Belinda Thurston is a yogini, tai chi player, Buddhist, African-Japanese American, journalist, speaker, motivator.
Belinda was born in 1968 in Washington, D.C., a mixed-race child of African and Asian descent and did not learn until the age of 50 that she is half Japanese, thanks to DNA testing. She comes from modest-to-little means, amidst the crack epidemic in D.C. in the 80s. She survived sexual molestation and rape from the age of 5 through 11. She is a suicide attempt survivor.
This does not define her, but it is the composition of some of the core threads of her being.
Her mother and grandmother instilled a strong civic duty and community awareness. She was also raised with a rich background education in the arts and spirituality (a flower child.) She was the principal oboist and English Horn player in the D.C. Youth Orchestra in the early 80s. She taught music and computer programming before entering college. She majored in computer science at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh before leaving that program and pursuing an English degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Journalism became a calling that led to a 23-year career specializing in multimedia, digital and investigative journalism. She has worked at small and large newspapers including the Dallas Morning News and USA Today. She gave presentations on digital journalism and storytelling.
Belinda is trained in trauma sensitive yoga, yoga for special needs, yoga for children and teens, yoga for bigger bodies, and yoga for addiction recovery. A bulk of her work is teaching yoga for survivors of sexual trauma, working with local nonprofits and government agencies.
Belinda conceived Just B Yoga & Tai Chi LLC, Michigan’s only full-time donation-based yoga program, in 2010 to help fill the need for affordable and inclusive yoga. The image of yoga as white and affluent needs to change. The experiment in conscious commerce has grown into change within Belinda herself.
Just B Yoga is a donation-based community yoga outreach. We practice “open source yoga” – giving freely and accepting what is given in return. We believe yoga should be affordable and accessible to all. Please consider supporting our mission.