Wellness Beyond Whiteness: Q+A With Donna Noble

Donna is a certified yoga specialist, body positive advocate, Master NLP Practitioner and wellbeing coach. She is also the Founder of Curvesomeyoga – a body-positive movement. She teaches various styles of yoga with include, hatha, body positive, vinyasa, chair and aqua yoga.

She is on a mission to evolve the image of yoga so that it becomes more inclusive and diverse. Showing that everyBODY is a yoga body.

What are the essential steps that the yoga industry needs to make to become the industry of equity?

  • Have yoga studios in areas that have diverse populations.
  • Encourage more black people to become Teachers by offering places on Yoga Teacher Training Courses. So that they can go back to the communities and share the benefits of yoga.
  • Make yoga more affordable

Is a lack of representation and inclusion of BIPOC linked to the inaccessibility of yoga in the communities? Can accessibility drive inclusion?

This does indeed play a big part in the lack of inclusion of the BIPOC. If you don’t see someone that looks like you why would you think it is for you? Accessibility would drive inclusion and I have seen this with the work that I have been doing with the creation of Curvesomeyoga. I have continually been working towards making yoga accessible and diverse for everybody.

There has been a lot of rage around Black Lives Matter from protests to looting, to arrests and more. Rage vs calm: in your opinion, what drives real change?

What drives real change is people in positions of power making a concerted effort to include black people in the decision-making process.

This must not be seen as tokenism but a genuine attempt to broaden the appeal of Yoga. Also, the people who make the decisions need to be educated in implicit bias. A lot of people are biased without being aware.

So, for instance, when you see a Black Man what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Do you think he is going to harm you? Do you think he lacks the cognitive ability of white people? Until you make people aware of their natural biases it will be hard for them to make real changes.

„This is not an either/or. this is a both/and. To bring about real change, we have to highlight a problem and make people in power uncomfortable. But we also have to translate that into practical solutions and laws“. – President Barak Obama (June 3, 2020).

What are the top three resources, organizations, books, podcasts, movies you can recommend to check out to become more aware and educated on the issue of wellness white supremacy?

Brit(tish) on Race, Identity and Belonging – Afua Hirsch

White Fragility: Why It’s so hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Robin Diangelo

Skill in Action and Nicola Cardoza – Daily anti Racism emails.

Yoga, Race and Culture by Social Justice – Dianne Bondy (article on Yoga Jounal)

Superior by Angel Sai