We recently connected with Steph Lindsey and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Steph thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Let’s kick things off with talking about how you serve the underserved, because in our view this is one of the most important things the small business community does for society – by serving those who the giant corporations ignore, small business helps create a more inclusive and just world for all of us.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde reminds us that self care is revolutionary. Self care is not selfish. Especially in these times of tragedy it is crucial that we are better practitioners of self-care. So much of wellness and the wellness industry keeps Black women specifically on the margins, there are not a lot of spaces that are designed for us nor center us, especially here in my home state of Colorado. I want Black Unicorn Collective to be that space. A place where Black women know they are centered, and where their needs will be met. It’s not to be exclusionary by any means, Black Unicorn Collective is a space for EVERYONE, though having lived on the margins during my healing journey, I know how powerful it can be to know you are held, nurtured and seen with all of your complexities. That is what I needed in the depths of my own healing, and that is what I want to offer back. Black Unicorn Collective is designed to be that space, where you can lay the burdens down and truly begin your wellness journey.
We are intentionally centering the wellness of Black, Indigenous People of the Global Majority, while welcoming to ALL. We are rooted in a yoga practice that can create spaces of sanctuary and community, which are vital to honoring our mind, body and spirit. We are rooted in a yoga practice that is centered in social justice and equity that honors the indigenous origins and roots of yoga. We are rooted in a yoga practice that is inclusive and safe for ALL participants. A Black unicorn represents strength and power, they can overcome barriers and create the life they want to live. As Indu Arora has said, “Yoga is not a feel good practice, it is a face the truth practice” that is the energy of Black Unicorns and is what I offer to each class. I am honored to share a yoga practice that celebrates our own unique experience in our bodies, honoring the truth of our lives, and celebrates the magic of being our uniquely human selves!
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
After a life-changing event, I started practicing yoga a bit more consistently. In 2018, on a whim I decided to apply to a yoga teacher training, I honestly didn’t think I would one get accepted and two be able to afford it but the universe had other plans. It was in my YTT that I started to learn and unlearn a lot about myself, stories I thought were mine, I began to let go. I knew as my YTT was coming to an end that I wanted to have yoga in my life more, and began to think about how I could offer some of the things I learned and unlearned back to my community, specifically Black women.
In 2020, because of the pandemic and the world shutting down, access to yoga educators became a zoom call away rather than states and miles away, which I saw as another opportunity to deepen my practice. I participated in the Sacred Way Intensive with Boundless Warrior, I completed a 300HR yoga training and 100HR Meditation training. Then in 2021 took a Rest Immersion with Octavia Raheem which led to a Yoga Nidra training with Chanti Tarcoronte-Perez and Tracee Stanley, while simultaneously in a mentorship with Octavia.
All of this has led me to understand my offerings and why I choose to center the people we center at Black Unicorn Collective. I am grateful to have studied, practiced and embodied each of my teachers offerings and gifts, which is why it feels important to find ways of sharing what has helped me in hopes that it will also resonate and possibly help with others.
Can you talk to us about how your side-hustle turned into something more.
Thats an interesting term ‘side hustle’…I feel for me offering yoga classes wasn’t from my perspective a side hustle, but rather an aspect of myself I was willing and comfortable exploring. Prior to 2016, my yoga practice was a very appropriated westernized practice in that the Asana was my understanding of yoga because I believed that my meditation, sound & subtle body healing were somehow separate from Yoga and was just some weird hippie shit I did. The more I studied and practiced the more everything became connected. As the connections grew and expanded my desire to live in alignment with everything I was practicing also expanded. I became acutely aware that the path and life I was living was no longer where I needed to be. And so I shifted.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
My most recent shift was leaving a job I had grown out of, but was really good at. I was an Art Teacher for 6 years. With the pandemic and remote learning I had to come up with really creative ways of providing the same level of art education to the kids at our school, especially at the height of the early stage of this pandemic. In doing that I was creating a lot more and playing in that creativity a lot more which reignited my original calling as artist. It was in my Yoga Nidra training, that I was reminded “it is better to do one’s own dharma imperfectly than to do another’s perfectly. I had 6 years of being a really good art teacher and I really loved doing it. I was also really aware I wasn’t aligned with it anymore. I needed the space to create for myself and trying to cram creating and creativity into a two and a half months of summer break was no longer enough. I knew I had to leave but was honestly scared to step out in such a big way, away from the stability that job, I was really good at offered me.
What helped me get there was going back to my teachers offerings, devoting myself to rest and care in a way that the next step came to me as I was in my rest practice.
- Website: https://www.theblackunicorncollective.com/
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