OAKLAND — When Bobbe Norrise walked into her first yoga class at Studio One in Oakland back in 1970, she was the only African-American student in the class. Yoga had not yet gone mainstream. There weren’t many yoga studios and black practitioners were few and far between.

Norrise would blaze a trail through the white yoga world. She became the first black yoga teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area, spreading the gospel about the therapeutic effects of the Eastern practice to African-Americans. An internationally respected yoga master for more than four decades, Norrise died May 24. Respecting her wishes, her family did not release her age.

“She is definitely someone who from birth to transition was very rooted in her values around the best way for her to live her authentic life,” said Norrise’s daughter Cardum Harmon . “Even at the end, hospice wanted to ease her through her transition but she refused medical intervention because she wanted to stay aligned with what was important to her — the integrity of the holistic life.”

In an interview with the Oakland Tribune in 2011, Norrise said she discovered yoga while going through a painful divorce and got hooked.

“I floated out,” she said at …read more

Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle

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