Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Scott.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Nicole. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
There’s actually an organizational tree. Nikky Scott Incorporated is a community service project development firm located in Baton Rouge, LA. Our mission is to create feasible and sustainable community service projects. The first project we launched was the Yoga Noir Project or YNP. YNP was created after I started attending yoga classes more regularly and realized that I was typically the only person of color in any of yoga class. I began to wonder where all the other POC were and decided to host classes geared toward that population. I would hire Black yoga instructors to lead the classes with their own unique style and usually had a theme like painting, couples yoga, mommy & me so that we could introduce other ways to relax as well.
The mission, at that time, was “to introduce yoga to women of color”. The goal was for them to come to a YNP class, decide whether or not they liked yoga, and if they did, join classes around the community. What wound up happening when they came to a YNP class is that they would get comfortable being in a space with other women of color, and they wouldn’t leave. They started requesting more classes.
The new mission for YNP is to “create space for people of color to explore yoga on their path to wellness”. After the community got wind of what we were doing, we began to get more requests for community events. I have since earned my 200-hour yoga teacher certification and lead mostly all of my own classes. I’m a mobile yoga studio, meaning I travel with yoga mats most of the time.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been a bumpy road, but things always work out. Each day I wonder if I should keep going, and every day someone gives me an encouraging word. Community work is hard. Funding events gets tricky when our goal is to keep the cost low. We strive to keep the classes accessible to those who may not be able to afford them. This means that we have to make a lot of community partnerships for space to teach classes. I’ve been fortunate to have relationships with several Black-owned businesses that allow us to use their space. I also travel with my own yoga mats; I currently own 30. Mats wear out or walk away from time to time and need to be replaced. So that’s another expense that I often fund from my personal account. It’s always worked out though, so we continue to move forward.
Please tell us about Yoga Noir Project.
So, not only do we hire Black yoga instructors and host classes in Black-owned businesses, we typically play R&B music at every class. Our classes tend to be fun and relaxing, and I always add a health/wellness component to each session. I happen to be a registered nurse with a background in case management, so from time to time I’m asked to lead one-on-one sessions that include a wellness assessment. So far I don’t know anyone that is mixing yoga with case management. Again, I’m a mobile yoga studio which makes it easy for me to show up with my mats and my speaker and get the show going. I am proud that I am able to provide a complete yoga experience for a low cost that the community loves.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Nothing. Every single lesson I’ve learned, I needed it.
- Website: NikkyScottInc.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @yoganoirproject
- Facebook: @yoganoirproject
Devin Scott, Bailey Capp