In partnership with Philadelphia Black Gay Pride, every day throughout the month of February we will spotlight an influential black mover and shaker in the city.
Today, the self-proclaimed “Black Yogi,” Hadji Jones. Hadji is a favorite instructor on the local yoga scene, who teaches classes every week at Sweat Fitness with the principle that “ethnicity, size, age, or social stature has no bearing on whom will benefit from the healing principles of the practice.” He was recently chosen by Lululemon as a “community ambassador,” making him one of the few black faces to appear in the retail store’s ads. We chose him, because his work is breaking barriers between the yoga and African-American communities.
What’s your Philly connection?
I’m Philly-born and -raised. I grew up in the Mount Airy/Germantown sections of town.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An international diplomat. I was working in law for several years as a legal admin, when I stumbled upon the career path of yoga teacher.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Senator Cory Booker who just so happens to also be a vegetarian. I think he embodies the term humanitarian, and one day I would like to be able to support my community in the countless ways he’s supported his state.
Finish this sentence: I feel fiercest when …
I’m in a handstand.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Being selected as a community ambassador for Lululemon Athletica. At the time I was really happy because it was rare for me to see any black people on their store walls. And it made me feel special to now be up there.
If you had a super power what would it be and how would you use it?
To fly of course! I would go on crazy adventures and jump off cliffs.
Finish this sentence: In 10 years I …
… want to open an island resort.
Do yourself a favor and follow Hadji’s very flexible Instagram account.