By Tahleel Mohieldin
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (WTMJ) — On the Milwaukee Art Museum’s lawn, with a view of Lake Michigan Sunday morning, Lorenzo Edwards hoped to teach others how to find their place on the mat.
As a part of Lakeside MAM, the yoga session was open to anyone willing to give it a go but Edwards’ focus was on black men in his community hoping to show them all yoga can offer.
“I found healing and I just thought I can’t keep this to myself, and I want other men to experience it,” he said. “Black men in Milwaukee are suffering a variety of disparities in health, incarceration etc in Milwaukee and this practice is really about creating a safe space, sort of a container, where they can experience in putting themselves first.”
Saturday’s lakeside session was an extension of the work he does at Embody Yoga where he teaches “He Do Yoga,” a class specifically tailored to Black men and their experiences.
He said in addition to culturally relevant instruction, the class is a space where men come to talk and be vulnerable. It’s something new yoga enthusiast Dante Nash appreciates.
“Of course, there is like an initial anxiety or an initial abrasion to it when doing it because you’re not comfortable with it but once you become comfortable with it everything starts to ease,” Nash said.
Since it began at the start of the year Edwards has grown “He Do Yoga” from 3 regulars every Sunday to 30. Quron Payne is one of those students, who turned to Yoga to slow down a bit from his demanding schedule.
“I heard it was healthy and I heard it was good for the spirit so that’s why I got into it and now I know it to be so,” he said.
One pose, deep breath, and session at a time Edwards hopes to guide others to take better care of their bodies and mind.
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