According to Psychiatric Times, women experience depression at rates twice that of men, but Black women are only half as likely to seek care as White women. Olivia F. Scott knows the consequences of Black women deprioritizing their mental and physical health all too well. Having come from a long line of Black women who didn’t have the resources to prioritize self-care, she witnessed three generations of women in her family die at exactly 65-years-old. To break this cycle, she founded Freedom at the Mat, a community destination for women to prioritize their well-being and obtain freedom from emotional scars.
Freedom of the Mat is committed to serving as a time and space for women to dedicate to indulgent, unapologetic self-care through mindfulness classes, prayer circles, intention-setting and yoga-inspired physical movement. Offerings include meditation and manifestation classes, daily affirmations, journaling and much more to ensure women are receiving the support they need to focus on their health. The brand’s mission is for women to pursue and obtain freedom from emotional scars and everyday challenges as they intentionally pursue the desires of their hearts.
Founder Scott says, “My faith in God is the foundation of my life. So in my classes, it is my practice to integrate faith and prayer to God into our yoga-inspired classes.” As a certified yoga instructor, she explains, “I’ve witnessed the impact of exercise psychosomatically on myself and loved ones. Yoga was an amazing healing agent during a difficult time in my life, and now is a part of my lifestyle.”
As women continue to bear the burden of controversial Supreme Court decisions attempting to dictate what they can do with their bodies, experience higher mortality rates due to COVID-19 and try to balance taking care of themselves and their families through these unprecedented times, Freedom of the Mat’s virtual wellness offerings are needed now more than ever. Additionally, to ensure she is maximizing her reach to women, 15 percent of Freedom of the Mat’s profits from paid classes and products are donated to non-profit organizations benefiting underserved women, specifically survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and homelessness.