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. Latora and I was born in Shreveport, LA and my family is from Homer, LA. Currently, I live in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.
I feel that I’ve been on my spiritual journey my entire life. Growing up, I was introduced to the Christian religion and Church at a very early age. In 2012, I began to study and practice Centering Prayer which is a meditation form within the Christian tradition that places a strong emphasis on achieving inner silence. I also began practicing Yoga at home with a simple app on my phone and YouTube videos because I was too intimidated to go to a Yoga studio at first.
“The incorporation of meditation into my spiritual journey has been the greatest tool for my spiritual and personal growth.”
The incorporation of meditation into my spiritual journey has been the greatest tool for my spiritual and personal growth. Learning to sit still and focus on my breath are skills that have been useful in managing the stressors of daily life. Initially, I wasn’t sure that it was benefiting me at all. I seemed to never be able to actually quiet my overly-active brain. In Centering Prayer, we are taught that GOD’s first language is silence, and to truly hear GOD you just listen to the silence. And since I could never seem to actually silence my thoughts I felt like I was just wasting time sitting “doing nothing”. However, the change was happening and others noticed it before I did. I received compliments on how calm I seemed to remain no matter what chaos was around me.
I truly believe the practice of Centering Prayer and keeping my body active with Yoga has helped me maintain both mental and physical wellbeing. Both are especially helpful with stress management and keeping my blood pressure under control. As a Registered Nurse, I have been blessed to incorporate the art and science of Nursing with Yoga practices when working with clients. I offer customized guided meditations, as well as restorative and yin-inspired Yoga to my holistic wellness clients.
The struggles I’ve faced as a Black person in the wellness space have been very similar to the struggles I’ve faced as a Black Woman in the field of nursing. No matter how many degrees, certifications, and training I complete, there’s always someone who seems to question, “What makes you qualified to be in this space?”.
One example is when I posted in a predominantly White yoga Facebook group about how excited I was to have contracted with a local yoga studio to teach a Functional Anatomy Seminar to their new cohort of Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) students. My comment section to this post was quickly filled, not with congratulations, but with fellow Yogis demanding to know what made me think that I was qualified to teach this seminar? I had one particular person explain to me that she was a 500hr ERYT and “she didn’t even feel qualified to teach Yoga Anatomy”. I calmly explained to her that I have 26 years of clinical nursing practice and have taught Anatomy and Physiology to Nursing students. I actually developed and wrote the curriculum for the seminar, so yes I feel very confident that I am qualified to teach a Functional Anatomy Seminar.
Despite the negativity, I believe I’m blessed to have access to several awesome Black Yoga Teachers when I choose to attend group classes. All of the classes are inclusive and have students of all racial identities. Yet, having the class lead by someone who looks like me or my brothers adds an energy connection that is priceless.
Recently, I was interviewed on the Divine Downloads podcast blog by Lisbeth Overton. I share life lessons, experiences, and perspectives from my journey as a Black Woman, Mother, Nurse, and Yogini. I also had the opportunity to write for Spotlight on Health and Wellness /Elyse Ashley. The title of my blog entry is “Learning to embrace wellness: Applying holistic self-care practices with The Nurse Doc is Zen“.
To find out more about me, you can check me out at:
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