Jasmine Hall sits in a yoga pose. (Courtesy | Jasmine Hall)

Flint, MI—Jasmine Hall is hoping to help restless Flint residents start the year off with more relaxation. The Flint native and certified yoga instructor will be offering a virtual “Yoga for Bedtime” class every Sunday at 8 p.m. in January and February, beginning Jan. 9.

“If you are having trouble sleeping or want a better night’s sleep, or if you have experienced the style of yoga where you feel like, ‘Am I working out?’ and that’s not really your jam but you want the peace and meditative aspects of it—definitely come to this class,” Hall said.

Hall, whose day job is with the Flint Registry, has been practicing yoga since 2012. 

However, she said she only began taking yoga seriously during the pandemic when a conversation with her therapist led her to sign up for an instructor training course.

“We were talking about it, honestly, as a way for me to deepen my own practice,” Hall said of the decision. “But as I went through it, I was like, ‘You know what? I could actually be someone’s yoga teacher.’”

Hall has studied neuroscience and public health for years, ultimately gaining her master’s in neuropsychiatric epidemiology from Harvard and returning to Flint in 2019.

Hall said one of the emerging spaces in public health, and her concentration at Harvard, is “population mental health”—something that epidemiologists like her see as a major concern in the midst of a years-long pandemic.

“We learned about different ways that we can, as a population, move towards having better mental health,” Hall said of her studies. “And one thing that kept coming up was yoga.” 

Jasmine Hall credits Canisha Bell, another Black yoga instructor from Flint, with inspiring her own practice. (Courtesy | Jasmine Hall)

Which is why Hall felt drawn to sharing her yoga practice, for free, with Flint residents after gaining her certification: access to classes can be very limited by finances.

“Growing up in Flint like really, really poor, you can’t afford to pay like $20 a class or something like that,” Hall said. “You have to buy food.”

And she speaks from experience.

Hall grew up part of a large, low income family on Flint’s north end. So when she thought about bringing yoga and mental heath practices to her hometown, she wanted to make sure everyone who was in that situation had the ability to take part.

“I am not accepting payments for the Sunday evening classes,” she stressed, adding that she’s “specifically encouraging people who are from Flint” and anyone “in need of free yoga” to give her classes a try.

Hall’s “Yoga for Bedtime” classes will begin on Sunday, Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. They can be accessed here or through her Facebook page.

Aside from providing yoga classes, Hall said she also plans to formalize her own wellness business, We Are Healthy and Well, later this year.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....