We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamika Chambers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tamika, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting my yoga business was inclusion. I wanted to provide a safe space where anyone could enter and feel comfortable enough to practice yoga. Folks go through enough outside of the studio/class setting and need a space to feel free to be exactly who they are in their bodies. So many spaces advertise as having inclusive spaces but once someone shows up there’s no inclusion. I’ve been that person and the feeling is very discouraging. Aki’Mat was created for those who feel unseen and unheard in the yoga community. The non handstand yogis and the other 7 limb yogis.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
During the daylight hours I’m a financial advocate at a nonprofit organization. That provides free service for the cancer community. I educated our clients about insurance and medical claims. It’s a very rewarding position that I enjoy.
Any other time you can find me teaching/ guiding folks through a meditation or yoga class. The interesting thing about being a yoga instructor is you really never take off the instructor hat. My walk through life is yoga I’m always teaching or using my skills to help calm folks. I believe in the yoga teaching and that yoga is practiced off the mat. That’s actually what Aki’Mat means to seek Clarity off the mat.
My journey with yoga began over twenty years ago. When I began to practice I noticed a change in my behavior. I noticed how I calmed down even folks around me took notice. That’s what I how I want folks to feel when they leave one of my classes.
Not that they’ve just accomplished a new pose but also lesson to carry during those trying moments.
Yoga has gotten me through some of the hardest times in my life by keeping grounded. Yoga allows me to build community and communicate with all kinds of folks.
My hope is that Aki’Mat helps to unite communities and raise mental health awareness. One of the most important concerns Aki’Mat has is raising awareness of mental health. Yoga creates self awareness because it’s a study of the internal which translates outward.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question. We’d definitely have brunch at snooze . Then for dinner we’d have to go visit the rooftop at Reata. A trip to the Fort Worth botanical gardens , water garden downtown. Jazz is in the itinerary at scat’zz jazz lounge. Curfew bar for a few drinks. Paloma suerte for some good Mexican food in the stock yards with photo opportunities by the Drover hotel. Of course we have to visit Texas live for a night out and hit Ella b’s for a girl night out .
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many different people that have encouraged my life along this journey. I’m sending a shoutout to my love tribe . Those that spoke over my life when I didn’t believe in myself . To the folks that poured into me and support this journey. To my yoga mentor Felicia Savage Freedom of yoga roots on location thank you for encouraging me through extra long holds on poses and providing a yoga teacher training that pours into our community. Namaste