Ra Jordan

Photo of Naomi Osaka, Serena and Venus Williams

Mental Fortitude – Williams Sisters

Our mental health and our need to protect our overall health is and should always be the first priority. As black women, we are the foundation of society, and it is critical to ourselves and to our environment, that we are healthy emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

These things are not mutually exclusive to non-black people, nor can money or fame enable us to arrive at mindfulness and peace.

As evidenced by the three top athletes in the world, firstly Serena Williams, the greatest athlete of all time, then her sister Venus and Naomi Osaka, we see how the gaze and the “commandment” is for black bodies to obey, to conform, or to be punished.

But when you have inner confidence, an inner gaze at which you see the world, that doesn’t rely upon the approval or permission of others outside of you, you are empowered, not disempowered. You are empowered and stoic, un-apologetically, and operating from a place of sovereignty, an untouchable, unreachable place, where only you have the key to allow others within your orbit. Showing the world, particularly the non-black world, that you don’t bend to their will, you rise to yours. That is real power.

I recall personally watching Serena and Venus at the beginning of their career be de-humanized by “journalists” and sports commentators, who seemingly didn’t know how to approach speaking of or to, these two young athletes, so they fell back to their social programming of likening Serena and Venus to sub-human, as animalistic, that their skill was achieved by their closeness to animals, can you believe that? That they ‘dare’ enter into the grand domain of whiteness in sport, the tennis arena. The bullying and the racism in the media…a psychological tactic, a lesson to anyone thinking they might explore tennis as a career, and not be white.

The mental fortitude, and the ability the Williams sisters had to stay the course, to show little to zero signs of psychological weakness, was next-level incredulous genius. Absolute mastery in psychology and pushing beyond the bounds of the human spirit. I always wondered what papa Williams would say to them to prepare them for the dominant culture’s hatred of blackness and all the health hazards associated with that. How did they manage to play, while white people in the stands, yelled out with racial violence, or booed them? My heart broke for them over and over, I continually sent them vibes of strength and love through the television, willing them to win and slap down those who demeaned their existence before, during, and after their matches. What an enormous but very telling display of evil vs good, there is no denying it.

I grew up playing tennis and for years watching players on T.V be praised for their skills, for their strength, their intelligence, and their sass, even the foul-mouthed players, who cursed at umpires or smashed rackets over and over, were reported as being challenging, or under pressure…and yet when the Williams sisters came on the scene, praise and kudos to papa Williams for his incredible work at producing and honing the skills of two of the greatest athletes, when those beautiful, articulate and grounded young girls graced those green courts with chocolate goodness, I never forget the indignation of white people in the media and in situations local to me. The malevolence against Serena and Venus, these young expert tennis players, was gut-wrenching to watch and hear, as a young black woman navigating my own experience with whiteness and racism so endemic in the fabric of our world, everywhere. I remember hearing negativity about the Williams sisters; white people I came into contact with felt the need to express to me, another black body, what their thoughts were about the Williams sisters. I assume perhaps, they were trying to unpack their own cognitive dissonance and maybe have me assist them in placating their self-delusion of not really being racist, “But…”.

People wanted to talk to me about the Williams sisters everywhere I went or they wanted me to hear them talk about the Williams sisters in a derogatory way… If I was in a cab, at a party, the supermarket, at work (in the workplace was a particular microcosm of race bating), cafes, the beach…The people I encountered appeared to suffer a malfunction, a cognitive dissonance that truly never went away, as evidenced every time Serena Williams plays; they talk about her thickness, her catsuit, crip walk, hair, nails…whatever it is, those who felt and continue to feel like lords of humankind, entitled and with a self-imposed authority, to continually mock or remark on Serena, and reference her alleged “otherness”, rather than simply her mastery as the greatest athlete of all time, and this relentless and unnecessary commentary, exposes the racist haters, always giving themselves and their inferiority away.

Naomi Osaka, taking a stand is like Serena and Venus recently said, it is a way of dealing with an experience. Everyone’s way of navigating the world, and racism is going to be different. Everyone’s threshold for negativity is subjective to their lived experience and what they will and can tolerate. The Williams sister’s did what many cannot do, they moved mountains, icebergs never falling or wavering, they pushed the negative into the light and swept its residue off the court to lay the way for new grass to grow. They truly bore the brunt of malevolence and dark energies in order to just be themselves and do what they loved and were masterful at. This paved the way for new faces and therefore for blackness to be viewed on the tennis court as, here goes that word, wait for it… “normalized”. Offensive a concept, absolutely. Is it the reality though? Yes, unfortunately. When the dominant culture considers itself the norm, then that’s what we are ALL dealing with, a skewed reality, that defies logic or so-called humanity. It is what it is and we must either choose to operate within the framework or navigate around it, or create our own.

