Kids and Teen Yoga in Black Communiites

How Yoga Improves Black Maternal Health

To honor Black History Month, we want to celebrate one of our teachers, Melylah Botte Smith. She was IYK® Certified in 2008 and we’ve been connected with children and yoga ever since. She’s working to improve the Black maternal health crisis in the US.

Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Access to quality health care and a higher likelihood of chronic conditions that can complicate pregnancy and childbirth means Black pregnant people need more support.

Here’s how yoga can help improve outcomes for Black maternal health:

1. Body connection. Attending prenatal and postnatal yoga classes connects you to your body and your baby. It demystifies what you may have heard or read, and makes it real! Knowing and feeling how your body works, and how to connect with your baby, benefits Black culture.

2. Community bonds. Being with others who are going through what you are is critical. While every body and every baby is different, sharing milestones along the birth and parenting journey is the same. Creating community for Black birthing people and parents is nurturing.

3. Better experiences. Breath work and body awareness help ride the waves of labor with confidence and resilience especially with the support of a Black birth doula. Someone who understands your culture, and you as a person, is life-changing for a Black birthing person.

Having access to birth workers who can support you and understand you, like Black yoga teachers, doulas and midwives, creates safer birthing spaces and supports the physical, mental and emotional experience for birthing Black people and their babies.

Our goal at IYK is to create access to yoga for every child. Get trained to support the Black community and check out our friends at Black To Yoga.

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