Charlie Redd, Black woman, smiling

Hey y'all, I'm Charlie

 
I am an entrepreneur, mentor, community organizer, and healer. At the core of everything that I do is a passion for social justice and a mission to create spaces where people from marginalized groups can show up as their whole selves.
 
Back in 2018, I opened Haven Yoga Studio in Indianapolis after years of practicing, working in studios, teaching, and experiencing the reality that, as a Black person, I was unable to do my deep work in the spaces that were available to me. I founded Haven to provide an accessible and affirming space where people can practice in community and safely deepen their wellness practice amongst others who care about their wellbeing.
 
During my years working and practicing in yoga studios, I observed the barriers that keep marginalized groups out of the space. Financial constraints, access to transportation, cultural relevance, and the positioning of wellness as a luxury meant that I did not see other people like me in these studios. Haven was born to address these barriers, however, my yoga studio is not where my work ends.
My story
Growing up, I had the privilege of being surrounded by a large, loving family who taught me to love myself and made sure that I saw myself reflected in my world. From my dolls to the music in my home, I grew up seeing and loving Blackness. I had access to a great education and watched my mother model for me that I could do anything. 
 
However, even a loving and privileged upbringing could not keep me from receiving the message that in order to be safe, I needed to act and appear “respectable” enough for the rest of the world. My experiences in school reinforced this message and it became apparent to me that for my Black classmates and I, our identity made other people perceive us as lacking in some way.
 
After high school, I attended IU for business and eventually moved into non-profit management before realizing that the type of impact that I was interested in having was not taught in these programs. Eventually, I became an AmeriCorps Public Ally and it was during this time that I really dug into my wellness and yoga practice alongside my non-profit work in a majority-Black neighborhood. 
 
Spending more time in yoga studios, I was hyper-aware of my surroundings because I felt hyper-visible. Not only did I not see myself reflected in these spaces, but when I began working in studios and teaching, I was questioned, tokenized, and even had ideas taken out from under me. People treated me differently because I embodied things that they did not perceive to be Black. It was that experience that motivated me to open Haven Yoga Studio.
 
The reality is that for many people in minority communities, healing simply can not happen in proximity to whiteness because of the messages that we have received and the lessons we have been taught. It is my mission to help marginalized people heal, and creating safe and accessible spaces is absolutely essential to this mission.
It goes beyond yoga.
Yoga and wellness are often sold as a luxury. For people in marginalized communities, these practices are often not seen as an option. There is no reason that wellness tools should only be accessible to the most privileged. Not only should there be safe and affirming spaces for these communities within the wellness space, but I believe that there is also a place for wellness tools outside of the yoga studio.
 
I am a mentor for folx who are interested in digging deeper into their own practice and learning how to advocate for themselves in the wellness space, as well as a teacher for wellness leaders who are ready to learn how to be more supportive of different communities. I also work with organizations to offer coaching and facilitation around social justice, anti-racism, and healing justice with the use of wellness tools.
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MEDIA

INDY STYLE- WISH-TV 8
Indy yoga studio sends message that welcomes ALL types of people
EYE ON THE COMMUNITY- HOT96.3
Radio Interview with Ebony Chappel
BET - BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION
Indianapolis Woman Opening Yoga Studio, Providing Access To All (Website, Facebook, and Twitter)
FOX59 INDIANAPOLIS
Local yoga instructor opening new studio to promote diversity in the yoga community - write up and interview with Tanae Howard
BE WELL INDY
Meet Charlie Redd: Founder & Owner of Haven Yoga Studio
INDIANAPOLIS MONTHLY: BEST OF INDY
Street Savvy: Butler-Tarkington
The south end of this historic neighborhood boosts its urban-living appeal.