Zen and the art of hair maintenance: New yoga class for women with curls

Zen and the art of hair maintenance: New yoga class for women with curls
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A hyper-specific new yoga class is helping Brooklyn women with unique hair textures curl their locks while straightening their spines.

A diversity-boosting duo of yoga teachers is unrolling a series of stretching sessions intended to promote hair growth and encourage curly girls to overcome hang-ups about tousling their “tough-to-tame” hair.

The Fort Greene-based classes — which are open to curly-haired women of all races but widely attended by women of color — combine postures that purportedly help hair follicles, such as a standing head-to-knee pose, with tips about what to do with your ’do before, during, and after a yoga session.

“A lot of ethnic girls are worried about ‘sweating out’ their hair — it can be a real mental block,” said instructor Natalie Cosby. “We’re helping them get past that.”

Cosby’s “Yoga to the Curvy Curly” classes, which debuted last week in Fort Greene Park, also seek to bust through the stereotype that yoga is reserved for ladies with “perfect” bodies.

“We’re bringing diversity and awareness to the mat,” she said.

Yoga for a specific hair type might sound like a stretch, but this zen-obsessed borough already boasts yoga classes for toddlers, beer buffs, and nudists.

It’s all part of a growing movement in which studios tap into super-niche-communities, prompting classes that are to the yoga world what, say, the Teddy Bear Times is the magazine industry.

Cosby said her first class, which 75 students attended, included a discussion about natural hair products, wrapping hair for class, and getting over the “mental barriers” associated with physical appearance.

Some women talked about the perks of “going natural” instead of expensive hair-straightening procedures, said Crosby, who claims hair-growth-generating yoga postures — and the practice in general — makes locks healthier and less prone to breakage.

More yet-to-be-scheduled classes will likely launch this spring — for free.

“Sometimes you need a detox,” she said. “So does your hair.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.