E23. Shining a Light on Inclusivity and Wellness with Monika McKenzie

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Aine Rock

Mindful Musings
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Certified high performance coach, breathwork facilitator, and podcast host. Here to support you with breathwork and meditation, high-performance coaching, and somatic embodiment & healing practices.

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“We are counting ourselves as wellness practitioners and as healers. The world is literally calling for healing right now. We need to show up.” – Monika McKenzie

Yoga is supposed to give you a mental and physical break. But if you’re a person of color, it can be intimidating to practice in a white dominated space. As a biracial woman, Monika McKenzie has had to navigate both worlds on her quest toward more soulful living. Listen as Monika shares her thoughts on yoga, inclusivity, and pregnancy during a pandemic.

Yoga and wellness are for everyone, however, in the West, these spaces are typically dominated by white women leaving BIPOC women wondering where they fit in. As a biracial woman, Monika McKenzie has had to navigate both worlds on her quest toward more soulful living.

Monika began her yoga journey after experiencing severe anxiety. What she has found is that many of us focus so much on the physical aspects of yoga that we forget the other teachings such as nonviolence to the self and others.

Listen as Monika shares her thoughts on yoga, inclusivity, and pregnancy during a pandemic.

  • (01:54) – Soulful yoga with Monika McKenzie

  • (09:03) – Satya and ahimsa

  • (12:46) – Inclusivity in the wellness world

  • (16:56) – Pandemic pregnancy

  • (21:27) – Forthcoming children’s book

  • (24:22) – How is Monika cultivating joy?

Monika McKenzie is a Black, female yoga instructor and studio owner of The Yoga Nest in Kailua Kona.

Monika grew up in Oakland, California. A city recognized for its political progression and diversity, Oakland exposed her to rich foods, languages, and people from all walks of life at a young age. As a result of her colorful upbringing, Monika has a deep-seated appreciation for the Earth, multiculturalism, travel, and healthy living.

She moved to Los Angeles in her early twenties and worked as both a yoga instructor and a nanny to high-profile clients for almost a decade. Seeking a slower and more connected life, she and her husband relocated to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2017. 

Monika lives in Kailua Kona and has developed a strong online presence using her platform to speak out against racism within the context of the yoga community. She enjoys being in the ocean, anything outdoors, and is expecting her first child this fall. 

Monika is passionate about supporting expecting mothers during this incredibly heavy year through yoga, meditation, and wellness. She started a YouTube channel during quarantine to provide prenatal classes and meditations to help mothers find a sense of peace while navigating the intensity of bringing new life into an uncertain world.

Aine Rock is an artist, entrepreneur, mom and High Performance Coach working on becoming the best version of herself and inspiring others to do the same. Rock Your Joy is a place for women to share the unique ways they find, cultivate, and celebrate joy. We’re often so focused on things happening to us that we forget that joy exists within us. Tune in every other week as we find that joy, together.

If you’d like to receive new episodes as they’re published, please subscribe to Rock Your Joy in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Podcast episode production by Dante32.


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