“You’re either running away from something or running to something,” says Hakim Tafari. A trail-runner and martial artist, Tafari unifies running and meditation to enhance life and performance through mindfulness.
He has studied Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Akido and Arnis in addition to logging miles on the trail. He also formed his own Tai Chi, run and bike crew in 2019 called Pure Souls and has an ongoing residency teaching Tai Chi at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles.
His time as a dharma runner was kickstarted when Hakim met a group of trail runners in Mexico known as Aire Libre who invited him to lead meditation, Qi Gong and mindfulness sessions, followed by a run in the jungle. This experience was a major transformation, not just for Tafari, but for the athletes who joined.
Until that experience, Hakim says he didn’t think he would ever get to participate in the outdoors; now his goal is to normalize Black people in the outdoors and celebrate the beauty of nature and its importance to mental health.