By Salam Fatayer 88Nine Radio Milwaukee Published Oct 06, 2021 at 5:01 PM

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It all starts with a space. A space where women can come together, build community and receive affordable luxurious wellness services. A wellness center with a mission is what Joanna Brooks envisioned when opening up Embody Yoga

Now she is in the process of changing Embody Yoga to simply Embody with a wellness center opening early 2022 in Glendale.

“The wellness center is going to what I believe Black women and women in this city deserve,” said Brooks.

Not only will there be yoga classes, but Brooks also intends Embody to be the go-to spot for women, with additional services such as massage, skin treatments, Ayurveda and counseling. Another element is providing culture with community events. These events range from healing circles, sound baths and TV viewing parties like the latest season of “Insecure.”

“Women tend to put themselves last in all areas of their lives,” said Brooks. “We don’t really do ourselves a lot of favors when it comes to taking care of ourselves. For Black women, we always have to be strong and we have to be independent. As it relates to counseling within the African-American community and a lot of other communities of color, we don’t do counseling because we don’t share family business with those outside of the household.”

Another tenent of the mission is changing the narrative around self-care and making it affordable and accessible to all. Brooks said Embody isn’t seen as a place where one books an appointment and leaves; instead, she aims to create a place for community members to gather beyond receiving services.

“Whereas I focus on communities of color primarily, we’re talking about yoga teachers that serve the Deaf community, that serve the differently-abled community, that serve the LGBTQ+ community,” said Brooks. “We want to give them access to these beautiful spaces that we’re creating because we believe that people of color deserve that and that all communities deserve that.”

Embody will be launching a crowdfunding campaign early next month, in hope of bringing the mission to life. To be involved or stay updated with Embody check out its Instagram page.

Listen below for the long-form interview with Brooks to learn more about Embody’s mission to uplift women of color in wellness.

Listen to "Culture is the mission behind this upcoming wellness center" on Spreaker.