Yogi in the Community: Takeyah Young

What better way to return from a small blog vacation than to introduce our next Yogi in the Community Ms. Takeyah Young! Takeyah is a Florida based yoga instructor who already has a Yogi in the Community connection with our very own Ms. Faith Hunter who certified Takeyah in her 200 hour yoga training! Currently, Takeyah is preparing for her “Get Within” Yoga Retreat in Jamaica for women! I had a chance to catch up with Takeyah and talked with her about issues surrounding health and wellness for Women of Color. Please take a moment to get inspired!

Name: Takeyah A. Young

Location: South Florida

How did you begin your yoga practice?

I was first introduced to asana practice in 2000. I took my first class and felt like I was floating at least a foot above the ground. I immediately said to myself, “Wow! I HAVE to teach this to other people.”

“Health is how an outsider, physician, or practitioner would define your state. Wellness is how you would define your state.”

For my first 3 years, I practiced with the same teacher. Then I practiced with varying teachers after that. I always desired to become a teacher and after several years of practice, I completed my full 200-hr training with Faith Hunter in Washington, DC. My yoga practice reminds me to connect to my breath, connect to my core + surrender to the flow of life.

I see that you are a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Can you talk a little bit more about what you do in this position? With whom do you work?

As a health coach, I help women take a personal approach to living their lives. Together, we identify their values and focus on core value/daily action alignment. We look at the connection of nourishment and food choices, techniques for looking and feeling better, detoxification and cleansing experiences, and physical activity that feels natural. Through self-exploration and experimentation, we ultimately address and develop solutions to the challenges they’ve had in creating and maintaining optimal health and wellness.

I work with the busy, creative soul who endeavors to tap into her healthiest, most vibrant self, and the left-brained woman who excels in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and wants to create a sense of equilibrium and attention toward a body that looks and feels genuinely well, are both ideal Core Connection Lifestyle clients.

My coaching, live teaching and speaking offerings emphasize soul-centered wellness practices that facilitate mindful eating, body awareness, and an overall heightened knowledge of their body’s unique needs.

Do you think there is a difference between health and wellness?

Like many people and due to habit, I often use them interchangeably. However, I do think there is a difference. Health is how an outsider, physician, or practitioner would define your state. Wellness is how you would define your state. Sometimes people will encompass both as “health”.

With Core Connection Lifestyle clients, I definitely stay on the wellness side of things, as my clients are the ones who define and identify what’s going on in their lives. I remain committed to that because my job is to support them in doing what works for them. While I must say that I offer my clients health supportive gifts, gems and tools, as individuals, they are the initial expert. It’s not up to me to (unilaterally) say what they should do. In partnership we make sure we cultivate tools for the journey to greater well-being.

Do you have any suggestions for people who are interested in bringing more awareness to their health habits? What about the people who feel they are lacking in resources and time?

I encourage people to take baby steps. Most likely, it has taken them a good number of years to get to where they are now. So, it may take some time to make a shift in their nourishment habits. That said, start simply.

Begin by paying attention to how you feel before, during and after eating. What shows up for you? How’s your digestion?

“I encourage people to take baby steps. Most likely, it has taken them a good number of years to get to where they are now. So, it may take some time to make a shift in their nourishment habits.”

What does your energy level look like? Through this experience, you will discover areas for improvement.

Add more whole foods to your menu. Take what you’re currently eating and see how you can eat it in a form closer to it’s whole state. A great example is: instead of white rice, try brown rice.

Take it slow. It’s probably taken you more than a day to get to where you are now. So, it will probably take you more than a day to create a wellness plan and take action.

Resource: 10 Ways to Eat Clean + How It can Transform Your Life

I see that you have a wellness retreat coming up in Jamaica. Can you talk a little more about that?

I am hosting my Get Within: Yoga + Wellness Retreat in St. Ann, Jamaica from October 4 – 8, 2012. It’s an invitation to “get within”, because getaways don’t really last. Like last year, women will join me for a stay at a beautiful retreat home in the hills above Ocho Rios. We’ll take part in wellness workshops that focus on creating an implementable wellness plan, infusing radical self expression, and exploring their relationship with food.

The retreat is for the woman who craves a deeper connection with her most fulfilled self—body and soul. I am often asked, “Do I have to be “good” at yoga to go?”. I always answer, “No.” This retreat is for newbies to yogis and everything in between. People can reserve their space by going to http://coreconnectionlifestyle.com/jamaica2012

If you are interested in contacting Takeyah about wellness coaching, group classes, or the retreat for women, you can find her by visiting CoreConnectionLifestyle.com. You can also keep up with Takeyah on Facebook and Twitter!


  1. Takeyah,wonderful post and congrats on all of your success! I am a novice when it comes to yoga but I hope to become as passionate about it as you and Chelsea!

  2. Simply beautiful. Takeyah you are an inspiration to me as a yoga teacher, student and holistic health coach. You embody mind + body wellness!! Chelsea, I’ve been a follower of your blog for awhile- keep up the good work. The world needs more women leaders that are walking the path and motivating and uplifting others to do the same!! Om Shanti, Peace.

  3. Very inspiring interview Takeyah. I love your definitions of health and wellness and your journey with yoga is inspiring. I’m relatively new to practicing but also aspire to teach one day. I wish you continued success!

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