Stacy Patrice is a sought after as a director, synergist, facilitator, speaker and producer of what she terms “yoga lifestyle” movements.
The south side Chicago native is on a mission to fuse the classical yoga practice with the beauty of art, the sacred relevance of culture and the truth which she says leads to personal activism and empowerment. Stacy teaches Soul Healing Yoga™ through customized private yoga sessions, mindfulness group classes, special events and her signature spiritual wellness-centered workshops. These workshops include yoking the mind, body and spirit as well as fostering a trinity of wellness providing alignment-based soulful yoga practice to Chicago residents and curious yogis worldwide.
Rolling out recently sat with Patrice to discuss her various endeavors including her wellness concept, Goddess Light UNITE and how she plans to become “the Oprah of Yoga.”
Tell us about your wellness concept, Goddess Light UNITE?
This concept came to me as I was starting my business. As I looked at the past and the present me and where I wanted to go, I acknowledged that I embody many passions, interests, talents, perspectives, gifts and energies. I declared that in order to live a life I can fully function in, I have to be fully myself. So instead of labeling myself as being just one thing, I decided to take a multifaceted perspective and UNITE all of me. I saw that the people who were gravitating to my business were looking to do the same thing in their personal lives, so one by one I began giving people “permission” to be all they are, and it stuck. For women, Goddess Light comes as a description and for the brothers God Is Light comes as a reminder. I feel both are a calling for us to unite both of those energies within ourselves. Its actually all quite yogic, which makes it effective for inspiring wellness.
What is “Soul Healing Yoga™?”
Soul Healing Yoga™ is the most soulful yoga program, currently on Chicago’s Southside. It’s a lifestyle brand yoking what we think, what we feel and what liberates us within in addition to a physical practice on a mat. All of the classical aspects of the physical practice are honored and all of the contemporary applications of the philosophy are included. I have designed Soul Healing Yoga™ to connect art, pyschospirituality and dynamic movement while speaking cultural relevance to people of color who aren’t being reached or included in the larger yoga community. My mission is to honor the bodies, hearts and minds of brilliant adults who live their lives with few breathing spaces, beginning with a specific call-to-action for Chicago’s South Side because it’s where I’m from.
Describe the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga?
I’ve been “doing yoga” for some time but it wasn’t until my more intense studies within that I began living yoga. I completed a 15-month long teacher training at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago and that journey alone took me deep into my creativity and clarity. It educated me about what was happening in my body that I couldn’t explain nor physically see. I became extremely present with seeing myself outside of myself and that translated to others. I grew exponentially and established purpose in my own definition. In the process I saw some dark moments: loneliness, fear, disappointment, repressed anger, and more so I’d get on my mat, move my body through an intuitive flow, affirm my power and notice the day to day changes in my body and began experimenting with those findings. During a period of abuse I found myself practicing yoga five to six times a day. Imagine being angry and frustrated with life while completely aware of everything that’s happening within you and empowered to move onward simultaneously. I was so green to that reality that I thought it was my Kryptonite, but it ended up being my greatest strength. It was instant lift to be something more expansive than my circumstance. It was then that I discovered that yoga was a kicka– prescription to heal my soul on all levels and I’ve been on a yoga high ever since.
What are some of the common misconceptions you run across repeatedly?
– That yoga is a thing you go and do versus a way to be and live.
– That yoga is for rich white women, and if you are black, male, curvy, overweight, a beginner, inflexible, live in an “urban area” or don’t speak Sanskrit, then the benefits of yoga just aren’t for you.
– That all yoga is created equal and getting a yoga booty and stretching like Gumby is priority to establishing personal overall wellness
– That yoga is supposed to be fun and relaxing which is only the result of the discipline and dedication it takes to arrive there
– That “getting flexible” and losing weight are somehow needed to show up and practice yoga instead of being a result of doing yoga
– That no Black people are in yoga advertisements or books about yoga because black people just don’t do yoga, unless they have natural hair.
And so many more .. .I could go on forever.
If you had to recommend one book for a newcomer to read on the subject what would it be?
Fire of Love by Aadil Palkhivala. This text is so beautifully written and indicative of the essence of yoga more than the tangible aspects of it.
Any favorite health and wellness quotes or affirmations?
Absolutely. It’s actually a quote of my own. “Be the you that you are when no one is looking, in front of everyone.” It’s literally the quote I live by albeit I may be a bit biased.
What’s next for Stacy Patrice?
I am collaborating with Rebuild Foundation to facilitate Soul Healing Yoga™ as a free yoga program on the South Side in their beautiful new space at 1456 E. 70th St. We begin on Sunday, March 22, and we are there weekly with emBODY SOUL! on Sundays from 1-3p.m. I am always working with new clients on the range of yoga images — highlighting a range of yoga expressions through my Yogatography and have a couple beauty and wellness campaigns (my favorite) I am in discussions of creative directing for this summer. Also, I will be teaching for the second year at the Sukhava Bodhe Yoga & Music festival just outside of Chicago and am gathering a community of us to enjoy that camping event together (www.sukhavabodhe.com). I truly feel like it’s time for me to function as “the Oprah of Yoga”…I’ve got a lot to say and do, and who knows where I’ll pop up next as I remain intentional to the opening of the doors. Namaste!
For more information on Stacy please visit www.stacypatrice.com