This is quite an exciting endeavor for me! I was inspired to write this blog after presenting on Catholicism and Yoga in my REL 4010 class. *Disclaimer: I am not a Catholic scholar or a Yoga guru.*
There is such a stigma behind practicing yoga because of its Eastern roots. Many Catholics say that you can practice yoga as long as you only perform the poses. But yoga is not another fitness trend. Yoga is just as much of a spiritual practice as it is a physical practice.
My hopes for this blog is to help Catholics realize that they can take their Catholic background into their yoga practice. That's right y'all...Catholic Yoga! In this blog, I will be sharing my research and understanding of Catholicism and Yoga.
So, in order to understand why this is happening, I need to share how I became a Catholic and a yogi.
I attended a Catholic school from Pre-K to Senior year. I didn't really dive into my faith until Junior year. After years of going to various Catholic, Non-Denominational, Methodist, Pentecostal churches, or no place at all, I found myself in my sophomore religion class. My religion teacher was one of the most amazing souls I have ever met. I still rave about her today because she is one of the main reasons for my passion of religious understanding. The following year I was ready to be a "real" Catholic and was confirmed the same year. I love learning about Catholicism, teaching about Catholicism and practicing Catholicism.
I began practicing yoga in my Granny's living room at age 6. One day I asked her if she was a hippie and she said, "No. I was flower child!"
I started going to yoga classes regularly my senior year of high school and fell in love. In Summer 2016, I attended a Yoga Teacher Training and became an official Registered Yoga Teacher on July 31. I knew that studying the roots and philosophy behind yoga would not change my mind about being Catholic. While learning yogic traditions, I couldn't help noticing similarities between the two. I created my own ways to bring Catholicism into my yoga practice. I cannot wait to share these with you!
I chose the name "Bethel Yogi" because it explains what I aim to share with everyone. Bethel means house of God. Humans must understand that our bodies are only half of who we are. If we truly recognize that our spirit lives within our bodies, would we treat ourselves differently? Our bodies are the houses that God chooses to live in. We owe it to God to honor and take care of our bodies, especially our minds.
I am able to take care of my body and mind by practicing yoga even when I am not in a studio. I am able to connect my soul with God even when I am not in a church. Something that is for your well-being needs to be integrated into every aspect of your life.
I hope you will rejoice, learn and discuss with me throughout this crazy journey!
Peace and Namaste,