The road to inclusivity is paved with intention and representation—this is the message that SonJoria Sydnor, founder of Our Family’s Doing Yoga, drives home with heart and passion in our recent interview, where we talk about how to create inclusive kids yoga classes for Black Kids.
SonJoria is an experienced educator, yoga instructor, and advocate for black children in yoga, and she has graciously shared her valuable perspective on creating environments where black kids can flourish. Her personal yoga journey evolved into a mission to address the glaring lack of black representation in yoga resources.
3 Ways to Create Inclusive Kids Yoga Classes for Black Kids
As part of our commitment at Kids Yoga Stories to inclusivity and diversity, let’s dive into SonJoria’s practical tips that inspire us all to create more inclusive spaces:
1. Reflect Black Representation in Kids Yoga Resources
One of the first steps to creating an inclusive environment is to present resources that mirror the diversity of our world. SonJoria’s rhyming yoga book, Our Family’s Doing Yoga, features her own family engaging in yoga.
The impact of black representation cannot be overstated—it sends a powerful message to black children that they belong and are valued within the wellness community.
Educators and content creators need to consciously choose or create materials that depict diverse characters and narratives, reinforcing that every child has a place in the room.
2. Create Authentic Connections with Black Yoga Teachers
In the interview below, SonJoria emphasizes the importance of building bridges between children and local black yoga instructors.
This is not just about conducting a class—it’s about fostering relationships. Incorporating authentic cultural elements, whether it’s through music, storytelling, or shared experiences, helps black children see themselves in the practice of yoga and mindfulness.
By partnering with local instructors (see SonJoria’s Directory of Black Yoga Teachers for Kids) and facilitating events where children can see and interact with leaders who look like them, we cultivate a network of support that reinforces inclusivity and connection.
3. Embrace Learning and Collaboration to Ensure Genuine Black Representation
The road to inclusivity has its learning curves. SonJoria advises yoga educators to be open to making mistakes and, more importantly, learning from them.
Inclusivity is not about perfection but progress. It involves being genuine in your interactions, immersing yourself in diverse communities, and being willing to have uncomfortable conversations to better your understanding of different cultures and experiences.
SonJoria’s workshops are prime examples of how educational forums can be instrumental in guiding individuals on how to have respectful and meaningful discussions about race and diversity.
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Through chatting with SonJoria, we gain more than just insight—we have actionable steps to create spaces where every child feels seen and heard. The creation of inclusive environments for black children in yoga and in educational spaces is a continuous commitment to understanding, representing, and celebrating diversity.
SonJoria’s story is a reminder that when we act from a place of authenticity and willingness to grow, we lay the foundations for a more inclusive world—one pose, one page, and one connection at a time. As we move forward in our individual and collective journeys, let’s remember that inclusivity starts with us and ripples outward, touching the lives of the children we seek to inspire.