Welcome to the Yoga for Arthritis monthly blog series that features our YFA members hard work, dedication, & passion. Without the ongoing efforts of these standout members, we would not be where we are today.
How has yoga impacted your life?
I have been blessed to be in the yoga practice for one 30 years. My mother, a professional ballet dancer, introduced me to yoga, and continues to practice herself, attending my weekly virtual Hatha class. As a yogini, I am grateful to be able to share this wonderful practice that I have grown to cultivate and love in my own life. I am especially grateful to share yoga with members of my own family and black community.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtual yoga space is prime for peeling back the taboos of practicing yoga as folks can do so with some amount of anonymity. I can use my voice and knowledge as a member of our community to subtly align yoga with the spiritual practices and beliefs of my family and friends that is greatly missing from the average commercial yoga studios. Since my family and friends basically trust me as their daughter, mother, sister, cousin and confident, they are willing to try the practice and are marveling at the ways their bodies and minds are benefiting through asana and pranayama. My joy? Watching them feel empowered by the strength of their beings regardless of their age and ability.
How did you find YFA?
I met Dr. Steffany Moonaz in 2015 while serving as the yoga "interventionist" in the NIH feasibility research study "Yoga as self-care for arthritis in minority communities." Steffany invited me to participate in the Level I training that began my journey teaching yoga for arthritis and other yoga therapy classes. I continued on to complete Level II Y4A training, became a mentor for new Y4A teachers and now provide Y4A trainings and workshops. Y4A has broaden my understanding of the human existence and developed my confidence in working with students of mixed abilities.
I appreciate Y4A because it is a practice that blends scientific research with traditional yoga philosophy. My clients and students blossom as they gain a better understanding of their bodies, explore the benefits of mindfulness, and resonant with the spiritual yoga principles because Y4A brings a practical application to these teachings.
Charlene's Regular Teaching Schedule
I am teaching solely on-line: a weekly Chair Yoga Class and Hatha I class. I also serve as the Lead YTT200 Trainer for a small Black-owned studio in Maryland: Love Yoga Studio. This is the second cohort of YTT200 I have led for Love Yoga Studio.
Charlene teaching Yoga for Mixed Abilities Workshop for the United Yoga Studio
Praise: "Today's session was illuminating, informative and so, so empowering. Thank you for your sattvic energy and for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us."
Charlene Marie Muhammad
Charlene Marie Muhammad is a traditional healing practitioner, who focuses on supporting clients with a practical application to optimal health by using the healing tools that she has grown to embrace in her own personal life: herbal medicine, nutrition and yoga.
A graduate of Cornell University, Charlene holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health and is a Licensed Dietitian. Charlene is also a certified yoga therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IYAT), serves as the Chair for IAYT's DEI Taskforce, and Secretary to the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance Board of Directors.