boti heroes: roots to rise yoga

Next up in our new series, BOTI Heroes, we spoke to the beautiful duo Laurene and Joselyn of Roots to Rise Yoga, a project supporting all Womxn with wellness. Here’s a bit about some of the brilliant work they are doing:

Congratulations on your beautiful project that launched at the end of August . Tell us a bit about what led you to create Roots To Rise Yoga?
Roots to rise came to us in a really organic manner. It was a natural progression from a Womxn’s Yoga course Laurene had started which I (Jos) joined after having done it myself in July. After the first course ran, there was the brutal murder of George Floyd which then started a wave of awakening to racism not just in the US, but also in the UK. It was also really clear that racism has greatly affected the wellness industry. At that point we started the concept for Roots to Rise with the aim to change and transform the wellness industry, the lack of representation and everything around it which contributes to the state in which it is currently in, which is exclusive and only accessible for some with privilege.

It sounds incredible and so important for us to all be part of the change. What do you think makes your approach different?
It was so organic getting this together and we work so well together, with a shared passion for equity, equality, social justice and Yoga. All of these factors have played part in creating this venture! We are genuine and not performative, so we mean what we set out to do. We are always learning and unlearning and listening to all voices that approach us, so we want Roots to Rise to be a place where womxn who feel under represented in the yoga world are celebrated and their voices are raised.

Just hearing you talk about this makes us feel empowered! How are you planning to support womxn?
We want to create events where under represented womxn can gather. We have a few projects that we have already run, with an amazing workshop with Dianne Bondy in September month and an in person womxn’s circle that we ran in October. We also just ran another Womxn’s Yoga course, which is all done online.

Some amazing work already. If womxn reading this want to get involved, are you open to collaborations?
Roots to rise is all about collaborations. Working together and growing every step of the way. If you do want to collaborate please find us on instagram and message us your plans! We are always open to listening

And how can people support your project?
Follow us on instagram and support the teachers, artists and practitioners highlighted. We also run a fundraiser to raise up BIPOC womxn in the wellness industry, by offering them scholarship places on our course. [You can support the fundraiser here]

What changes (behavioural or other!) would you like to see as a result of the work you are doing?
We would like to see people stepping our of their comfort zones, to really and truly reflect on how they have been conditioned by society to treat themselves and others. particularly within the wellness industry. We want people to actively create a more diverse and inclusive wellness world. In doing this healing of the whole you will find the healing of the self. But it has to begin with community and this has to be accessible and welcoming to all. 

We couldn’t agree more. And what do you love most about the community in Brighton, Hove and Sussex?
We believe that there is a great foundation in the wellness community with so many intersected in growth, development and healing. 

And finally, who is your Brighton Hero and why?
There are so many that come to mind but if we are to pick one to highlight it would have to be Indie Foolheea. Indie is Ayurvedic practitioner and strongly promotes connecting to your route. She has started a weekly BIPOC women’s yoga class here in Brighton and has been doing so much work for women of colour and social justice in wellness world! She’s a hero!

BOTI’s co-editor Betty met Jos on Laurene’s Woman’s Yoga course earlier this year. If you’re looking for a way to reconnect with yourself and find out more about how to support yourself with woman’s yoga, this is the course for you. Find out more about their upcoming course here and ‘Homecoming’ workshop series here.