Photo Credit: svetikd
Woman Opens Black-Owned Yoga Studio In NYC While Homeless
Bronx resident, Yosara, opened Sweet Water Dance and Yoga during a time when things in her life were very uncertain and unstable.
According to the post, she was an older new mom— having her son at 40-years-old. She had just graduated from law school and was studying for the NY bar while caring for her newborn, who was also premature.
“During law school, yoga had been the one thing keeping me sane, but I couldn’t even afford to take a single class,” she said in her interview with HONY.
She goes on to detail the struggle of trying to study in between nursing her son, who also had colic and was very fussy. There were days and nights where she was so exhausted, she barely had the energy to feed herself a bowl of lentils and rice.
“Thankfully, my mother was a hustler. She was running an insurance agency down the block, and in exchange for keeping her books, she let me use an empty office. Which gave me an idea. I thought, ”if I could just fit a few more people in here, we could afford to hire a yoga instructor.'”
Yosara ended up putting a flier up to find an instructor, and found someone willing to teach for only $20 per class. She then fixed up the office with some incense and a curtain for a dressing room, and that was the start of her Black-owned yoga studio, Sweet Water.
For the first five years, money was scarce, so she moved into the office/ yoga studio with her son.
“Customers were watching me raise him with nothing but a hot plate, a fridge, and a toaster. It wasn’t okay. It wasn’t okay for us to live in public like that,” she explained to HONY.
But, this story has a happy ending.
According to Yosara, the debts of her Black-owned yoga studio have been paid off, and they are now turning a profit. They have built a loyal customer base, and many ended up investing in Yosara’s brand because they saw her vision and understood what it meant as a mother to want something greater for your child.
You can read Yosara’s full HONY story here.