Why Bethel Yogi?
Bethel means “house or temple of God.” While many people only practice asana when speaking of yoga, the potential for integration is still there. Every human being is a temple of God, and we honor God just by being.
The original intention of yoga in a spiritual sense was full integration of mind, body, and soul. Yogi, frequently translated as a practitioner of yoga, is derived from the word yogin which can be translated to the word mystic. Mysticism appears in Christian and Hindu spiritualities as well as many other religious traditions. Mystical experiences may sound daunting, but their purpose is simply a fruitful, all-encompassing relationship with the divine.
When I practice yoga whether through meditation or asana, I am continually drawn to the interconnectedness of that act to God. Thus, the implications of embodiment in “bethel” and the history of the mysticism surrounding “yogi” continually shapes what I share here.
Mission and Vision
I began this blog as a sort of manifesto for those who didn’t believe one could practice yoga as a Catholic. I also wanted to pave the way for people who may have felt lost like I was.
But now my mission is much bigger.
Bethel Yogi is dedicated to exploring interfaith yoga from a native Catholic perspective. This blog includes topics from an interreligious exploration of spirituality from a native Catholic lens, a true testament to my upbringing in post-Vatican II Catholicism.
I hope that people from all walks of life can find glimmers of truth between the lines of these posts.
Bethel Yogi honors the South Asian heritage from which yoga stems. It condemns all acts of oppression and cultural appropriation of the origins of yoga, Hinduism, religious minorities, and marginalized people.
My name is Allyson Huval, and I am the founder of Bethel Yogi. After completing my yoga teacher training, I began researching the spiritual aspects of yoga. Bethel Yogi is the result of my continual spiritual explorations through yoga, mysticism, and interreligious dialogue. I am a religious literacy advocate who believes the best way to understand cultural diversity is through learning one's spirituality.
I am a registered yoga teacher, a registered children’s yoga teacher, and a certified aerial yoga teacher. I received a bachelor of arts in both public relations and religious studies from Louisiana State University. I am currently attending Yale Divinity School specifically researching the interplay between self-proclaimed Christians and elements of yoga.