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Evolving Lives Body & Mind

Evolving Lives Body & Mind is focused on “bringing self care to you.” They provide both in person and online classes that essentially serve as yoga workshops. These workshops are open to anyone.

“I founded Evolving Lives Body & Mind in 2017 with a mission to support others in their own personal journey through encouraging the importance of self-care and health and wellness,” said by Rachel Baylor, founder of Evolving Lives Body & Mind. To learn more, visit the about page.

Evolving Lives Body & Mind offers workshops online everyday. Workshops are also offered every Sunday in-person at the National Mall, in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture through the month of October.

They offer group classes, private yoga, and wellness coaching. There are a number of different yoga techniques that you can stream, all led by instructors who have a plethora of experience. Book online today.

Studies have shown the numerous benefits for people with several types of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

All money goes towards the upkeep of courses as well as a number of social justice causes. Classes are only $15.

Charles Muhammad, an instructor at Evolving Lives Body & Mind, agreed to chat about their position and what yoga means to him.

“I can’t even tell you how many hours, months, years of experience these instructors have. They are so knowledgeable, passionate and experienced in the practice of yoga and the teaching of yoga, and they each offer something unique to the quality of practice that they bring to their students,” says Muhammad.

He continues to say that all the instructors come from different backgrounds, bringing with them a “level of rich knowledge and passion” for yoga.

To learn more about the team at Evolving Lives Body & Mind, click here.

Muhammad has a martial arts background, and has been practicing it for most of his life. He “picked up the practice of yoga as a side effect of that.” His teaching practice, as well as his personal practice, is inspired by their martial arts history.

For Muhammad, being surrounded by other bodies who practice yoga is central. “I think it’s an outlet for people who are looking for another form of physical connection.” He believes that either through the in-person or online sessions, members will be able to relate to this to some extent.

“The quest for more freedoms or more justice for anyone is simultaneously, a quest for the same thing for everyone,” says Muhammad.

Profits go towards social justice causes outlined by the workshop, and to supporting Evolving Lives Body and Mind’s mission to bring self-care to everyone.

These workshops are really meant for everyone. As Muhammad said, basic yoga is cumulative. You learn basic moves and add up to something much greater.

“It’s made for everyone because someone who’s just starting out can do these basic moves and these moves will inspire your body to really feel differently.”

Just because these moves are basic does not mean that they still won’t be challenging and engaging to your body, he says. 

In addition to serving as a form of self-care and community-building, yoga has been a mode of self-reflection for Muhammad.

“Life is a practice. Every other practice we undergo is constantly happening and repeating and we’re constantly involved in it.”

Practicing yoga has helped bring Muhammad closer to their own practice of life, as in their own existence living.

“I’ve learned to be a lot more patient, to be more kind, to be more understanding of myself and other people. And that self study brings you also a different level of contentment.”

Thanks to yoga, Muhammad is excited to see where his life will continue to take him.

Muhammad believes that “deconstructing the mentality that your body is a machine” is essential to live life holding value to your body as a living organism.

Grind culture (otherwise known as hustle culture), as Muhammad says, is informed by capitalism and white supremacy. These institutions perpetuating grind culture “sees human bodies merely as tools for profit,” he says.

With everything being online during the pandemic, it can be easy for students to get stuck on a version of success portrayed through social media.

In addition to being constantly faced by perceptions of success, students are dealing with new challenges in the wake of the pandemic.

Recent studies have shown that there is a reason for universities to be providing more resources for students to help cope with what is arguably a universally challenging semester. While yoga isn’t for everyone, it may be a solution for some during this challenging time.

As Muhammad says, “any community building is about finding and inspiring like minded individuals who share the same vision, and the same goal.”

Rumi Zai

Rumi Zai

I am a senior at American University and the current editor-in-chief. I study journalism and international relations. Starting Visible in 2019, in hopes of creating a safe space for queer & trans creators to come together, has been a dream come true. I continue striving to build this platform for my community. When I am not working on Visible, I am usually either with family/friends or writing/creating something! Feel free to email me with any questions: Rh6999a@student.american.edu

Pronouns: They/them

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