How This Woman Went from Being an Exotic Dancer to Owning a Yoga Empire

How This Woman Went from Being an Exotic Dancer to Owning a Yoga Empire

Are you a Yogi? If so, you might be interested to learn Subhadra Bowman’s story. Traveling between her native Jamaica and LA, Bowman runs a Yoga empire and she’s helping children along the way. By choosing to work a very controversial job, she finally found her true path. 

Yoga Empire


According to Forbes, Subhadra Bowman is “the go-to wellness, health consultant, and yoga instructor.” Since 1997, Bowman has run her company Yoga Angels International with the help of her children. She says that Yoga Angels, “Serves our community with an impactful system that enhances lifestyles, health, and attitude. Our proven system has transformed the lives of hundreds within our community.”

Bowman has launched a successful business from helping other people. While the Yoga Angels headquarters is in Kingston, Jamaica the company impacts America too. Since 2012, Bowman has worked with the City of Beverly Hills to create “Yoga the Children Way” for the school system. Her program teaches children all over Los Angeles – where she lives, along with Beverly Hills and other less privileged areas.



The Hard Road to Success


Unfortunately, Bowman’s road to success wasn’t an easy one. After being left by her parents at age 3, she was sexually assaulted when she was 9-years old. Bowman and her 3 siblings were cared for by their grandparents, but they already had 11 children of their own and became overwhelmed.


Bowman says, “At 15 years old my biggest wish came true when I migrated to America with my mom and dad to live in Mount Vernon, New York.” However, after less than a year she was placed in foster care because of her violent, alcoholic parents.

In 10th grade, she dropped out of school to get a job. Using her older sister’s I.D she managed to get a job as a bank teller. Emancipated from her parents, she continued working the corporate life until she had her first child at 21-years of age.



The Job Choice That Changed Her Life


Naturally, it was extremely difficult for Bowman to juggle 3 jobs and a child. She says, “I was a bank teller for 5 days a week, had another part-time job twice per week, school three times per week and worked post office on the weekend.”


Weighing up her options, Bowman made the tough decision to become an exotic dancer. She explains, “I realized I had to find a sustainable way to continue school, raise my child and make enough money to support us.” She also got gigs as a backup dancer in music videos and became friends with rapper and producer Fab Five Freddy.


When her first child, Radha, was 4-years old Bowman moved them to LA and stopped dancing. Using the money, she’d gained from exotic dancing, she could afford the move and began to teach aerobic classes instead. Aerobics lead to yoga, and Bowman has no regrets about her time as a dancer.

The freedom of it allowed her to become an entrepreneur. She was finally in charge of her schedule and money for the first time ever. She says, “Women have to be aware of our strength especially during trying times. All experiences are valid in teaching us the lessons we need.”



Helping the Community


Bowman has overcome a lot of adversity during her life, and she wants to help her communities as much as possible. In the Caribbean, Yoga Angels International has teamed up with “A New Path”. Together, they teach yoga in juvenile correctional centers across Jamaica and the West Indies.


It comes as part of an effort to help the youth rehabilitate. The program works alongside the Organization of America States and US AID. Yoga Angels trains staff from both organizations to become certified yoga teachers in order to help the young inmates.

So far, Yoga Angels International has trained more than 350 new instructors from their Kingston studio. 150 of these now teach across America, and others are spread across Europe, Dubai, India, and more.


Bowman views life as a journey, believing that bad times become a catalyst for the good to come. She now has an international yoga studio and is a partner of the U.S and Jamaican government. But, above all, she’s a teacher and healer.



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