Participants glean the benefits of yoga. (Courtesy of Karen Taylor Bass)
Participants glean the benefits of yoga. (Courtesy of Karen Taylor Bass)

A report recently released by The Associated Press concludes that based on available state and local data, Blacks comprise about one-third of all COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. However, in the areas analyzed, only about 14 percent of the population was African American.

One immediate effect of COVID-19 remains post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster or like a pandemic.

For people with PTSD, having lived through such extreme circumstances can lead to a wide range of symptoms including depression, anxiety, problems sleeping and difficulty concentrating.

Karen Taylor Bass, certified yoga instructor (RYT-200), believes the ancient art of yoga can alleviate some of these mental and physical challenges.

“People of color are suffering the most from the pandemic,” she said. “Yoga connects the mind, body and soul. I have been offering my brand of soulful yoga at no cost to frontline workers and at a reduced rate for others.”

“My community is predisposed to everything and the pandemic has only made our health and wellness more compromise. If I can provide one hour, few minutes of relaxation via meditation, laughter and yoga to communities on the front-line via Zoom, Skype and Google Classroom then that is what I will do.”

International Yoga Day is June 21 and Karen will be partnering with Black Yoga teachers to offer her special complimentary “Soulful Yoga” classes that include meditation, panels, mental health awareness check-in and virtual marketplace for small business owners.

Carla Hall, chef, author and TV personality, recently raved about Karen’s “Soulful Yoga” class and said the following: “In a word, amazing.”

Karen asserts that her class is based on self-care and self-love.

“[It’s about] learning to put self-first for preservation,” she said. “I like to call it a healing yoga party with music. Musical selections vary and include: jazz, reggae, rhythm and blues, gospel, blue-eyed soul, hip hop, popular music and more.”

“‘Soulful Yoga’ offers a deeper connection to tap into trauma, stress, pain, joy and love with easy yoga movement and affirmations from the diaspora (India, Africa and the Caribbean) with a splash of western influence,” Karen added.

To learn more about Karen Taylor Bass, International Yoga Day and her Virtual Self-Care Party, go to or

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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