Ashley R. Oliver, Esq. is a civil rights attorney, diversity director, content creator, and registered yoga teacher. She also has the distinction of being one of Ivy Boxes’ official ambassadors. In 2020, after starting her yoga teacher training journey and feeling a need for more enthusiastic advocates to bring Black women to restorative yoga, she created Yoga and Mahogany, a lifestyle brand for revolutionary wellness. On her platform with over 12,500 followers and 1.5 million views, she develops creative ways to make western yoga as diverse and inclusive as possible to affirm bodies traditionally seen outside of the stereotypical yogi ideal.

“After looking around at wellness apparel online, I saw a lack of affirming clothing that spoke to women who looked like me,” explains Oliver. After months of research and operational planning, she opened her online store, YogaandMahogany.com, where she sells vibrant and colorful size-inclusive apparel, accessories, art, and home goods that are all hand-designed by her. Visit her website and check out her products here. 

A member of the Beta Gamma Omega chapter, Oliver’s endeavor has been met with resounding success. Over the past year, she has worked with several Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters inviting her sorors to relax and exhale in virtual restorative yoga, breathwork, and affirmation sessions. She says that yoga is much more than just poses. “So many Black women are juggling careers, families, friendships, taking just enough time to sleep – and even in our sleep, our minds are racing! Now is the perfect time to sit with everything we have learned since March 2020 – about ourselves, our community, and our world – and reassess where self-care should be on our priority list.”

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Ashley states that she “wants busy women to know that yoga doesn’t have to be a sixty-minute class – yoga is 30 seconds of deep breathing, yoga is clearing your mind intentionally after a long day, yoga is sharing with your sister instead of hoarding – yoga is so much more than headstands, and there is so much peace within us if we only make a little time for it. (She’s) committed to helping more of my sisters find that peace, and I’m happy to walk with them along the journey.”

“Yoga is restoring the body to its intended state of rest and peace, and no one deserves more rest, more peace, or more self-care than the modern Black woman.”

Be sure to follow her on Instagram @yogaandmahogony for inspiration, wellness tips, and lots of #blackgirlmagic moments!

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