Vanessa is the creator and visionary behind BlackGirlYoga.
When beginning her yoga journey, Vanessa searched for relatable yogis who reflected her passion and image. She immediately recognized a need for increased visibility of Black practitioners. BlackGirlYoga was created in 2013 to build a loving and inclusive community. In searching for her own inspiration she designed a space which globally motivates a practice of self-love and self-care.
That passion and drive later led her to become a certified yoga teacher herself continuing her mission to share in the beauty of this practice with others and service her community. She currently teaches yoga in Central NJ. Aside from yoga, Vanessa is a wife and mother and enjoys photography, poetry and running. She has a B.B.A. in Economics with a minor in Psychology.
Follow her on Instagram: @vnessamerie
Tiarah Flores, Communications Manager
Tiarah comes to the Black Girl Yoga Team with over a decade of yoga experience. It was early on when she fell in love with the benefits of mastering the union of mind, body and spirit. Tiarah began practicing yoga on her own for years when she noticed an overwhelming cultural disparity amongst yoga enthusiasts. She noticed there were very little minorities who practiced yoga and even fewer minority instructors. That observation sparked an even deeper interest in the field and although she initially didn’t have plans on becoming an instructor, she developed a deep yearning along her journey to share her love with others. Tiarah recognized that in order to bring more diversity to the mat, she would need to become the very thing that was missing.
To begin bridging the gap, Tiarah sought out the mentorship of world renowned yoga instructor, Chopra Master Educator, wellness educator and inspirational speaker, Claire Diab. Under her direction at the American Yoga Academy, Tiarah became an expert healer through mastering yoga philosophy and technique. She now seeks to empower other minority yoga enthusiasts by being the face and story many can relate to.
Tiarah can be found on Instagram @yogawithtiarah and @the_esoteric_1
Tiffany Goins, Brand Artist
Tiffany teaches yoga in the Philadelphia area. Her passion for the art of Yoga has simmered and developed consistently since 2009. This passion is what fuels her to not only practice, but also share the love and healing elements of Yoga with all who enter her regular weekly, and select employer-sponsored sessions. Tiffany attests that Yoga has changed her holistically. Personally, she's realized personal physical, spiritual and mental growth and affirms that these changes have provided her tools for identifying, managing and defeating the unpredictable nature of clinical depression.
A serial autodidact, Tiff has begun to explore and has fallen in love with writing poetry, simple sketching, and doodling. As creative motivation dictates, she now infuses poetry, yoga, lettering, doodling, and sketching into one big box of love. Expressive art has become one of the greatest tools in Tiffany’s mental wellness kit.
Two favorite quotes:
“Yoga has a sly, clever way of short circuiting the mental patterns that cause anxiety”. ~Baxter Bell
“Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul…and you answer. ~Terri Guillemets
For her on Instagram: @yogatiffany_
Kala Lacy, Facebook Team
Kala joined the BGY Team as a contributing writer in 2015. She is an activist, associate therapist, certified yoga teacher, and wellness educator who works within underserved communities to provide education of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness. She is excited to include BGY as a powerful healing tool of her collective, The Well, a holistic and inclusive resource dedicated to the health of Black and people of color.
"We are capable of wellness even if wounded." - Kala
Donna Ricketts, MPH, Facebook Team
Donna is a health coach, educator and yoga lover passionate about helping others make healthy choices.
She’s holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise, Nutrition and Wellness as well as a Master’s in Public Health. Donna is also a certified personal trainer and a Mad Dogg Certified Spinning® Instructor.
Donna Ricketts, MPH
Health Educator- Health Coach
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
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Jennette Haynes, Facebook Team
Jennette is a full-time Yoga Instructor, Cannabis Advocate, and the Product Creator for the brand Omie Goods. Jennette, who is originally from Boston, MA and currently residents in the New York/ New Jersey area, began her yoga journey in July 2015 after attending a workshop lead by Dr. Sana'a Jaman (@ladydork). It was during her practice that she began to notice the lack of diversity within the yoga studios that she attended and within the Wellness Industry as a whole. “ February 2017 Jennette graduated from YogaWorks 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Program, and three months later relaxed to New York City where she began her yoga teaching career at studios such as PowerYoga Flow in Hoboken, New Jersey, Equinox SoHo, Harlem Yoga Studio, and New York Sports Club where she teaches currently. Her particular brand of teaching which she affectionately calls “Mindful Chaos” has allowed her to create her own unique brand of teaching that emphasizes love of your body and doing what works for you in your practice.