As a part of our Black Leaders Day celebration, we are sharing the stories of our Black instructors and supporting the causes that matter most to them.
Today we have the opportunity to celebrate Jordan Murphy. She’s a mom, vinyasa, and restorative yoga instructor.
Read more about Jordan below and visit her Moxie studio to join her for a class.
Q&A with Jordan Murphy
- Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming a fitness instructor. How did you get started? Is there an achievement you’re particularly proud of?
I’m someone who has struggled, really struggled with depression and anxiety. I’ve been practicing yoga since 2013 as a way to work through some of my heavy days. The bond my yoga practice was able to mend within myself has been powerful and I wanted to be able to teach that to others.
I received my 200 hr certificate from a hot power yoga studio in June of 2020, but after the repeated videos of traumatic racial injustices that were viral in June 2020, power yoga just wasn’t resonating with me anymore. I didn’t have the energy to prove my strength anymore. I turned to restorative yoga and started this unexpected journey of unpacking race-based stresses, trauma, and micro-aggressions I’d endured and witness for years. I began focusing on taking a step back and incorporating more relaxation techniques into my day.
I’ve used my role as a Black yoga instructor to advocate for self-care, mental wellness, and most importantly accurate representation within the yoga community. I’ve hosted several community-based yoga classes on Moxie, directly donating all proceeds to local Soup Kitchens, Food Pantries, and organizations that focus on under-served and under-resourced populations within my local community.
- What is your coaching philosophy or mantra?
There’s something to be said about how difficult it is to turn our minds and bodies off of overdrive and to just be still. So I remind my students to slow down and take their time. I tell them, “you are worthy of rest. It’s not something that has to be earned after a busy day. Take time to connect with your body and breathe. You deserve it.”
- What does leadership mean to you?
I’m a mom before I’m a yoga instructor, and my daughter is very observant. Being a leader or a parent means not only leading by example but living by example. Who you are behind closed doors matters and if you’re not moving with kindness in all aspects of life, you won’t be an effective leader
- How important is it for you to be a wellness leader in the black community?
I live in a pretty large city in Massachusetts, and I was shocked at how difficult it was to find a person of color teaching in any of the yoga studios around me. It’s crucial to hold space and be available for your community in all ways. Not only is it empowering to see a person of color that looks like you teaching or attending a class within the wellness community, but it also properly represents the vast diversity that your community holds.
- We’re excited to get to know the charity you are supporting! Who are they and why are they special to you?
Black Boys OM, INC. I found their Instagram (@blackboysom) last summer. They’re a great organization that provides inspiration and resources for the Black wellness community. They exist to serve the well-being of Black Boys and Black Men through mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. They empower Black male yoga Instructors to share their wellness practices within the Black community by uplifting Black boys in particular with programs centering around physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- Is there someone in the Black community or a figure in history who inspires you and whom you wish more folks knew about? We’d love to hear about them!
My younger brother Michael is my inspiration and my hero. He’s a veteran, a youth basketball coach, and a local firefighter in our hometown. He’s very funny, smart, and courageous, and he has always stood up for what’s right, no matter what. Ever since he was a little kid he would always speak up if he felt someone was being treated unfairly, even if it was an unpopular opinion. I am so proud to be his sister. His bravery in every stage of his life has taught me about adversity and that one voice can still have an impact on many.