In a world that tells you to present a certain way, act a certain way, and love a certain way, Alo’s Pride 2022 Campaign invites you to move — through all aspects of life — with authenticity and with pride.
From inspiring stories of self-discovery told on stage, to subtle yet powerful representations of pride worn on our sleeves (or socks and undergarments), this month has offered us many opportunities to see just what it means to move with pride.
Mel Douglas — a yoga instructor, founder of Black Women’s Yoga Collective, and plant mom to over 100 (yes, 100) thriving plant babies — returned as one of our models in this year’s Pride Campaign. Through her personal testimony as well as her participation in our Pride Collection Launch Party & Panel, Mel described the mat as the first place she learned to take up space.
As a Queer, Latina, Black woman, Mel shared how the world never asked her to take up space, and oftentimes, encouraged the exact opposite. When she first began her yoga practice, mindful movement urged her to own space in a clear and intentional way for the very first time.
Heard in many yoga classes around the world, the four corners of your mat are yours and only yours to breathe, bend, and accept whatever version of yourself shows up, and that is exactly what Mel did.
After becoming acquainted with this practice on the mat, Mel describes how she began to take her newfound knack for taking up space loudly into the world around her through means of teaching and leading like-minded people in her community.
Also a member of last year’s Pride Campaign, Leigh Wakeford shared during our Pride Panel how mindful movement doesn’t always mean yoga. For him, dancing provided an intentional way to express his authentic self. Through his practice of dance, Leigh describes how he became more informed on who he was spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
Bentley Fazi, a yoga instructor and member of the Community Team at Alo, echoed Leigh’s sentiments saying that mindful movement “peels back the layers” — like placing a leaf under a magnifying glass to reveal a whole ecosystem of beautiful complexities, movement provides the same illumination. Weaving breath to movement and mind to body creates a cathartic experience that works to reveal who you are at your core of cores. Then, the lifelong journey begins of learning to love and lead with whoever that person truly.
Infusing movement of any kind with intention — as so wisely said by Luigi Aldon, founder of Smudge Wellness — builds awareness, gratitude, and love of self. Previously a cycle instructor and currently a practicing yogi, Luigi describes how raw and carnal it is to be in a packed room of different people sweating amidst, among, and upon each other. It doesn’t get more authentic than that.
Aside from the postures and cues that ensure your body is kept safe, movement means freedom, and all are welcome. Whether that be joining Luigi in a spin class or dancing your heart out with Leigh or serving as sous chef to our wonderful Pride Panel moderator, Liz Cully.
While moving with pride stems from our love of yoga, we’ve learned that mindful movement can be as simple as going for a walk — taking in the sounds, pressing pause on the world, and allowing yourself a moment purely to yourself. It’s important to note (as so emphasized during our Pride Panel) that mindful movement doesn’t necessarily equate to an “aha!” moment. Rather, it is the journey of self-discovery, the evolution of who you are along the way, and the community you build in the meantime.
Watch the full discussion of our Pride Panel above and use the hashtag #MoveWithPride throughout June to show us what movement practice allows you to lead with pride.