At BMYI, we envision a future, where race and gender are not social determinants of health, and where individuals are empowered to take on the path of self-realization; that we may all join in the understanding that health is our collective heritage. BMYI creates integrated, supportive, safe spaces that empower our program participants to break down social stigmas, gain skills for human development and thus create positive social change in their own communities and our global community.
Our ultimate goal is is to advance health equity, driving action to reduce health differences
among social groups with a focused lens on men of color, by reducing barriers in our unique field of preventative health.
BMYI's founder and Chief Yoga Officer, Changa Bell, suffered from a major heart event and healed himself through a commitment to the full practice of Yoga. Changa discovered 2 major issues: 1. He was not alone among his peers; they all were suffering from major health threats, and way too many of his peers were not making it through. 2. Changa was on his yoga journey; however he was taken a back that even in the yoga community there were often-extreme ways that he was marginalized.
Committed to his path, Changa later became a Registered Yoga Instructor, went on a sabbatical and received many certifications. Upon leaving his teaching position at Georgetown University (not before becoming a Georgetown Certified Life Coach) Changa created the Black Male Yoga Initiative and today BMYI's reach impacts a thousand participants each year.
Established on an initial effort to build awareness in the black community on how yoga was an anti-cancer to the health issues plaguing the community, BMYI later evolved into an organization that would empower the most vulnerable. BMYI became a place where program participants could further their growth and become registered yoga instructors. We realized we could HEAL A NATION BY CREATING A NATION OF HEALERS!
In all our work we strive to elevate marginalized voices and viewpoints and promote a robust, authentic respect for individual value. Our programs support individuals of all identities and abilities to become catalysts for change in their own lives, their communities, and beyond.
Public health is what we do together as a society to ensure the conditions in which everyone can be healthy. BMYI creates a holistic health infrastructure--an essential part of undoing health inequity--and personal connections to cultivate a broader holistic definition of health and well-being.
We envision that The Black Male Yoga Initiative will be the premier organization from which the community at large receives holistic education, support, information and services that lead to their self-actualization, personal agency and self-empowerment, improving individual and community health resulting in healthy, productive and positive individuals.