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Community Highlights: Meet Helsa Thompson of The Aura House

Today we’d like to introduce you to Helsa Thompson.

Hi Helsa, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
As a Black woman, I have always been one of few in white spaces. When I was at the University of Southern California, I was a part of the 4% Black student population. At Harvard, I was one of 3 Black women in my program. Throughout my career, I have sat in spaces where my mere presence was intimating or I was given the moniker “Angry Black Women” because I was strong and passionate about my work.

Unfortunately, this translated to my yoga and meditation practice. I would enter spaces that were supposed to be focused on wellness and healing, and I would experience microaggressions, “side-eyes”, and would feel like I did not belong. The commercialization of yoga, while it has exposed so many to the beautiful practice and its benefits, it also has taken on a “look” or “body type” that is not inclusive to many groups of people.

As I deepened my practice, I yearned for spaces where I can fully show up as myself. Spaces that were safe and not re-triggering, and most importantly, spaces that were built on community and connection. When I could not find those spaces, I decided to create them.

Welcome to The Aura House.

At The Aura House, I love the inclusive community I have been able to create. The space we share is safe allowing everyone to show up as themselves and be vulnerable, share experiences, and learn from each other. I am a guide at The Aura House, so while I might cultivate the experience, I am not the only teacher. We collectively learn from each other. This is an important part of inclusion, creating a space where there is no competition, positional power dynamics, or hierarchy, but where we all are empowered to impact the group, our wellness, and our healing.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am blessed that things have taken off for The Aura House. I feel like we are in a time where people are taken control of their physical, mental, and emotional health. It is such an amazing time to see the collective prioritize wellness and healing and I am glad to hold space for others to tap into the best versions of themselves.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
The Aura House prioritizes the health and wellness of our first house– our mind and body. Through yoga and meditation, The Aura House curates experiences that promote emotional, mental, and physical healing for all.

I use my expertise in the field of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging with my passion for yoga, meditation, and energy healing, to create experiences that meet the needs of each individual. Whether it is your first time on the mat or a seasoned yogi, The Aura House will deepen your connection to mind, body, and soul through signature offerings.

In addition to our signature offerings, The Aura House believes that well-being and self-care is an act of social resistance– allowing for underserved communities to take their power back through wellness and healing. That is why The Aura House launched community initiatives to support of the BIPOC community. The Aura House strives to equip the BIPOC community with the tools for healing, empowerment, and self-love.

Identity factors such as race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender—is complex, especially, in the black community. For example:

  • The black community suffers from generational trauma that affects how people deal with stress and emotions in the present
    Black women are most affected by heart disease, caused by stress, and are not equipped with tools for self-care and stress management
  • Black boys are disciplined at high rates and misdiagnosed for learning disabilities, leading to lack of access to more educational opportunities, closing the opportunity gap
  • Suicide rates for black children aged 5-12 were roughly two times higher than those of similarly aged white children

Knowing how to deal with stress and learning how to self-regulate emotions are skills needed to empower the Black community. These tools allow for people of color to rewire how we deal with generational trauma, the stress of being black in -America, emotions that come with navigating white dominant culture in the workplace and schools, and the reclaiming ownership of how we engage and react with others. Self-Care and well-being as an act of activism in the Black community.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
The most impactful thing I have learned that I would share with others just launching a business is the power of partnerships. When I first started The Aura House, it was important for me to connect with like-minded people who were just as passionate about empowering others through wellness and healing. For me, The Aura House is a community where we collectively bring our gifts together to support others. In growing The Aura House, I have been intentional about community partnerships and supporting others. There is no competition when it comes to wellness and healing, so to truly grow in my purpose, partnerships, collaboration, and synergy have been critical to our story.

So, find your people. Leverage each other’s strengths. Collaboration over competition.

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