If you’ve heard of Black Girls Breathing then you’ve been paying attention. It is a safe space for black women to actively manage their mental health through breathwork meditation and community, offering breathwork circles.
This is the only organization introducing breathwork.
The company was founded in 2018 by Atlanta-based breathwork practitioner and business school graduate, Jasmine Marie after being a stressed-out 20-something working in marketing in New York City. She was told by doctors that her physical ailments were the result of stress.
To heal her ailments, she embarked on seeking different tools to help manage her stress. Breathwork meditation and breathing exercises worked best for her.
As this worked for her, she decided to share with a community.
In an interview with Goop, shared said that in her experience, breathwork forces buried traumas to the surface and helps people actively manage that stress. It teaches us to trust our bodies and our intuition, allowing us to see past gaslighting and self-doubt. She makes space to address racial trauma in an intentional way.
She also added that breathwork strips out all that mental chatter and doubt that’s been embedded in us, and gets us back into the wisdom of our bodies because our bodies know how to shift energy.
Between 2018 and 2020, BGB expanded making countrywide tours and teaching breathwork in cities like Los Angeles, Dallas, and Houston.
Recently the founder started a sister company to BGB to ‘possess a deep understanding of this target market’.
House of bgb is a new research and creative agency that will be devoted to the research collected to fill the gap in data on Black women.
Marie tells Forbes Magazine, “Black women aren’t a monolith, representation isn’t enough. We need the data to craft solutions that meet their unique needs.”
Pre-COVID Marie was offering in-person sessions, but in May 2020, BGB introduced a sliding-scale virtual breathwork circle series occurring twice per month. Participants were able to join for FREE up to $25.
(Note: Breathwork can cost upwards of $300 a session).
BGB saw an increase in virtual attendance after the murder of George Floyd. Fortuantely, donations from non-Black allies helped to cover 150+ slots for Black women in June 2020.
They were committed to making their virtual breathwork circles accessible (free and low-cost) forever and have doubled their 2021 fundraising goal to $100k with the help of a grant from iFundWomen, the initiative was able to raise and a $30k grant from ATHLETA + MOVEMEANT FOUNDATION.
During this fundraising initiative, they were able to capture statistics and insights after collecting data from participants.
This is what they found:
- even with health insurance, Black women’s options to accessible mental health care are limited. 90% of our participants* currently have health insurance. However less than 28% have regular access to free or reduced mental health services outside of black girls breathing.
- 68% of participants state that black girls breathing is their only consistent mental health resource.
- 86% of our participants indicated that the black girls breathing sliding-scale virtual breathwork sessions have helped them manage their mental health and establish a sense of community during the pandemic (a time where feelings of isolation and grief has increased).
They also found that STRESS is killing Black women. They also suffer more from heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, ovarian, cervical and breast-cancer related fatalities, anxiety, depression, and reproductive system challenges.
Black women continue to face disparities in accessing wellness services, and many services remain largely inaccessible.
Marie’s goal is to set a new bar for representation, insisting the new venture will only work with companies who demonstrate a genuine commitment to improving health outcomes for Black women and ‘sow right back to the community’.
Black mental health matters today, tomorrow, every day! Try breathwork meditation! It could only work in your favor.