The Editor


Come into view, share your light with the world.

Why do humans each exist under unique circumstances? Different racial groups, different languages, different hair, eye color, different cultures, ancestry, unique thumbprints, genes, DNA…No matter the similarity of individuals, no two people have the exact same experience, even twins. Every person has, & is operating from a completely distinct perspective & lived experience. There could be many existential reasons for this, reasons such as the planet being an experimental school where we are all here to learn, adapt, transmute, experience… & other reasons which may not be clear to us until we transition. What is clear, however, is that it is our differences that make for an interesting planetary experience in the hologram of life & that by default, it demonstrates the unlimited ways with which we can express our innermost selves. Many of us, however, in modernity have been fooled into thinking that sameness is what qualifies us & legitimizes us as worthy, in the game, & that if we don’t fall for what is being literally sold to us, then somehow we don’t qualify. That we must buy an expensive item; house, clothes, cars, etc to quantify our worth among everybody else. From a young age, we learn one historical construct, focus on one aesthetic of what beauty is, of what intelligence looks like, of many things designed to be seen from one perspective only. In many, if not all circumstances, homogenizing entire peoples & nations is the framework under which we all exist. We are given the belief that we are expressing our individualism, our best self, but are we really? In order to know who we really are, we must go within. We may not find it in the latest fashion or the latest music, or the latest challenge, or the latest political ideology, because they are all aspects of someone else’s program. So how do we find it? Many of us already have a deep knowledge of our inner light, & we live according to that with ease. If that is not you, then how do you find the real you? Through conversations with yourself, meditation, yoga, deep self-reflection & most importantly doing the things that make you legit lit. Organically the true “you” will emerge.


Allow the richness of you… the breadth and depth of you to shine, permeating your whole being, like the cosmic star that you are. Sit within yourself and enjoy.

When we are children everything appears very different, uncomplicated, simple, new, and fun. As we get older, many of us lose that innocence, the immediacy of living in the moment, being inspired by anything, being in touch with our emotions, connected to all that is, and being present in those moments. In our teenage years, we often rebel against the evolution or perhaps devolution to adulthood; resisting the social programs and the responsibilities that come with adulthood. Some of us can’t wait to get to adulthood without really realizing how challenging it will be and that had we spent more time being nurtured as a child, enjoying our younger years, how that ultimately impacts the adult you will eventually become. But who says you cannot be childlike and mature, emotionally intelligent and fun, responsible yet free. It is all a matter of perspective and a matter of choices based on your inner standing of yourself and how you aim to experience this human incarnation. Will you choose to imbue confidence, love, joy, health, happiness? Well, you should, but if you chose not to, that’s okay. Just know you don’t require anything to imbue love, for that is in essence what you are, despite and in spite of the human condition, you are a light being, love incarnated, a cosmic star… there is so much to be inspired about.


Take pleasure in knowing you are indestructible.

Life appears very different when you inner stand that no matter what, you are by design indestructible. Although, our bodies may deteriorate or incur pain, our very essence the soul that sees through our eyes, the soul that hears through our ears, our soul that senses physical touch, is eternal. We often get so caught up thinking this reality is the only one there is, and no matter our beliefs, often than not, we tow the social programming line becoming a cog in the wheel, just doing, just being, but not living. To live is not just to live the physical life, but to join the physical and that which we cannot see, the spirit, the frequency vibration, the energy that animates us. Once we understand that it’s not all about what we are being conditioned to think about, believe, do and say, but that there is much more to our time in our respective incarnations than meets the eye. We can only know through introspective work. Meditation and self-reflection. We already have the advantage; many choices, many opportunities, many avenues, paths to select on our journey. The key is to remain triumphant by default because nothing can truly break you because you exist in multiple worlds. Choose your own adventure.


Contemplate the choices you have made, do they reflect your best self?

