Pop-up yoga event in Raleigh supports Black entrepreneurs and businesses



RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh is the first stop for a new pop-up tour called The Melanated Yoga Experience, an event that aims to support Black-owned businesses and bolster health, wellness and stress relief.


The class, which is led by a Black instructor, will also feature a social mixer and shopping event with Black-owned businesses.

The Melanated Yoga Experience on March 11 at 420 Hubert St. is the dream of Diamond Young, a North Carolina A&T graduate and founder of BLK Directory, a nonprofit that supports Black entrepreneurs by connecting them with fellow business owners and new clients.

Raleigh’s pop-up yoga event is the first stop in a six-city tour, which also includes Chicago, Austin, Houston, Atlanta and Oakland. The tour gives publicity to five different yoga instructors and dozens of Black vendors across the country.

Raleigh’s event will feature an hour-long beginner’s yoga class followed by a mixer where participants can shop Black brands and network with business owners. Early bird tickets are $30 and include yoga, refreshments, the social and a giveaway bag.

Young has her master’s degree in business administration and worked at Twitter before she was impacted by company-wide layoffs. She used the loss as inspiration to launch BLK Directory in 2020 and fulfill her longtime dream of connecting communities of color while supporting small businesses.

After graduating from A&T in Greensboro, a historically Black university, Young moved to San Francisco for work and immediately noticed a divide.

“I noticed I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me, and I found myself starting over,” said Young.

Even finding a hair salon in a new city was difficult.

“It’s something where you don’t think about it if you don’t need to think about it. When I was looking for something specific I realized there was a huge gap,” Young said.


Her experience inspired her to create a directory of Black-owned businesses and a podcast where Black business owners share their success and struggles.

“It’s a beautiful thing when you’re on vacation [or somewhere new] and you can type in ‘hairstylist’ or ‘food’ and find and support a Black business in real time,” Young said “It was something that really had my heart, and I wanted to do something about it versus complaining.”

The Melanated Yoga Experience came to life because Young had always been interested in yoga but knew Black men and women were underrepresented in the practice, even as it grows more popular.

“I don’t want to be the only Black person or the only person who looks like me in the room so it just clicked — I can create a safe environment that feels good and they can leave that stuff at the door,” Young said.

Young sees Saturday’s event as a win-win, introducing people to new friends and business contacts while promoting health and stress management.

“I am all about getting small groups together and just seeing the magic when people meet and realize they have something in common,” Young said.

Saturday, March 11 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


420 Hubert St., Raleigh

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Written by Politixia


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