A long time in yoga spirituality was my ‘Old Testament’, the Holy Spirit bringing me a long way round to faith and now ordination training. Discernment, including a Pioneer Mission Certificate, helped me understand the retreat place I have in Devon as a place to meet seekers. There are also ‘deconstructing’ folk attending for other ways of meeting God in rest and contemplation. I love to work with the rhythms of Creation and feast, seasons, the day and the breath.
On Sunday 6th March…
Expect encouragement to the conscious yogic breath, lying down, guiding words and space. Our theme is ‘Wilderness and Coming Home’. Have somewhere warm with cushions, blankets and perhaps a bolster or two pillows rolled in a pillow case for under the knees. Plan to have a bit of a quiet time after and something to drink and light to eat after.We’ll only be doing a 20 minute practice with 5 minutes either end (usually it’s 40 minutes). In case you need to talk anything through after, I can be contacted via https://vivekagardens.com/contact/. You can also navigate around to see what else is on with classes, courses, workshops, day & weekend retreats, some online, some in real life.
Una grew up in an ordinary, church-going family. She was ready to stop going to church on leaving home at the age of 18, but God seemed to have other plans, and the very first people she met at university were members of the Student Christian Union. This ignited her faith and desire to follow Christ.
Dreaming of being a writer, she lived very much in her ‘head’, until she discovered Yoga in her twenties. This was a form of physical exercise that made her feel as if she had truly come home to her ‘body’. After a while, she grew to appreciate the mental and spiritual benefits of Yoga too, and felt that it was nourishing her own Christian faith in a more organic and creative way than she had ever experienced before.
In 2007, Una felt ‘called’ by God to share some of what she had learned by teaching yoga to pregnant women. This set her on the path to teach regular yoga classes, as well as specialising in pre-and-postnatal yoga, and classes for the elderly. She has been teaching yoga therapy to people with Multiple Sclerosis, and other serious health issues and disabilities, since 2010, and also gives private sessions to individuals. She continues to do further training and study, and has recently started online sessions for people affected by Long Covid, Chronic Fatigue and Stress/Burnout. These can be booked online (along with some of her other classes) on the following link: https://bookwhen.com/yogawithuna.
She is based in South Leicestershire, is an active member of her local Anglican church, and is thrilled to be involved with Maranatha Yoga. She can be contacted via her Facebook Yoga With Una page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Yoga Nidra practice in March Gathering
Yoga nidra epitomises the slowing of the mind waves. We come to a liminal space where the body-mind can really rest and heal. In addition, there is the opportunity to plant your heart’s prayer. In my experience the practice promotes courage (coeur-age – heartfeltness), a place where the Holy Spirit can work their work.
Eleanor is a cradle Catholic who talked to Jesus from a very young age. As a youngster she often visited churches before school/ during lunch breaks. She was always attracted to the social aspects of faith including being a Brownie leader, instigating an annual charities campaign while a student at the university of Stirling and being part of a church group visiting young offenders.
The next phase of her spiritual development was a little bit of a voyage exploring different aspects of Catholicism as diverse as the Legion of Mary and Charismatic Renewal before marrying and settling down and bringing her two children up as “ mainstream” Catholics. She was heavily involved in the local church, chairing the sharing of faiths group in her local authority and on the board of the Scottish Refugee Council as well as working full time as a chartered accountant and looking after several dependent relatives.
In her 50s – and possibly because of her stressful lifestyle – she developed breast cancer. This had a profound effect on her life. She took time off work to recuperate and stood down from all her committee and charities work. Her recovery and subsequent spiritual development had two distinct strands. One was learning relaxation from a yoga teacher in Maggies and the other developing a much deeper relationship with God through Ignatian Spirituality.
For a long time these seemed like two parallel paths. The experience of yoga relaxation led to two, year long yoga courses , one with Yoga Scotland and the other with The Society of Yoga Practitioners.
While participating on the Growth in prayer and reflective living course at the Ignatian Spirituality centre in Glasgow Eleanor discovered body prayer as a Capacitar practice. This led to her training as a Capacitar facilitator and influenced her to train as a Dru yoga teacher. There are many similarities between Dru yoga and some of the Capacitar practices; in particular sequences with soft flowing movements and an emphasis on the importance of guided imagery.
However there was still something lacking and an emptiness when teaching both capacitar and yoga in secular settings. She discovered Ignatian Spirituality and Yoga (ISY) about five years ago and found herself drawn to it . She is closely associated with it and her spiritual director is one of the co-founders. She trained with Yogadevotion in 2021. Their course is aimed at lay people and yoga teachers and gave her the confidence she needed to branch out into teaching embodied prayer.