Self-reflection is a tool to identify what has worked for you & what does not and how as we evolve, do we chose to live. To reflect on our choices is to inner stand how we operate in this realm, how we perceive ourselves & of the world. We can determine whether our choices have hurt us, or others & how to make adjustments so that we move towards growth and away from stagnation to the expansion of our consciousness. The past is no place to dwell, but our memories of the impact our very being, so if in your past you experienced trauma, it helps to contemplate how those negative experiences pushed you to navigate to a positive place? Or if you have yet to conquer the trauma experience, then what aspect of you can you say is keeping you functioning now, present, here? This is a realm of duality, light and dark, Ying Yang, positive & negative. If we inner stand that growth comes through experiencing challenges & overcoming them, and that is how we evolve, we will be less attached to the outcome of our experiences. To review our life choices while we are living & make the necessary modifications, being mindful to clear our heart of darkness, to lift ourselves out of despair, blame & anger is one way to eliminate our karma, increase our ability to ascend to higher realms beyond the third dimension and to live a more abundant life.


Whatever you need to do in this world, you have everything that you need to do it, everything.

Whatever you dream to do, you can do it. The first step is to take a step, a small step, or a big step, whatever you choose move forward towards the goal. Make it manageable so you don’t avoid it, so you don’t procrastinate or make excuses for why you have yet to accomplish the goal. In such a busy climate, many of us are overwhelmed with tasks, with responsibilities to just get us through the day, but do any of those tasks include one thing you really want to do? Are they active in the direction of the life you want for yourself? If not, what are you waiting for? You have everything in this world to accomplish what you desire. Anything is possible if you just put your mind to it, feel it is possible for you, and manifest it into being with knowledge and physical steps to anchor it into your consciousness.


As each beat of your heart and breathe you take maintains your existence in this world, make sure to not just live, but thrive.

How many of us are truly living our best life? Are we existing? Are we living? Or are we thriving? To thrive means to grow vigorously, prosperously to flourish, to bloom…

If you watch the natural world, it thrives. We may think that other people or things outside of ourselves will enable us to flourish and without that external aspect, we cannot do it on our own. Money, relationships, careers, clothes…all external details to which we sometimes believe we need first before we can truly be alive in this world. It starts with an innerstanding that we each have everything we already need and that everything else is a bonus or a tool, a means to something. Throw caution to the wind and take steps to guarantee yourself to be thriving.


When you do only your very best, you will be victorious.

There are so many ways to be successful in something, from the smallest win to the largest, it all depends on your goals and the steps you take for the win. We are surrounded by messaging that suggests that only some can be winners, or that you in order to be considered a winner, you must buy what other so called winners in society, have; an expensive car, watch, phone, house, shoes, clothes etc.

It takes some inner-standing and discernment to not allow the social program to get the best of you, to instead believe in yourself to be the winner just by being alive, and that everything that follows your birth are sets of circumstances designed to expand your spirit, your soul, your consciousness which is another way to say you are already victorious by birth and death alone, so just enjoy the ride!


All beings on this abundant & diverse planet are born with the gift of physical life. Be in awe of your existance and of others. Only then will you truly value the gift of life.

Are you living your best life? Is your life vibrant with things that make you happy, joyful, grateful? No matter your situation, find the way to vibrancy. Aim to do one thing that creates bliss in your day, your week and do that thing consistently. You owe it to yourself to be blissed out, not stressed out. Open your heart chakra and let the vibrant you out. Your heart should be about to burst with elation. Put music on that makes you dance, sing a song that makes you joyful, go somewhere and do something that lights up your world. Be around people who love you and make you laugh. Be that vibrant thing.


Be bigger than your surroundings. Imagine yourself to be so large you eclipse the tallest building… then bow in reverence, to yourself and all that is.

How often do we rise above our circumstances? You hear people say, just rise above it, be the bigger person, but what does that really mean? It means that despite the situation, no matter how it impacts you emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically you are going to need to lift yourself out of “it” and transcend and levitate out into space where “it” doesn’t impact you.

In fact, you truly feel beyond all of it to the point where you have gratitude for whatever it is, that allowed you to transcend it because it made you grow and expand your consciousness so much that you are grateful, you chose to sail over it. Not ignore it or avoid it but have the ability to discern that it is not in your best interest to engage with that which impacts you negatively. Learn from it, elevate and be in gratitude for the experience showing up to show you what you don’t want.



We are spoilt with much beauty on earth, places that are timeless. Explore the abundance of locations this world has to offer.

We are born on this Earth, but how much of this world have you really explored? Can you say you left the comfort or discomfort of your block, your city, your country? The world is abundant with phenomenal locations, sacred sites, beaches, forests, mountains, ancient cities, modern cities, the assortment of different cultures; food, history, music, fashion, language…The experiences you will have, good or bad will be life changing, consciousness expanding and life affirming.

