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Massachusetts studio aims to make yoga accessible for all

Somerville yoga studio aims to make people from all backgrounds feel included
Somerville yoga studio aims to make people from all backgrounds feel included 02:04

SOMERVILLE - A yoga studio in Somerville is making sure that people from all backgrounds feel comfortable and included in the wellness space. 

"I wanted to create space for people who don't really feel seen or supported in just the regular Boston western yoga fitness culture and studios. So, I created this space so people can feel safe, seen and supported," MOTA Wellness studio owner Monia Fernandez told WBZ-TV. 

Fernandez started learning yoga back in 2015. But when she took her first class, she didn't feel that the studio was a welcoming space for her as a Black and queer woman. After learning at home on YouTube for two years, she took it upon herself to create that space for others. 

"It's been really, really surreal to be able to just watch the growth and just see the way in which people need space and that I can offer it," Fernandez said. 

In August of 2021, she opened her first studio space in Assembly Row in Somerville and then eventually moved to Union Square. Becoming a business owner has changed her life.

"My lived experience and the life I live now is black and white," she said. Growing up in a low-income area in Brockton, she's proud of how far she's come. 

She said there are struggles with being a Black business owner with so much going on in the world. But, she uses her experience to inform her business, including teaching instructors about trauma-informed yoga.

"We talk a great deal about colonizing, diversity, inclusivity, accessibility. Our training teaches people what trauma-informed language is. Teaching lifestyle, the practice of not assuming anything about anyone," she explained.

She hopes the participants can feel as confident and comfortable as she does now.

"I love the skin I'm in. I love who I am," she said. 

To be inclusive of people from all backgrounds who want to practice yoga, they have a tiered pay scale from $15 to $25. She remembers when she couldn't afford $25 per-class multiple times a week and she doesn't want others to feel that way now.

"Our community is regular people. Regular people with regular jobs. They'll tell me 'Thank you so much for this, I couldn't afford to come here if it wasn't this price,'" she explained. 

Her ultimate goal is for the studio to become a nonprofit so people can practice yoga for free. She hopes to expand the space to train more instructors, have rooms for different yoga styles, and even let others book the studio for their classes.

For more information, visit their website by clicking here.

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