An interview with Partner Pooja Virani
Joie De Vivre: What inspired you to create Queer Yoga?
Pooja Virani: I've worked for a number of years to create community spaces for queer and BIPOC folx. Before I taught yoga, I used to work in the activism space and the nonprofit sector. When I started teaching yoga, I didn't want to be pigeonholed as the LGBTQ yoga instructor. The pandemic, BLM protests, and our current administration's anti-LGBTQ legislation made me realize that queer community is needed now more than ever. Queer Yoga enables me to be a changemaker and create an intentional safe space and gathering place for queer folx all over the world.
Joie De Vivre: Why do you select Joie De Vivre as the platform for Queer Yoga events?
Pooja Virani: The pandemic made it much more difficult for me to work as a yoga instructor and a few of my studios permanently shut down. At the same time, I saw an opportunity to grow an online business. I loved Sarah's enthusiasm as an entrepreneur and a queer business woman and decided that partnering with Joie De Vivre would help me serve my community while making money. Joie De Vivre: Why do queer and LGBTQ people seek out Queer Yoga space? Pooja Virani: Queer folx often feel excluded from yoga classes in gyms and studios. When they look around classes, they see people who don't look like them or who have very different lifestyles. I believe that yoga has the potential to be an inclusive practice, one that reflects the diversity of the traditions in which it originated and the communities in which it is practiced. I aim to create a safe space where queer folx can practice yoga with other LGBTQ+ people. Joie De Vivre: What would you say to a queer person who is new to yoga about why these workshops are for them?
Pooja Virani: As a beginning yoga student, I struggled finding classes that catered to my level. In order to make yoga accessible to people of all genders, sexualities, body sizes, and abilities, I teach Queer Yoga classes for all levels and adapted to the needs and desires of my students. Queer Yoga is the perfect opportunity to learn yoga and develop your own yoga practice!
Joie De Vivre: What are your goals for Queer Yoga on the Joie De Vivre platform and beyond?
Pooja Virani: I would like to grow the Queer Yoga community on the Joie De Vivre platform and worldwide. It's our time to grow and thrive!