Artist, Social Activist and Teacher of Color
Warning: this interview contains occasional profanity.
Jean-Jacques Gabriel is a yoga practitioner of color, an artist and a teacher of many disciplines. He was born in Haiti, grew up in the suburbs of DC and move to Philadelphia in order to go to art school which is where he now resides. He has painted murals in Germany, portraits in London, toured Egypt and visited Uganda. His first yoga experience was a university class and he had a life-changing savasana that set Jean-Jacques on a new path. He began using the practices learned in yoga to help children at a women’s shelter and inmates in the prison system. One day, he was asked to teach a yoga class. Without any yoga teaching experience, he did so.
Jean-Jacques talks about being a ‘black dude with tattoos’ in a predominantly white practice, about finding the ritual in all practices and using rituals to guide any practice, and also addressing the uncomfortable aspects of life instead of ignoring them.
I hope that you enjoy the second episode of the podcast, Chats from the Mat, yoga inspired conversations with me, Brian Macrae Davis.
How to find Jean-Jacques Gabriel
Join Jean-Jacques at the upcoming Black Yoga Teacher’s Conference (not just for teachers) – Black Yoga Teacher’s Conference
If you are interested in getting more information about Jean-Jacques Gabriel, his teaching schedule, instructional videos and more, you can learn more at:
I want to thank one of my personal yoga teacher sponsors, Manduka. Manduka creates clothing, mats and towels of the highest quality. I have been using my mat for about 4 years and it still looks brand new. I recently started wearing their clothing for men and have been really impressed with the quality and fit.
Thank you, Matt Worley for the introduction to this podcast. Matt is a yoga, SUP yoga and AcroYoga Teacher based in Newcastle in Australia.