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From Ballet Dancer to Teacher: Sheona Little Educates her Community on their African Roots

From Ballet Dancer to Teacher: Sheona Little Educates her Community on their African Roots

A woman once said a powerful statement, “Please remember that you were Africans before you were anything”- Bose Ogulu. Bose is the mother of the Nigerian singer/songwriter Burna Boy. His mother accepted his award for Best International Act on his behalf at the BET awards in 2019. The previous statement identifies the cultural gap and misconception between Africans and African Americans. Specifically, Africans native to a country and culture they can proudly identify and represent their African heritage. In contrast, African Americans cannot identify where they come from because their ancestors were brought here because of African Diaspora; stripped them of their native language and culture. Everyone should appreciate their cultural ancestry, specifically in the African American community. By reducing the cultural divide, it will allow blacks to benefit in holistic healing practices commonly found in African cultures. Four women of color defy the meaning of what it means to be culturally enthused and appreciative of long-existing principles that have been around for centuries. This partner spotlight article, we focus on Sheona Little and her efforts to bring the black community together through spiritual and holistic teachings to improve their quality of life.

Sheona Little is one of the co-creators of Siyanda Esha Wellness, alongside her three other partners/life-long friends Racquel Barnes, Ebony Harman, and Mimi Tilman. Their decision to create Siyanda Esha Wellness stemmed from the lack of naturalistic healing centered around African culture. Siyanda Esha Wellness’s foundation is bringing people back to their African roots to cultivate peace, health, and healing into the mind, body, and spirit of others. Little and her colleagues believe that their business is different from others because of their practices centered around healing beliefs that come from African Diaspora. These concepts are rooted in practicing African concepts such as unity, Sankofa, Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith). Siyanda Esha Wellness provides a multitude of services that include yoga and mediation. The center offers coaching strategy classes, transformation coaching. They have been able to provide a wellness curriculum at their school and incorporate wellness programs. Siyanda Esha Wellness has been a center for their community of black women to feel uplifted and validated through spiritual teachings.

Here is what some of her clients say about her: “This was a great experience; you ladies provided a warm and welcoming environment and shared a lot of useful information. It was so nice to connect with other beautiful black women and learn so much from each other. I am looking forward to attending other Siyanda Esha events”. -Brenda

Sheona Little’s background in fitness started at an early age as a ballet dancer. Due to the rigorous training and exercising, Little understood the importance of incorporating fitness into daily life. She recognized that living healthy was key to living a healthier and longer life. When Sheona became an adult, she started attending different yoga classes, meditation classes, and wellness retreats. Sheona was able to connect spiritually and physically to improve her internal wellness. Little realized that people of color were very underrepresented in these types of classes and retreats. Because of the underrepresentation, Sheona and her colleagues decided to create and build Siyanda Esha Wellness. Little, Barnes, Harman, and Tilman are four proud black women that are inspired to share their stories by connecting with their inner faith through natural treatments. The four ladies plan on expanding their business in the next two years by fully operating their wellness curriculum within urban schools.

Does Sheona Little’s story make you more intrigued to reconnect with your culture? Then go to the Siyanda Esha Wellness website: https://www.siyandaesha.com/ and see everything they have to offer.

BGH is thrilled to form a new partnership with the Ladies of Siyanda Esha Wellness. We are excited to see what is yet to come! Inspired by women just like Sheona? Become a part of the sisterhood and join BGH.

If you are interested in becoming a BGH partner and helping expand your business, please visit membership.blackgirlhealth.com.

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