As you enter the room, attendees are greeted with a mat, a tie and a smile. The chime of the cymbals and the start of the music means class is ready to begin. Every Saturday, Queer and Trans Inclusive yoga class takes place at Denton Unitarian Univerisalist Fellowship and creates a safe space for queer and trans people that encourages self love.
Michi Poindexter, 25, started the class in late April. Poindexter said they wanted the class to be a safe space for queer and trans people but didn’t want to exclude other people.
“ I know I have issues walking into a studio and not feeling comfortable and included. I know other trans individuals. That’s also the case,” Poindexter said. “Having a space where you know that you’re going to walk into a space, see a diverse group of people, feel accepted and loved without any form of judgement it’s important to have.”
Poindexter tries to focus on different qualities every week throughout all of their classes. They wanted to have something to focus on that the students can practice on their mats, but can also use those tools and exercises in everyday life.
“It makes me feel accomplished when I have someone come up to me afterwards telling me that they feel the way that I was trying to communicate to get them to feel and having people’s energy shift from the time class starts to the final stretch,” Poindexter said. “These people come in very anxious, and then finding that transition to an energy that’s going to help them through the rest of the day is so worth everything I do.”
Eric Kolderup, 21-year-old UNT senior, thought this class would be the perfect opportunity to get back into yoga and liked how affordable the class was.
“I felt this class was appropriate to both beginner and immediate level yoga, and I feel great, rejuvenated and well worked out,” Kolderup said. “ I’m gonna probably be bringing someone else next time and see who else I can get on board.”
Kolderup believes having this safe space for queer and trans people is essential because it is an asset for any area where they can organize on their own terms.
“I think it’s a powerful thing to have to be together and not be left by your lonesome,” Kolderup said. “It is a space that I think just inherently feels better and valuable for having that characteristic.”
Lizzie Carberry, 27, said she came to the class because it is a more gentle yoga class than other classes she’s been to and it’s a great way to support the community.
“ It’s super important, especially here in Texas,” Carberry said.
There are two classes every Saturday At the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The adults class is at 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. for teens.
The cost of each class is $5 and $40 for 10 classes. All proceeds go to OUTreach Denton foundation to help put fundraisers together for teenage youth in the queer community.
“Everyone should support the community regardless of what the cause is because Denton is such a heavy community-based town, and I’m fortunate to be a part of it,” Poindexter said. “There are many great organizations out there and they’re doing great things, so there’s plenty to choose from.”