Monday, January 11, 2016

Yogi Spotlight Series - Mackala L.

Kala L.

Instagram ID: benditlikelacy
Location: Southern California
Occupation:  Mitigation Generalist & Yoga Instructor

Mackala (Muh-kay-luh) Lacy, otherwise known as Kala is  a 22 year old from California.  When not at home, working, or on my mat, you can find her at the beach. She also loves to paint and read up on various social theory (She has grown to love and accept her nerdiness! lol). Her calling in life is community work and healing in whatever form possible. She's currently pursuing her masters to become a Marriage and Family therapist and cannot wait to couple it with the benefits of yoga.

Kala is a contributing team member of BlackGirlYoga and I am so excited to have her featured here on the blog as well.  She is truly amazing!

Yoga is healing, transformative, lifestyle ~ Kala L.

How long have you been practicing yoga?  I've been practicing for about 3 years.

Do you attend classes?  

Until recently after becoming a certified teacher, my practice has largely been self taught! I’ve visited a few classes here and there throughout the years.  I love to drop in on ashtanga! In general I’m very self-disciplined and love my alone time, so practicing and teaching myself has worked well for me. However, I make sure to visit studios because of all the resources of information and communal energy that one can find!

How did your yoga journey begin?  

During my undergrad I studied abroad in Barbados and discovered the transformative power of yoga. It began as a pilates practice with some yoga sprinkled in. I quickly discovered that yoga had so much more to offer me personally. I stumbled upon the Black yogi community on instagram which gave me so much encouragement (representation is incredibly important!) and knowledge of the practice. The rest is history!

Which type of yoga do you practice?

I practice hatha yoga, which is all about discovering the inner self, balancing energy, and the connection and integration of the mind, energy/the breath, and the body. Besides asana (physical postures), hatha yoga also includes meditation, dharana (concentration), pranayama (energy control), and more. I encourage everyone to check out all it has to offer!

How often do you practice?  

#EveryDamnDay! Every practice may not be a rigorous asana. Sometimes its pranayama, meditation, or a combination. Regardless, yoga is a lifestyle and I carry its lessons with me everywhere.

What keeps you motivated throughout your practice?

As a primarily self-taught yogi, motivation is a major undercurrent of my practice. What pushes me onto the mat every morning is knowing that I am doing the work that is necessary for me to heal. I’m always having “aha” moments.  I love that yoga is constantly teaching me something.

I’m also motivated by my physical progress. Without even trying, I want to take better care of my body! I want to eat better and get enough sleep. I look at my body and I feel connected to it. I love what I see regardless of its form.

What do you think about the increase of black women getting into yoga?

I think it is one of the greatest things ever! It’s sad to admit, but in general Black women are forced to deal with a lot from the world both racially and on the basis of gender. This means most of us are super stressed out! Yoga is an excellent way to address the body, mind, and spirit- all of which need to be considered in order to accomplish some real and lasting healing. It makes me so happy to see Black yoginis!

How important is it for you to see diversity in yoga?

It is incredibly important. It’s more difficult to connect with something if you cannot see yourself in it. Yoga has so much to offer and should be accessible for everyone. Western representations of yoga are often very one-dimensional and this can discourage so many other communities from jumping in head first. Increased diversity means the practice can reach more people! And we all could use a little yoga. ;]

What would you say to someone who says yoga is not for them?

For folks who say yoga is not for them I always ask for further explanation on what it is they don’t like. There are a lot of misconceptions of the practice- that it’s all slow, that you have to be hyperflexible, chant every day, or be completely enlightened…- none of which is true! There’s also a lot of attention given to asana practice, while things like meditation, energy control, and cleansing fall to the wayside. I’d say find a knowledgeable teacher! Yoga has so much to it. There’s bound to be something everyone can benefit from and enjoy.


Any advise for someone new who is curious about getting started doing  yoga?

Interested in starting yoga? Actually start! (lol) I can’t tell you how many people I know get caught in the idea and never take the next step. Check out classes in your community.  Most spaces provide deals for newcomers. Do some research,  find other yogis to keep you motivated, a good teacher or a source of trustworthy information to practice safely if you’re teaching yourself, and find what the practice means to you. There are so many awesome resources now and you can do it!

Thank you Kala for being an awesome team member and for sharing a little of yourself. 
Awesome read!

Contact Kala:

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Edited by Vanessa L.

1 comment:

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