Congratulations to Ericka Jones — the winner of our cover model contest.
Name: Ericka Jones
Where do you live:
I currently live in Minneapolis, Minn. I was born and raised in Lincoln, Neb.. While Nebraska is my roots and anchor, I’ve lived in four other incredible cities that added to who I am today.
What gets you excited about the relaunch of MN YOGA + Life magazine?
Bringing the diverse yoga community in Minnesota into one centralized spot. I’m excited to listen and hear from a diverse group of teachers within the region who use this practice as a way of being. I want to see new faces and hear new voices from teachers and practitioners we may not hear because they’re in smaller communities or cultivating a community in “non-mainstream” yoga spaces.
What inspired you to apply for the cover model contest?
One of my best friends. Honestly, when I heard the word “contest”, I hesitated because I think that’s how yoga became so sensationalized. However, after reflecting on the region and the lack of diverse representation for people of color – I had to step into courage and my purpose, and view this from a lens of creating space for others to see themselves. Because most of the time my lens is defaulted to see it through the lens of tokenism, since I usually am the only one in these spaces; that could be as Black, a woman, or a Black woman.
What does “Balance” mean to you?
To me balance means knowing that all things are not always in balance. The demands we have in life will teeter totter. I see it as a dance. At times work will be demanding and take priority over something else I want to do. However, when I return to my breath or finish a meditation, I feel the internal balance allowing me to move through demands with grace, ease, and equanimity.
How do you integrate Balance into your life and your work?
For me, I see balance with how I move through transitions. Do I respond or do I react? If I’m in reaction I know my internal compass is off balance and it’s time to step away from the demands of life, get in tune internally by restoring myself with rituals, and return with more clarity. So I integrate it by looking at how I respond to demands and transitions.
What is your favorite color?
White and Yellow – purity and joy.
Coffee or tea?
Both, but preferably warm water with lemon, ACV, lion’s mane, and collagen — my liquid elixir.
Ericka Jones is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion professional of 14 years. In her professional role, she collaborates with key stakeholders to develop comprehensive strategies to increase diversity, build and sustain inclusive behaviors, and generate equitable outcomes.
Ericka is the Founder of the Yoga Coalition, an alliance for combined action bringing inclusion, equity, and diversity to the yoga community. A 200-hr yoga teacher, Ericka teaches meditation and is certified to teach 1 Giant Mind Learn Meditation course. In addition, she’s a lululemon brand ambassador. Her purpose and passion are to bring the intersectionality of diversity, inclusion, and equity with yoga practices into spaces by bringing the yoga coalitions’ mindful inclusion training into yoga teacher training programs.
Hair and makeup by: Sarah Elizabeth Artistry
Photography by: Amy Zellmer
Space provided by: Tula Yoga and Wellness