Monique Rollocks | Creating Space for BIPOC Yogis in Vancouver

Aug 20, 2020

Monique Rollocks

“Anti-Racism is not something you should pat yourself on the back for. 

It’s the human thing to do.”

Most often it’s the words and phrases that we hear when we are the most relaxed that have the greatest impact.

They sink into our souls and make us think.

Monique at a BLM protest in Vancouver

Make us wonder.

Sometimes their meaning doesn’t take effect immediately and they just sit in the back of our minds and simmer.

And other times they ring loud, clear and true.

And when we hear words that resonate from someone who looks like you, those words can have a heavier impact.  The have a greater, bigger, wider meaning that inspires and motivates.

These words were spoken by Monique Rollocks, a Vancouver based yogi, fashion merchandiser and all round spreader-of-good-vibes, during her #SundaySessions yoga class on IGTV on July 12th, and these words just reverberated.

Originally from Atlanta Georgia, Monique and her partner Alex relocated to Vancouver in 2018 for career opportunities, from San Francisco where she completed her Yoga Teacher Training and built a community of like-minded people.

And as Vancouver lacks diversity within the Yoga teaching community, her presence is much needed.

“I first got into meditation about 4 years ago as a way to deal with a lot of stress and anxiety from my job.  It really helped me start my day.”

“Teaching yoga is how I am tapping into my creative power outside of the office.”

The office being the corporate world of athleisure.

“During high school I loved working retail.  I was always curious as to, how did the clothes get here?  Who makes those decisions and who’s making the clothes? And tracking our sales goals.  I was super freaking curious!”

As a child, ‘Little Mo’ was taken to the local craft store by her Mom every holiday season to pick out a color for her holiday sweater. 

“Mom made every single holiday sweater I ever wore.  So good, but so cheesy, but so good!  Christmas.  Halloween.  Easter.  Thanksgiving.  Every single one.  And every single costume.”

I think that’s her form of meditation and the way in which she expresses herself.”

Monique and her Mom

“Mom has the sewing machine Grandma had and I learnt to sew on that machine too.”

“She also taught me that you can still be creative and not spend a lot of money.  How do you make do with what you have?”

After initially studying Fashion Merchandising then switching to Business in Marketing at the University of Georgia, Mo then moved across country to work with Gap in a 9 month retail program where she rotated through three different job functions; production, merchandising and inventory management. 

“What called to me was merchandising as it marries art and science.  I love connecting with people and am curious about solving problems and how we can do that with clothing or product.  At university, I studied consumer behavior and that ties into why people do the things they do.”

“I like creating things out of nothing.  I thrive best when I can start it from scratch or take something broken and just try something different.  There are less rules and process and it’s just more fluid.”

And it’s the same with creating a yoga class.

Creating a flow out of an idea or what is currently happening around us.

And that was the theme of Mo’s #SundaySession.

 Creating Space at the Table.

Allowing space to recognise who is missing from our current spaces and taking action to readjust these.

And the Yoga space, especially in Vancouver, is where space needs to be created.

But there is also a little fear.

“Those moments when I get to teach on Social Media and think, is anyone going to care? Or when I put my meditation out there and I get into the comparison BS. 

But then I also know it will land with someone.”

“And it’s so easy to be on social and see all the numbers and I’m trying to remind myself that I don’t need a billion followers to exist and to just do what makes me happy.”

Check out her #SundaySessions class here and follow Monique on Instagram at mo-netter

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