Dianne Bondy Is the Yoga and Pilates Instructor Making Instagram Feeds More Equitable
There are so many aspects of health that disproportionately affect the Black community, and yet less than six percent of US doctors are Black — a deficit that only further harms public health. Many of the Black folks who work in healthcare have dedicated their careers to combating inequities. That's why, this Black History Month, PS is crowning our Black Health Heroes: physicians, sexologists, doulas, and more who are advocating for the Black community in their respective fields. Meet them all here.
Dianne Bondy is a Registered Yoga Teacher with more than 7,000 hours of training in her practice, and she has been a movement coach and well-being advocate for more than 30 years. So her 307,000 followers on Instagram should come as no surprise. But Bondy could have reveled in her influencer status and chosen to post her own flows, thoughtful writing, and personal anecdotes. Instead, she has fostered a community by reposting others and igniting important conversations about everything from body positivity to social justice issues that tap into the zeitgeist. She understands the true meaning of shared participation, and that's likely why her fans stick around.
Based in Canada, Bondy is more than a yoga and Pilates instructor. She runs yoga-teacher trainings with a focus on creating equitable and accessible spaces; she is a mentor for entrepreneurs; and she is the author of two internationally bestselling books, "Yoga For Everyone" and "Yoga Where You Are," the latter of which is coauthored with Kat Heagberg Rebar, who is another celebrated yoga practitioner promoting equitable yoga.
"My journey emphasizes the importance of inclusivity, equity, representation, and accessibility in all wellness spaces," Bondy tells POPSUGAR. "I love to highlight the transformative power of yoga, Pilates, movement, and mindfulness for all individuals, irrespective of their background or body type."
Ahead, read about Bondy's journey, including how she shows up for her community while protecting her own mental health and embraces her knack for creating equitable content across her platforms.
POPSUGAR: What inspired you to get into your field?
Dianne Bondy: My journey into yoga was inspired by my personal experiences and a passion for inclusivity and equity within wellness. My interest in yoga and equity has evolved over time. I got tired of not being represented in yoga spaces, and I felt I could change the industry. I wanted to advocate for those who felt punished to the margins of yoga and wellness.
PS: What does a typical day-to-day look like for you?
DB: A typical day for me starts with me time. I do a movement practice, which involves my favorite modalities such as spinning, yoga, or Pilates. I commit to one hour of self-care. It is the first thing I do in the morning. I wake up at 5 a.m. and get moving most days of the week. I also sleep in and take naps if necessary to maintain my mental well-being. After my workout, I have my morning meal and coffee. I like to experiment with different fancy coffee, but Vietnamese coffee is my favorite. I sit down, answer emails, engage with my community on social media, create content for social media and interact with my online training participants, teach yoga and Pilates classes, create content for workshops, and write. I love spending time with my sons and partner. To maintain my mental health while helping others, I integrate mindfulness practices, and I seek support when needed.
"I wanted to advocate for those who felt punished to the margins of yoga and wellness."
PS: What is the most surprising or unique element of your career path?
DB: I am always surprised by the impact I have had on reshaping the conversation around yoga, wellness, and body acceptance. I love hearing from my community how their lives have changed now that their ideas of movement, fitness, and exercise have expanded to recognize movement can be for anyone and everyone. I am all about making it more equitable and accessible to diverse communities.
PS: How do you come up with the captions and themes of your daily posts, and are there any essentials that go into building your social content?
DB: My social media content is a hodgepodge for all the things that matter to me, from social justice, representation, self-study realizations, and connecting with others to wellness, yoga, Pilates, self-care, a day in my life, makeup, skin, and hair-care routines. I love reaction videos as well. Reposting is my love language. I enjoy sharing great content from other creators and supporting other creators doing the work of making the world a better place. I love to share content that inspires me, makes me think, and sometimes stirs the pot for public discussion. My social media is a community space.
"Loving who I am matters; seeing representation from people who look like me matters. . . . these elements are crucial for historically excluded communities."
PS: How does your work and field intersect with the Black community?
DB: My work intersects with the Black community by my visibility, ability to speak up, and advocation for representation, inclusivity, and accessibility in yoga and wellness spaces. I emphasize the importance of providing opportunities and platforms for Black, Brown, and all kinds of individuals to engage with yoga and wellness practices.
PS: Why is it important to you that Black folks are part of your following and the community you have fostered within your space?
DB: I am Black, and my life, wellness, and ideas matter. Loving who I am matters; seeing representation from people who look like me matters. Whether it is body acceptance or body neutrality, wellness, or movement, these elements are crucial for historically excluded communities. The Black community and Black people are some of the most vilified and hated members of our collective communities. I want people not to internalize self-hate, but to help my community and communities like mine foster self-acceptance, mental well-being, and empowerment.
PS: Who is your personal health hero?
DB: I have many heroes. My mom is first and foremost. She introduced me to yoga and movement. She shaped my life. Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados (my country of origin by way of the continent Africa), is another because of her dedication to the world and uplifting the lives and voices of those most affected by lack of representation. Also Rihanna, who is an entrepreneur, pioneer, and fellow Bajan; Louise Green, who fearlessly shows up in the industry as Big Fit Girl; Shirley Chisholm, who was the first Black woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination; Michelle Obama, because she is epic; and, of course, Beyoncé.