From the Washington Post:
By Lavanya Ramanathan March 18 at 7:00 AM
After a few committed months of hot yoga at a studio in New York, Christina Rice had found her niche. So when the studio announced that it was offering teacher training, she signed right up.
It was only when she arrived with her mat that she noticed something striking.
There were 54 other women and men in the 10-week course, and not one of them looked like her. She was the lone African American in the class.
“I did bond with some of the other students,” says Rice. “But I did feel very isolated at times. There were no teachers of color. I didn’t have another woman who looked like me, who understood my struggles, my insecurities.”
Boutique workout studios — specialized, exercise-specific gyms — are exploding in gentrifying urban areas. They include not only hot yoga but also CrossFit, which is everywhere; Barry’s Bootcamp (in Los Angeles, Nashville and Washington, along with other major cities); SoulCycle (nearly 20 markets); or Orangetheory (hundreds of studios nationwide).
They are the modern answer to the sprawling, soulless gym, which insists on financial commitment but doesn’t really care whether you actually work out. …
Fads are helpful in fitness because they give hope.
And like Rice, other fitness junkies have begun to notice who isn’t coming. Sweat through a class in one of these studios and it’s very possible that you’ll see it, too: many, many lithe young white bodies and very few people of color. Or older or heavier exercisers.