“You good, sis?” It’s something you might say from time to time to check in on a friend, partner or even a stranger. But the words hold deeper meaning for Jaylee Momplaisir and Rach Junard. The Boston-based yoga instructors adopted the phrase for their wellness collective.
Momplaisir says, “You could say this is an intensely curated, dedicated space, and we're really focused on providing transformative content, classes, and community, especially for black and brown women and non-binary folks.”
And it’s not just about exercise. She says they “really focus on people who are on the path to embodying their fullest expression. And we say that we mean the fullest expression of mental, physical and spiritual well-being.”
Junard says the need for wellness among the population is critical. “It's very vital for us to have created a space that centers healing and just sharing the best ways to take care of yourself. It's just statistically known that black women are ... more likely to die during childbirth or suffer from pregnancy-related complications more than white women. And black women are (more) likely to die from heart disease and breast cancer than any other group of men or women in the US.
“We wanted to create a space for us by us and be really unapologetic about it. The wellness industry historically didn't have faces or bodies like ours, and we wanted to disrupt that status quo,” says Junard.
The group has grown dramatically in the past year, with a big surge during the racial protests last summer.
Both Junard and Momplaisir say, however, they can’t be dedicated to education and they are calling on their allies to educate themselves.
They’ve launched the “You Good Sis Fellowship Fund” to “help widen the path of black yoga teachers in wellness spaces,” says Junard.
For more, check out the interview above or on Instagram at @YouGoodSis.