It is not that difficult to physically buy a ticket to travel somewhere, anywhere, but it is a challenge for our mind, our ego, our social programming; how we conceive of this world and ourselves in relation to it… that is the decisive factor on whether we actually do buy that ticket. It’s not a lack of money, it’s fear, it’s apathy and it’s a lack of adventure.

We often punish ourselves and restrict ourselves to our immediate geographical location, or we believe we cannot leave, or travel is for rich folks, or that we need lots of money to travel…all not true.

Do yourself a favour and explore your world, however you can. It’s entirely possible. It’s your world, it’s all yours, every inch of it! You won’t truly know that unless you go!


Rahmi Bedwei Allen

We had the pleasure of interviewing Rahmi Bedwei Allen, read more of her interview in Issue 2 of the YBM.

Excerpt from Issue 2 …

The black yoga community is amazing and makes me so proud to be part of an awesome tribe. I’ve made so many yogi friends since I joined the yoga community. Most of them I have never met in person but through Facetime.

I love seeing black men do yoga too because men I knew thought it wasn’t masculine, and that’s not true.

I have found a connection with many of the mothers. I see some ladies trying to do yoga with little ones running around them. It’s so real! This is it. No awesome background or makeup done, just reality. There are so many social restrictions when you’re a mother, so we all connect for that reason and more…

A typical day for me is waking up, letting the dog out, freshening up, a hot cup of herbal tea with my blunt of course, I read a few positive affirmations, I talk to my plants and water them when needed. I am a plant mama now and I have a few air filtering plants that are safe for pets. The Monstera is one of my fav plants at the moment and hopefully I’ll get every last kind of Monstera that there is.

After a Ganga smoke session, I play music depending on my mood and get on my mat, and sometimes when it’s beautiful outside I meditate and listen to the sounds of birds and nature, it is so relaxing. I’m often barefooted because I become one with the earth.


Stretch your body and your mind. Go beyond your environment, stretching your perspective, your knowledge, expanding & lengthening in how you see all sentient life in the world, including you.

We often stay limited ideologically to our immediate geographical surroundings forgetting there is a world around us replete with life from the microcosm to the macrocosm. The smallest insect to the largest land or sea animal. A person living on an island or in the slums.

woman girl morning sport

If we take the time to look around us, navigating away from all that which functions as a program for our mind to see certain aspects of the world a certain way, if we instead think for ourselves, leading with the heart to see things as they truly are.

No Justice No Peace

Greetings to every yoga bodi,

This message comes with a heavy heart for the recent events that took place in the United States, yet another demonstration of an unrelenting and ongoing pattern of violence against black and brown bodies. The YBM team hope this message finds everyone safe, and in wellness.

As the YBM Editor, I would like to share my thoughts with you about why I started this magazine. It was and is my belief that to see and read stories of beautiful melanin rich yogis and wellness aficionados, represented in a published work, was of critical socio-cultural and psychological significance and it was a publication missing from our world.

During times like these, it is important to know how to reduce the impact of negative social issues on our psyche, our mental health and subsequently on our bodies… Yoga and overall wellness is a very necessary life line to navigating the very complex socio-political structural and psychological system of racism everywhere.

Yoga Bodi’s core mission is to honor & serve the rich diversity of yoga practitioners from around the world. The Yoga Bodi brand was inspired from a need, representation. The representation of people from across the world, specifically melanin dominant; black, brown, copper, carbon – indigenous people, who are systemically left out of the Yoga “industry” image of what a person practicing Yoga typically looks like. This lack of sincere representation in the Yoga “mainstream” is contrary to Yoga philosophy of removing ego.

All practicing yogis no matter the human suit, work equally hard & diligently towards attaining the yoke, with the aim of removing all suffering & accessing the divine in themselves. The practice and promotion of Yoga should not signify privilege and exclusivity, because that only demonstrates the reinforcing of deception, limiting belief systems, & infringing upon all people’s incarnated potential & their individual value to human society. Silent bystanders too, strengthen this misleading paradigm & all this prejudice is contradictory to Yoga philosophy.

Higher consciousness lives in the truth, joy & light & truly wants this manifested for all. As we use meditation & the breath to expand our awareness & our hearts, we can explore our inner light, become empowered, mindful & allow the higher minded version of our selves, that by default we entered this realm already connected to, to take the reigns.

