He wanted to create a inclusive place where men, too, would feel encouraged to do that emotional work.
He and Ms. Shankle see signs that it’s working. A 16-year-old boy stopped in to inquire about yoga, motivated by LeBron James’s discussion of the practice.“I told him to bring his friends, and he was like, ‘Nah, this is for me,’” Ms. Shankle said. “And we thought this is what it’s about. LeBron is mainstream. This kid can connect through that.”
She and Mr. Hall are black in an industry that overwhelmingly is not. And the simple fact of them being there, in HealHaus, creates a connection with the community they’re trying to engage.
“This can be intimidating,” Mr. Hall said. “Like, to drop $20 for a yoga class. Or if you’ve never heard of reiki, you’re not going to do that. You need to come into a space, see your face reflected, feel warm and welcomed, and then have the opportunity to say, ‘O.K., let me try something.’”
Men, in particular, pop in and see Mr. Hall and can relate. “I’m not a Super Yogi Dude,” he said. “I’m just a regular dude — whatever that means.”