Namaste. Who says Black folks aren’t into yoga? If you think this ancient practice is reserved for White-peace-symbol-throwing hippies, then you’ve never heard of Niki Robinson, Arizona-based certified holistic wellness coach, yoga instructor and spiritual healer.
In Robinson’s case, she’s been channeling providence, peace of mind and good health through slow-flowing poses for decades. It wasn’t until earlier this year, however, that she decided to share her knowledge and techniques with others by launching www.Illuminiki.com, a website that presents various services and workshops that are designed to reprogram the mind, body and soul.
The spiritual healer’s unorthodox approach to wellness includes a 21-day cleanse, where participants examine how diet affects one’s overall well-being by learning alternative methods of purifying and purging toxins from their bodies. Astrology readings (upon request) and a risk-free one-on-one holistic coaching session are also available. It’s important to note that the work is global and can be completed online or via telephone.
“I want [people] to walk away feeling empowered and in control of their lives, minds and bodies and in touch with their spirits,” Robinson says of her newest venture.
As for the silly myth that Black people don’t practice yoga, the Chicago native sets the record straight: “Yoga is for everyone, every body type, every age and not exclusive to a nationality or socioeconomic background.”
“That which you focus your mind upon will grow…” has not only become the tagline of Robinson’s company but her personal motto as well. The original saying is also tattooed on her inner forearm as a constant reminder that, “I am a sovereign being and I am responsible for all things flowing in, out and around me.”Speaking of inspirational words and phrases, Robinson’s forthcoming book, An Affirmation a Day Keeps the Fear Away is full of them. The goal, she says, is to focus on a new phrase per day or one phrase for 12 straight days depending on where the person is on his or her spiritual path. Then, the aspirant is encouraged to concentrate on whatever it is that he or she wants to change about his or her life, ultimately undergoing a full transformation at the end of the 12-day period.
In addition, the Mandala, a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe, appears on the cover and is meant to serve as a tool in conjunction with the affirmations.
“At first glance, An Affirmation a Day… appears to be a simple book of affirmations, but in truth, this book is part of the curriculum of love in the school of life,” Robinson says.
Following the launch of her website, Robinson decided to take it up a notch by opening a small studio in Phoenix called My Flow Yoga & Meditation Center, where she now teaches yoga to the public.
Upon entering, you’ll notice two things first: the color–bold and vibrant–and scent, which are utilized as forms of color therapy and aromatherapy. The studio’s skilled and well-trained instructors offer safe and informative classes daily with the exception of Sundays, taking the student’s level of training into consideration.
“The most rewarding aspect is when I see the light turn on in the minds and hearts of people,” she says.
All ages and body types are welcome and no previous experience is necessary, just an “open heart and desire to learn.”
Moving forward, Robinson said she hopes to be of service to as many people as possible so much so that eventually, there will be a My Flow Yoga & Meditation Center in every major city. She also has plans to launch a skincare line in the near future. Consisting of three key components–two soaks, two scrubs and one moisturizer, SKINCARE (the name of the line) will contain simple yet effective ingredients, including herbs and therapeutic grade essential oils with high oxygen-radical absorbance capacity values for younger, brighter-looking skin.
“The skin is the largest living organ,” Robinson says. “It must be properly cleansed and fed. SKINCARE offers that.”
As for yoga, Robinson says she enjoys both the mental discipline and physical precision it requires, adding that it’s the very thing that brings her back to the middle whenever life starts getting hectic.
“Yoga has saved my life time and time again,” she reveals. “It serves as the fiber optics, creating a clear line of communication between the inner and outer world.”
For more information about Niki Robinson’s workshops and services, visit her official website.
Princess Gabbara is a 20-something Michigan-based journalist/freelance writer. As a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, she’s contributed to several local and national publications, including Ebony.com, Essence.com, xoJane.com, Clutch Magazine and The Glamazons Blog. You can read more of her work on her blog. She also tweets at @PrincessGabbara.