Local group focusing on health within Black community with yoga – Spectrum News 1

Local group focusing on health within Black community with yoga – Spectrum News 1

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MILWAUKEE — A new group in Milwaukee is focusing on mental health within the Black community.
They are doing so in a unique way: Using yoga.
When Harry Evans started the group "Heal Black Man," he wanted to do so to give Black men in the city of Milwaukee a space to come together and discuss issues that impact them.
Evans said he wanted to provide the space for everyday men like himself to unite.
“The world expects a lot of us,” said Evans.
Evans said wanted to add something a little different than the usual group sessions where countless men come together to talk, so he coordinated a yoga session for the group participants. 
“A goal of mine was to be able to introduce different methods of coping when you’re going through stressful times,” said Evans. 
That session helped men like Mark Peterson, who said he wants to start incorporating yoga into his everyday lifestyle.
“There’s so much about yoga that can be transferred,” said Peterson. “Focus through the pain. Focus through it because we all hit these positions where it hurts. It’ll work itself out and before you know it you weathered the storm.” 
Peterson said since joining the group, he’s been able to be a part of some powerful discussions. Those discussions have covered topics like fatherhood, past traumas, being impacted by incarceration and more.
“The energy that is felt and transferred with a group of Black men is something necessary in this community and ultimately in this world,” said Peterson.
Peterson said he’s grateful for the chance to be surrounded by so many like-minded individuals.
“As an educator in the city, I’m always trying to be the light and be the example,” he said. “What Harry has put together allows a lot of men to be that light in their respective lives.” 
Evans said a lot of times Black men are taught to not talk about their problems. That’s something he wanted to change. He said the group is connected with various resources, Black therapists in the city.
“Black men, this is a place for you,” said Evans. “This is a non-judgment zone where you can come can you speak about anything you like.” 
He said the goal is a healthy lifestyle, mentally and physically, and the that hope other men will feel encouraged to join in, knowing that they aren’t alone.

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