Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Brotha on Top: Yoga with TanO Mazi

A Black man who proudly practices yoga is like that one black friend who admits he listens to country music. You don't expect it but you gotta respect it. But earning respect isn't what yoga teacher and creative TanO Mazi wanted when he first stepped into the yoga world.
Mazi in Scorpion Handstand (Vrschikasana B)
The Anacostia-native says "someone like me didn't exist when I was growing up." He is living proof that a snotty-nosed kid from Southeast DC can grow up to be a healthy yogi, with street credibility included. His first dip into yoga came at an exotic holistic healing retreat on the beaches of Mexico. Then he trained under Rolf Gates and now teaches a packed class at Georgetown's Down Dog Yoga Studio. TanO says his goal in yoga is not only to give back but to "be with" the students in his class. 

I could barely manage to "be with" myself after I walked into his 4pm heated yoga class. I was not fully prepared for the mental and physical challenge of holding my tripod headstand as waterfalls of sweat poured onto palms. Then TanO softly asks, "What's the worst that could happen?" Err, me falling into five people!

TanO's class is for the yoga student who is ready for experimentation and has no fear of failure. The TanO Mazi method brings students closer to self-discovery when they leave the mat going beyond the predictable inhale/exhale instruction of most yoga teachers. 

The yoga journey has taken him back to his roots in Anacostia. He teaches yoga to students at Thurgood Marshall Academy giving them real homework on sanskrit, asanas and lifeskills. TanO Mazi is more than a brother on the mat. He is a spiritual being whose goal is to bring the real, organic, creative and human possibilities back to yoga.

Check him out

Down Dog Yoga - Georgetown
1046 Potomac Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
202-965-YOGA (9642)

1 comment:

Lawrence Mak said...

Yoga is good. I love Yoga.
I was sick with back problems and aching joints for 3 years, thanks God recently I have discovered a proven systematic set of techniques that will allow us to enjoy the richest whole body benefits of yoga... from the top of our head to the bottom of our toes.