Yogi Therapist website
Follow me, The Yogi Therapist, on Instagram