Meet Eternity Philops

A bodaciously Black and unapologetically queer conscious being, Eternity works to educate and serve Black, BIPOC, and QTPOC communities in Yoga wellness. Certified in both Hatha Yoga and Kemetic Yoga, Eternity began teaching professionally in 2017, and has taught hundreds of students through community classes, university courses, private sessions, and wellness retreats. Addressing the limited options for Afrocentric forms of Yoga, Eternity created Kamili Yoga™, a modern Pan-African system for Black holistic wellness. Kamili Yoga™ is Eternity’s answer to the need for more culturally diverse Yoga systems, more Yoga systems that de-center Whiteness, and more Yoga systems that recognize the beautiful depths of Black and African being.

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My journey to this moment all began with a single Yoga class . . .

Like many people, I used to think that Yoga was just exercise for people with already thin body types. My first experience was a so-called “beginner” class that turned out not to be for beginners at all. The instructor basically yelled out poses and people simply did them. A newbie, I had no idea what I was doing and just did my best to copy the guy next to me. To make matters worse, in a room of almost 60 people, I was one of the very few who wasn’t White.

That solitary experience made me decide that Yoga definitely wasn’t for me. But sometime later, I took a class led and attended by only Black women. This experience was much different. I was around people who looked like me, who weren’t naturally athletic or already in shape, and I was given the space and time to more consciously engage in the poses. This time Yoga felt . . . great! From there I sought Yoga classes specifically taught by Black women, and thus began my real journey into truly understanding and embracing Yoga. Once I learned the truth, my path was set. Through a Spirit-led chain of events and blessings, I ended up with two Yoga teacher certifications: one in Hatha Yoga and another in Kemetic Yoga®. While I didn’t know where this was all taking me, I felt almost unstoppable getting there!

Obstacles in the Road

But once I became a certified Yoga teacher myself, I immediately noticed two major issues. The first was the emphasis on the body in most Yoga classes. Yoga is a deeply spiritual path of Self realization and transcendence. Yet, based on the practices of the average studio, most people think Yoga is just a peaceful exercise program meant for the flexible and fit.

Secondly, as a Black and queer yogi, I often observe the lack of representation and inclusion of marginalized people in mainstream Yoga spaces. Modernized Western Yoga is overtly White-washed and mostly reflects athletic bodies doing acrobatic postures. This common imagery has many people of color, particularly Black people, believing that Yoga is not for them when the truth is that, with roots in Africa and India, Yoga was actually created by people of color.

I wanted to address these problems in a direct way. Thus, I formed Soul Liberation Wellness, a socially conscious brand that explores not only the sacred practice of Yoga but many other holistic practices through the Afrocentric lens of Black identity and culture. Through this platform, I work to make Black and QTPOC communities aware that Yoga and Self-positive, holistic wellness is indeed open to them. I want people who look and live like me to see more Yoga and wellness teachers who look and live like them. And I want people to know that Yoga serves not just the body, but the heart, mind, and spirit as well.

But Spirit wasn’t done with me yet!

The Beginning of a New Journey

As my Yoga education and experience continued to grow, a concern began to form in the back of my mind. I realized I was learning and teaching much about Indian ancestral spirituality and philosophy while my own ancestral roots are African. As a Black American, I’m one of many descendants of a stolen and enslaved people who often wonders about their ties to the Motherland, and I wanted to explore mine through Yoga. As life-changing as it was, my Kemetic Yoga training didn’t fully satiate me as time went on, and there weren’t many other Afrocentric Yoga options.

So I created my own system.

Birthed in 2020, Kamili Yoga™ is my modern Pan-African system for Black holistic wellness. Kamili Yoga™ follows in the inspirational footsteps of its Indian and Kemetic predecessors by emphasizing a practice that addresses not only the physical being, but the emotional, mental, and spiritual being as well. Yet it sets itself apart by exploring the vastness of past and present African culture on both the continent and throughout the diaspora.

Just like Soul Liberation Wellness, Kamili Yoga™ is my answer to numerous needs. The need for more culturally diverse Yoga systems. The need for more Yoga systems that de-center Whiteness. And the need for more Yoga systems that recognize the beautiful depths of Black and African being.

My Background

Professionally trained through two separate 200-hour programs, I am a certified Yoga teacher in both Indian Hatha Yoga (Kiesha Battles, I AM YOGA School, 2017) and African Kemetic Yoga® (Yirser Ra Hotep, YogaSkills School of Kemetic Yoga, 2017). I am registered with Yoga Alliance as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher and a Continuing Education Provider (E-RYT and YACEP), and am a certified leader for Yoga of 12 Step Recovery (Nikki Myers, Y12SR, 2020).

An energy worker, I am a Second Degree Reiki practitioner (Asha Sims, Ashakti Wellness, 2017), as well as a Certified Life Coach (World Coach Institute, 2011). Academically, I have a Bachelor’s of Art degree in the dual fields of psychology and sociology (UNC-Greensboro, 2005), a Graduate Certificate in women and gender studies (UNC-Charlotte, 2014), and earned my Certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurship (Cornell University, 2020).

I combine all of these areas of scholarship and more to provide a well-rounded and informed approach to teaching holistic Yoga wellness.

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