Facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education.
I am Eternity Philops (Tori James), and I am honored to be your Yoga guide!
Like many people, I used to think that Yoga was just exercise for people with already thin body types. I tried a couple of classes, had no idea what I was doing, and decided it wasn’t for me. Then one day I took a class led by a friend in Yoga teacher training. This time it was different. It was my first time taking a class with a significant presence of people of color. I was around people who looked like me, who weren’t naturally athletic or already in shape, and it felt different. It felt…better! This is what began my journey into truly understanding and embracing Yoga.
For me, Yoga has become about more than gaining better flexibility. What called to me were the deeply spiritual aspects of the practice. But as a Black and queer Yoga student and teacher, one of my biggest concerns is the lack of representation of marginalized people in the Yoga community. Mainstream Western Yoga is white-washed and mostly reflects ultra athletic bodies doing acrobatic postures. This common imagery has many people of color, particularly Black people, believing that Yoga is not for them when the truth is that, with roots in Africa and India, Yoga was created by people of color. Thus, I formed Soul Liberation Yoga & Wellness, a socially conscious brand of Yoga that explores the practice specifically through the Afrocentric lens of Black identity and culture.
Professionally trained through two separate 200-hour programs, I am a certified Yoga teacher in both modern Hatha Yoga (Kiesha Battles, I AM YOGA School) and Kemetic Yoga (Yirser Ra Hotep, YogaSkills School of Kemetic Yoga). I also independently study the traditional eight-limbed path of Raja Yoga, which gives my teaching style a meditative feel. An energy worker, I am a Second Degree Reiki practitioner (Asha Sims, Ashakti Wellness), as well as a Certified Spiritual Life Coach (World Coach Institute). Academically, I have a Bachelor’s of Art degree in the dual fields of psychology and sociology (UNC-Greensboro) and a Graduate Certificate in women and gender studies (UNC-Charlotte). I combine all of these areas of scholarship and more to provide a well-rounded and informed approach to teaching Yoga.