• LeeAnn Chisolm Morrissette

Won't You Celebrate With Me | Event Photo Story

won’t you celebrate with me

a poem by Lucille Clifton, 1936 - 2010

won’t you celebrate with me

what i have shaped into

a kind of life? i had no model.

born in babylon

both nonwhite and woman

what did i see to be except myself?

i made it up

here on this bridge between

starshine and clay,

my one hand holding tight

my other hand; come celebrate

with me that everyday

something has tried to kill me

and has failed.

Octavia Raheem is a powerful woman who wears many hats - yoga teacher, studio co-owner, writer, mother, just to name a few - who I first met over tea a few months back. With her impressively calm infant in tow, she spoke of this space she was cultivating for women of color, a safe space to bare our bones and restore ourselves. She also spoke candidly on a desire to see more women of color in the yoga photos spewed across the internet. I wasn't aware until I did a quick Google search myself after our meeting how few women of color there are if you type in the word, "yoga." The truth is, we are in those spaces, not just speckled dots in the front and back of every other class. No. We are occupying our own spaces for wellness and Octavia and I are determined to share more images of just that.

It is an honor to know Octavia and work with her as she facilitates Starshine and Clay practices and retreats. This photo story is from the Starshine and Clay August Edition where a room full of beautiful black women practiced Yin yoga. Although the forthcoming retreat in late September is sold out, she is holding monthly events at her yoga studio, Sacred Chill West, in Atlanta, GA.

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