We at Yoga Bodi Magazine made a choice to not title our magazine a Black/Brown or “people of color” specific Yoga magazine, because no other group has to insert their racial or skin tone identity at the beginning or end of titles & headings & we won’t either. But we are unapologetically melanin rich; black, brown, carbon, copper indigenous people. Our content will reflect that self-love. Our yoga magazine is like any yoga magazine at it’s core, it’s about how Yoga enriches lives and it’s for every body to enjoy. The Yoga Bodi Magazine does not exclude any body, the point of difference is that our publications gaze, in which the content is derived from is from the perspective of black, brown, copper, indigenous yogis and wellness warriors, something that should not be considered unusual given other groups practice this type of social economics every single day.

Right now, how can we can best help ourselves to maintain a sense of balance and mid to high frequency state of being, all while bearing witness to and experiencing dramatic events, social changes and an unstable social climate that may be impacting many people emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically, as it has done so to myself and our team?

We have been living in unprecedented times, and we continue minute by minute to experience what appears to be the gradual worsening of our social fabric. While this may be true, it is also a time that we experience the great revealing of truths, the reinstatement of the divine feminine and the increase in higher frequencies brought on by our galaxies Sun evolution. We have the great awakening and with that come great changes and a great new world, should we choose.

What is critical during these times, more specifically is our health; both physical and mental, because our vessel is our vehicle and we need to be able to progress, to travel through the many changes and challenges with limited negative impact to our health in order to be capable and cognizant, to make sense of the journey, inner stand our selves in this time and space – why we are here and how we can better be of service.

If we can take comfort in knowing that the world is created by thought, energy frequency and vibration, then we can use our time to better equip ourselves to actively engage in auspicious thoughts that will bring about powerful energies that will match. Empowering thoughts and feelings that will remove the attitude of dis-empowerment and frustration, clarity that will remove doubt and confusion, focus and determination that will remove disorganization and apathy.

Yoga of any kind will assist us in centering our self for the duration of our time on the mat and long after. It’s a form of meditation, so shedding the worries of the world, to fall by the wayside as we work through any physical maladies that may be building up due to tension, anxiety or stress…that is our aim, with the objective being to decompress and allow Chi to flow through our body; connecting to source energy, divine energy transforming our awareness and subsequently how we perceive our environment and what we allow to inform our life and our life choices.

Focused meditation, either guided or not, with the objective being to lose the attachment to the self in the third dimension and instead exist purely in no time or space, is where we open doors to explore aspects of our selves and our connection to all that is. The process is not only calming and serene, in spite of the chatter often clamoring to challenge our aim to seek silence and stillness, we gain introspection and perspective, especially when we meditate for extended periods of time, often helping us to more positively cultivated states of reality than we would otherwise attain, not doing yoga or meditation.

I end this share with a sincere gesture of love, compassion, warmth, and solidarity for our people, melanin-rich people, who are despite all that we have experienced, our strength, creativity, and tenacity is an uninterrupted inspiration. For our fellow humans, we hope you can continue to stand with us, to be unrelenting and genuine in your aim to dismantle the many forms of violence and oppression that have no place in the new world we are all building together.

Be safe all. In unity and justice. Namaste.
Love and gratitude,
Ra Jordan
Yoga Bodi Magazine


Trust in every aspect of yourself before you allow yourself to trust anyone else.

Many of us believe we don’t trust too much of what life throws at us, that we are woke to false prophets and not subject to foolishness. However, how many strange situations do you find yourself in because you assumed you were following your own instinct, but without realizing you were really trusting in things and people external to you, aspects of this world; like ideology, the news, somebody else’s personal story, gossip…and then without realizing, you integrated this foreign information into your paradigm, your perspective, adopted the ideology or mirrored someone else, only to find the outcome was not entirely the best thing for you, not the best choice to have made at the time.

We often run on automatic pilot; thinking, doing, being a copy of social concepts, family baggage, social paradigms inclusive of media; radio, print, T.V, film, music, literature… etc so we aren’t really engaging ourselves in complete autonomous discernment, thinking for our selves, we are instead absorbing, processing and navigating the thoughts of others. This often leads us to stop listening to our inner guidance system, to our instinctive higher voice, to our ancestors, spirit guides…to the reaction our body gives us when we do something not in our highest good. We might instead interpret the feelings as a sign that whatever it is, it is the right choice to make, when it’s really not.

woman girl animal dog

Only through truly observing your inner workings, through meditation, silent contemplation, critical thinking, and a loving heart for oneself, that you will know when your own voice. Then, irrespective of what comes into your experience you will know to trust your instinct which equips you with the power to truly know what and who to trust outside of yourself.

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