Chelsea Jackson Roberts is a Peloton yoga instructor . She recently explained how yoga has been a crucial part of her life. Her practice is still at the core of her life, from school teacher to first Black Peloton instructor in yoga.
Chelsea Jackson Roberts, a Bustle interviewee, describes her 20-years of yoga practice. She also explains how yoga has helped her get to where she is today.
She confesses that yoga was originally a way to exercise. After the death of a friend, she discovered its healing properties firsthand. During a time of deep loss, yoga helped her heal.
Jackson Roberts was able to see the healing power of yoga for mental and physical health. She became so passionate about yoga’s benefits, that she dedicated her entire career to making it more mainstream.
Yoga in the classroom
Chelsea began her career as a teacher in the third grade at an Atlanta school, where many students were below the poverty line. Many of the children lived in difficult living conditions every day. Jackson Roberts taught the children yoga and breathing exercises. She noticed a change in the behavior of the children. They were also happier returning to school each day.
Jackson Roberts realized that she could be on to something very life-changing. She decided to leave the classroom and pursue a five year Ph.D. program. She is the first Black Peloton instructor in yoga, sharing her knowledge with others around the world every day.
Chelsea Jackson Roberts, yoga and Peloton
Jackson Roberts, a woman of color in Yoga revealed to Bustle the challenges she has faced.
There are many challenges that I face today. It is important to be at Peloton, which has such a wide reach, to help rewrite the story of yoga. I’ve been to [yoga] festivals and conferences as the teacher, but I was wrongly identified as the one who had to clean the room or as the assistant.
This is due to the systemic marginalization of who counts as the wise and knowledgeable teacher. It was important for young women to be able to see me in spaces or on the cover of magazines to change that narrative and remind them that they are also worthy of being there as wise and knowledgeable teachers.
Jackson Roberts provided great insight on the state of diversity in today’s yoga industry.
Yoga is not different from society in general. It’s a microcosm of what we see. If we don’t see ourself represented in these spaces it won’t just happen by magic. Access, representation, and access to education are all important. You also need to examine who is being invited to these spaces, and who isn’t. This will give us lots of information about how to expand yoga’s reach and start it.
Peloton can be used to promote health
Chelsea Jackson Roberts hopes that her Peloton audience will help bring about social change. Particularly, how we feel and act towards one another.
Yoga is, by definition, the act of joining, uniting, or yoking. Although I enjoy yoga postures and the amazing things our bodies can do with them, I would like to see yoga be more mainstreamed as a philosophy people can use to guide their lives. Non-violence is grounded in truth and connection. I believe we’ll see a more connected, compassionate society when we have these components.