Welcome to Black Yoga Society’s Meet The Community! Every Monday and Thursday, we feature a member sharing their spiritual journey and discussing all their wins and losses along the way. If you’d like to be featured, contact us.
I’m Dr. Jennifer Edwards, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but I’ve spent the larger part of my life in Dallas, Texas now. I may not have been born here, but I got here as fast I could, as they say.
I’m so grateful I had a friend who invited me to a yoga class. She was a churchmate, dance mate, and she pulled me onto the yoga scene. I’m a trained dancer, cheered and danced in college, and continued recreational dance as an adult. I know the value of a good stretch and limber joints. We attended a partner class that was held in a small studio. We had a blast. She did the airplane pose and held me up with her legs. I was sold after that.
“I’ve always had faith in the Lord, and yoga is one way that I get to prioritize my body as a temple.”
I was held up at gunpoint coming home from yoga class about ten years ago. The calm energy that I held from the practice kept me calm and probably kept me alive. My fight or flight response was not there. I did not fight. I did not yell. Those actions would have cost me my life that day. As the gun was point less than two feet away from me, I handed over my purse and my keys and made it out alive. Yoga not only means strength and cardio for me — yoga brings a sense of peace that few other activities can.
I’ve always had faith in the Lord, and yoga is one way that I get to prioritize my body as a temple. The quiet time allows me to rest and recharge from days that can sometimes be more hectic than I’d care to admit. It allows me time to pay attention to my alignment, which makes a huge difference should I experience body aches. I’m able to mostly correct issues early and on my own.
I’m a vinyasa yoga fan. I love a good flow and a good sweat. The flows allow me to pay attention to my breath and places of tension in my body. I now understand these signals early on before I get overly stressed and burnt out. I just pay attention to the messages my body is telling me now. It makes a huge difference. I support women in recognizing, avoiding, and reversing burnout. I created an online coaching experience called Wellthy that offers solutions, hacks, and strategies to restore, recharge, and better manage the chaos often thrown our way on these complex journeys we live.
I find the wellness space can sometimes be dominated by the intense, early morning, high-intensity crew, and the depictions of beauty usually don’t look like me. My space in wellness is dedicated to the intentional pursuit of success daily; no hurrying, rushing, or comparing to others. The element of competitiveness counters what I encourage women to do in finding their own mission, purpose, and working toward that daily. Fighting the urge to conform to what’s most popular can be tempting, but I know there’s a crew of women who need what I have to offer.
The broader audience seems to be sincerely interested in amplifying Black voices now. We have to proceed with discernment and ensure we are not being tokenized, but I’ve had some great opportunities to connect with larger audiences and media platforms because they’re now recognizing the gap in the inclusion of Black women. I also landed funding to support my wellness efforts several months ago that allowed us to expand into the plant-based product space and research more amazing wellness content.
I’m a 4th generation entrepreneur and I’ve been dedicated to wellness since I endured family medical challenges at a young age. I spend my time now supporting ladies who engage in the Wellthy online coaching experience, offering personalized coaching, supporting hospitals, and putting my creativity and chemistry background to use by launching a clean beauty brand – Refinne – focused on wellness and self-care.
Tell me how you’re focusing on your own wellness and self-care on Instragram: @DrJennEdwards and @RefinneSkincare. You can get instant access to Wellthy at JennPhD.com and shop Refinne clean beauty at RefinneSkincare.com. Check out my certified BYS Listing here. If you’re ever in Dallas, let’s grab a socially distant latte together. Cheers!
If you want to see more “Meet The Community”, click here.