Twice over the last week I’ve encountered articles pairing faith and yoga.

My friend Elizabeth Duffy wrote for the Washington Post about SoulCore: a new yoga -based movement practice  based in a new studio on the north side of Indy.

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Combining yoga-like mindful movement and the Catholic Rosary, it is a mindful workout steeped in faith-based practice, using the rosary as an embodied prayer. This movement was inspired by a powerfully sad series of life events that SoulCore creator  Colleen Scariano journeyed through several years ago. Soul Core was born from her healing process, after a period of deep loss in her life. The result was a living prayer that can empower other Catholics to incorporate mindful movement which resonates and supports their own spiritual life.

 

Days later I ran across a New York Times article about teaching yoga to Orthodox Jews in Isreal. 

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Iyengar yoga is taught in single-sex classes, and participants are encouraged to participate in whatever attire best suits… there are long skirts and photos show the men in button down shirts. Respectful of the Orthodox traditions, the yoga classes meet people where they are at.

These two movement practices are a way of responding to and respecting the desire to bring spirituality into movement practice, and acknowledging that Faith is important. The word Yoga comes from the term  “union” or “to yoke” body and spirit and mind. These two articles share ways of opening that union to  the more traditional Catholic and Orthodox Jewish faith traditions respectively…. making the benefits of yoga accessible to a wider variety of people.  Both of these studios share mindful movement in a way that welcomes these traditional faiths by placing mindful movement in an environment that respects aspects of their faith that may be more challenged by many modern/western yoga studios. It’s a way of embracing the yogic principle of Satya, or “truth”.

Honoring our own spiritual truth within our personal practice is a process that  all yogis can embrace, it’s beautiful to witness and learn more about that through the lens of traditional faiths through these recent mainstream media articles.