She facilitates Capacitar classes at Refuweegees, a Glasgow charity and works with nine local churches in her area offering classes in embodied prayer and ISY.
At the start of the pandemic she was introduced to an online weekday meditation group through ISY and has been meditating with them since then. It’s is an ecumenical group with most members taking turns to lead the meditation sessions.
Since early adulthood, Olivia has been fascinated by life’s rich matrix of meaning. Studying Theology at Oxford grounded her intellectually and personally in her faith. Continuing through the journey of life, working as a teacher, qualifying as a counsellor and more recently as an accredited yoga instructor (CrossYoga) and the ambassador for CrossYoga in the UK. Olivia has an MA in Christian Spirituality and she wants to offer a holistic model for wellbeing.In 2012, her husband’s brain tumour left him virtually blind and as a mother of four, her life was also turned upside down. She therefore has a genuine awareness of the grittiness of life and empathy for those who struggle. She believes that life is challenging but it is also immensely rich and draws from the Contemplative Christian tradition offering people a safe space to explore life physically, emotionally and spiritually with the goal being to experience fullness of life.
Olivia is offering ‘Meaningful Yoga’ classes online (class and one-to-one) as well as face-to-face in the Bath-Somerset area. You can find out more and sign up for her classes on her website www.meaningfulmeditation.com or contact her on email@example.com.
You can listen to her online meditations on Insight Timer app.
Her online Yoga is Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Contact her on facebook, Instagram, above or email or website above.
Chaplain specialising in Christian Spiritual care for individuals living with dementia. Yvonne has worked for Methodist Homes for the Aged as a Chaplain in Workington for 10 years. Prior to this, she worked for the National Prison Service as an RC Chaplain. Yvonne developed Biblical Yoga after trialing many other ideas for worship for older adults. Biblical yoga uses movement alongside scripture to improve understanding and the ability for individuals to enter into spiritual discussion. Yvonne currently works as a Dementia Chaplain and Hospital Chaplain and is happy to share her work and experience with others who might benefit from it. Before the Covid-19 pandemic she was trialing Biblical Yoga for primary school children at an After School Club and was running a Community Dementia Friendly Service. You can visit her website www.yvonnemyers.weebly.com to find out more, download resources and contact her.
or visit the Biblical Yoga Website
Hello friends, my name is Ennette. I just thought I’d share a bit about myself and my business.The heart behind IMAGO DEI Wellbeing & Yoga is that your life has purpose and meaning because God has made you to be like Himself. It means that your life has intrinsic value, not simply because of who you are as an individual, but because of who He is. It means that your life is sacred because He has stamped His identity upon yours. Every time we step onto our mats it is an opportunity to soak our souls in these truths, to live into our belovedness. ?✨ It’s genuinely been a decade long dream of mine to bring Christ centred mindfulness into the physical practice of yoga I like to think of it as moving meditation: calming the mind, soothing for the, soul good for your body. Mindful movement, mindful living. So “imago dei”… what is it, what does it mean? It is latin and the literal translation is: God’s image. In the Christian faith it encapsulates the principle that we are made in the image of God. We are creatures, fearfully and wonderfully made created beings, we are not the source we are not the answer. Yoga is not the answer nor is it a means to an end. If we want to know who we are or how to live well and whole, we need to go back to the Creator; to go back to the meaning for which we were made. Yoga is just one of many tools that we can use to find the time and cultivate a space in which to create an opportunity to encounter the presence of God: moving meditation if you will. A little about me: I’m thirty years old, born in Zimbabwe living in Nottingham, England. Married to the best human being in the whole world (truly) although his one flaw is that he won’t let us have a dog, even though he loves them just as much as I do!! (Pray for me) haha anyway to find out more about me and ImagoDei Wellbeing & Yoga head over to the instagram page: @imagodeiwellbeing, website www.imago-dei-wellbeing.com or on YouTube at ImagoDei Wellbeing. Comment, like, share – basically just get in touch! I’d love to hear from you and how you’re doing, especially if you’ve always wanted to try yoga but aren’t too sure how to integrate it with your already existing faith.
Rev Christopher Rowe
Rev Christopher Rowe is a Church of Scotland minister at Colston Milton Parish Church in North Glasgow and a Capacitar Tai Chi teacher. Capacitar Tai Chi is a very simple form of Tai Chi – called Tai Chi Chih developed by Justin Stone. Tai Chi is an ancient set of movement practices that help the natural flow of energy round the body, and is great for helping with stress and anxiety or trauma and restoring balance. Chris runs weekly sessions on zoom, Wednesday mornings at 10am. You can find out more on the Colston Milton Parish Church Facebook page.