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 Carline Bejin. She’s a domestic violence survivor who found healing in the practice of yoga which led her to becoming a yoga teacher.
Read more about Carline below and visit her Moxie studio to join her for a class.
Q&A with Carline Bejin
• 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 began practicing yoga off and on over two decades ago, but it wasn’t consistent. It wasn’t until years later that I made a real connection with yoga after surviving a stroke and domestic violence. I found healing, peace, and fulfillment. I joined a teacher training yoga to deepen my practice and to eventually start my journey as an instructor and inspire others to experience yoga. In addition to teaching in the studio, I facilitate trauma-informed yoga workshops to help others like me overcome.
• What is your coaching philosophy or mantra?
In this society, we find ourselves stuck in the mode of always doing. There are moments when we need to engage in the act of “not doing” so that we can reconnect with ourselves. In my classes, I create a space for students to take the time to slow down, notice the present and relieve stress. It’s their moment to bring their walls down, genuinely feel, and get the much-needed rest they deserve.
• What does leadership mean to you?
It’s about being a vessel for change by listening and tuning in.
• How important is it for you to be a wellness leader in the black community?
I used to attend a lot of yoga classes in New Jersey. More often than not, people who look like me were not present in the room. I found it disheartening that others in the community were not getting to experience yoga. To find a teacher or student of color was rare, but when I did, it felt empowering to see them. I hope that others are empowered to participate in yoga by seeing more Black and Brown teachers and students.
• We’re excited to get to know the charity you are supporting! Who are they and why are they special to you?
Woman Space, Inc is an organization that helps domestic abuse victims and survivors leave, find resources and begin again. When I had nowhere to turn, they helped me leave a long-term abusive relationship and restart my life. They were my safety net, and I’m forever grateful for surviving. I don’t know if I would have made it out without them. So I hope that they can continue to get funding to help more women like me survive.