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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

Bend don’t break: “He Do Yoga”

A “He Do Yoga” session.

“He Do Yoga” (HDY) is a Black-owned and operated yoga program that provides a safe space for Black boys and men to practice being in an authentic relationship with themselves. This program has many aims; improving the social and environmental factors surrounding the health of Black boys and men is just one of them. In our community, Black boys and men face a long list of health challenges with mental and physical health. In other words, Black bodies are bending and breaking out here, and we need help.

This is partly why I attend yoga sessions with HDY. I also have a 20-year-old son who attends the yoga sessions too.  I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for the HDY program, as it creates a safe place for Black boys and men to come together, fellowship with no judgment, grow, and breathe without restraints.

HDY is a collaborative program that provides multiple opportunities to engage in conversations focused on improving our health and wellness. Additional programs run by HDY in collaboration with other Black-owned and operated businesses in the Milwaukee area includes Embody Yoga, Alice’s Garden and Style Pop Café.

HDY holds its FREE yoga sessions at the Embody Yoga studio, which is owned and operated by a fierce and elegant Black woman by the name of Joanna Brooks, one of Milwaukee’s very own. For more information about Embody Yoga, you can visit their website here

HDY also has a Food Justice Program. This program aims to help boys and men shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market with confidence. The HDY Food Justice Program is a collaborative effort with Alice’s Garden and these sessions are scheduled in the summer.  Alice’s Garden provides models of regenerative farming and community cultural development. Venice Williams, the executive director of Alice’s Garden, has been serving the Milwaukee community in various ways for over 30 years. She strongly believes her purpose in life is to help bring forth all that is good and whole in people and places. You can find out more about Alice’s Garden here.

HDY provides guided painting for kids and yoga for men at Alice’s Garden on opposite weeks of the Food Justice week. I attended guided painting and yoga sessions this past summer with my 4-year-old and 7-year-old, and they absolutely love it. I consider myself to be blessed because my children get to witness their father’s work on being present and in his mind, body, and spirit for them. 

In my opinion, being a Black man who practices yoga is a great way to combat racism and oppression in the world. It’s my counter to the risk factors in my life. Knowing the disparities that Black boys and men are constantly faced with in America, HDY is essential in our community.

My hope is that more men and families will take advantage of this FREE program and get the benefits from practicing yoga as my family has. If anyone would like to get involved with HDY you can by reaching out to the instructor at this email: [email protected] and inquire more information. 

HDY is a new program that is still in its infancy stage so you won’t find a website out there yet, but if you would like to support their efforts to get the word out and continue serving the community, donations are gladly appreciated. You can do so by emailing the same email above.

“He Do Yoga” is one place in Milwaukee where Black boys and men are bending but not breaking for life.



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