UK’s first yoga retreat for black women

UK’s first black women’s yoga and mindfulness retreat to launch in Bicester, Oxfordshire

• OYA retreats have launched  a new service.
• Retreats are dedicated to providing holistic movement and mindfulness training to Black women and women of colour
• Led by Dr Stacie CC Graham, OYA retreats will provide a mixture of hatha yoga, mindfulness and instinctual grounded movement workshops in an inclusive environment

OYA retreats aim to provide Black women and women of colour with spaces that cater to their distinct needs and wants. Their mission is to teach yoga, movement and mindfulness to women who might feel excluded from mainstream yoga environments.

“Yoga is for everyone, but in some studio environments it may not feel that way to everyone present. And yoga has had such an amazingly transformational effect on my life, that I want to make it possible for Black women and women of colour to have that same access,” says OYA founder, Dr Stacie CC Graham.

“It’s really hard to describe what happens when you get a group of women together at a retreat but it feels like Healing. When this is with women who perhaps share your culture, ethnicity or experiences then this retreat becomes a place of implicit knowing and acceptance – like the Healing is growing from a place of overwhelming love. There is nothing quite like this.” Mariam, women’s group organizer.

With exclusive use of beautiful country homes located outside of major cities, the retreats will include instinctual grounded movement, dynamic Hatha yoga flow, as well as both guided and silent mindfulness practice.

The next retreat is confirmed for 8 – 10 July 2016 at Poundon House in Poundon, as well as from 13 – 15 January 2017 at Oxon Hoath in Kent.

The yoga teaching and mindfulness meditation will be led by Dr Stacie CC Graham, alongside instructors Nikita Akilapa, who teaches a strong and graceful hatha flow and is well loved a TriYoga where she practises, and Shiggi Pakter, a strength and movement coach and one of only a handful of NatMov certified trainers.

“Morning mindfulness meditation will be led in complete silence with only singing bowls to guide the time. In my evening sessions, I will deliver a talk about the theme of the retreat, which will be accompanied by guided meditation intervals. The talks will be based on texts from academia, sages, and practitioners alike. These sessions are about planting seeds, they should leave guests feeling uplifted and empowered. And the meditation will provide the guests with the (inner) clarity they need in order for those seeds to grow. The aim is that the mindfulness we practice during the retreat, will be continued going forward into the ‘rest’ of the world, bringing with it its wealth of benefits to each individual,” says Dr Graham.

Further information can be found at