May 12, 2022

By Devyn Bakewell

Assistant Managing Editor


Studies have shown that many mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and stress affect Black people disproportionately compared to other ethnic groups. Due to many external and internal social stresses, such as racism, sexism, and socio-economic issues, many Black people struggle with taking the necessary steps to prioritizing selfcare.

This is why Lauren Spearman, founder of RNB Yoga, decided to take her practice to the community. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she branched out her practice in 2017. Spearman wanted yoga classes to reflect the same environment she had at home, with the music she loved.

“I started [RNB Yoga] five years ago, when I was 23, and I just did it because that’s how I like to do it at the crib. I turn on Drake or Beyonce and then I just flow,” shared Spearman.


She continued with, “When I started this I had no intention of it getting so big, or even bringing it to LA. I purely just wanted to host a yoga class that I’d take myself, so I started doing studio classes, then word got around and I started doing events. It’s just evolved since then.


Lauren started exploring a relationship with yoga when she was fourteen, while in a middle school yoga club.

“Just having yoga at my school was a blessing and privilege,” she shared. “But I was feeling stressed about something, and I saw a flier for yoga, and I’d heard it relaxed you, so I signed up. I did it for mental reasons, but in my first class, during the meditation portion I remember feeling so good. I didn’t even realize what I was getting into.”

The founder went on to continue her practice of Core Yoga, and then got certified as an instructor at 21. She stated that, since then, yoga has been a vital tool in her life.

“Especially for my mental,” she said. “Yoga’s been a tool for me to stay sane, and physically it makes me feel good, too. It’s a good way to sweat and work out.”

Yoga is not something emphasized within the black community, which Lauren touched upon in her interview. Acknowledging that “yoga is something I found but felt like I wasn’t supposed to. It’s not often offered in our community, but it’s all around so good for you, so It’s super important to make sure Black communities have access to this good feeling.”

Yoga can be a practice that is very expensive, from classes to memberships clothing to the accessories. It’s been turned into a market, especially as it’s gained popularity over the years, and has been a form of physical activity that some may feel is meant for a certain type of person.

“When [Black] people see one body type always being shown in the media and in yoga classes, primarily in white communities, it leads them to think that yoga isn’t for them. I think it’s important to show Black people, and all people of color, that yoga is meant for everybody. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can be really fun.”

Even during her own journey of practicing yoga, Lauren found that she was often the only black person in the room.

“…or I was always the young one,” she told LAWT. “Then when I got certified to teach, I was told I couldn’t play rap, or specific types of music. That really offended me.”

“So, this world has really evolved so much,” she continued. “Yoga wasn’t diverse. This was a class I was looking for, so I made it.”

The founder also explained that yoga is supposed to be a practice centered around body positivity. Classes generated around upper-class whiteness completely disregards this.

“RNB Yoga does this [promotes body positivity] because in our classes you see all types of bodies.

A lot of mainstream yoga classes don’t have that, but even if you go our website you’ll see people of all body types, all ages, all levels.

It really just shows that this is a diverse yoga class that they’ll feel included in.” 

Spearman offers a lot of different classes in RNB Yoga with sessions centered around songs from the early 2000s, Drake, Beyonce, and even Kendrick Lamar.

“Every class that I teach is different because every group is different. The energy is always different,” she said enthusiastically.

Lauren’s advice to those interested in starting their own yoga journey is “to just do it.

I know how nerve-wracking it can be, but do it because it makes you feel good. That’s the point of it—no one else matters. Just do it for you.”

As for yogis who want to start their own business centered around their craft, her advice is “to be different. You want to set yourself apart because there’s a lot of classes.”

As 2022 continues, RNB Yoga hopes to branch out their classes to other cities. She’s also looking forward to doing classes in her hometown soon.

All RNB Yoga classes are currently available in Los Angeles.

To sign up for classes, visit You can also keep tabs on Lauren and future events on Instagram (@rnbyoga).


Category: Health