Published on August 3rd, 2012 | by admin0
I had the opportunity to talk with Bethel Lee from the Yoga Chapel in Vancouver today. Twice we tried to record the interview, twice technology (or the goofball running the technology) failed us, so I thought I would try and encapsulate some of the things we talked about today in writing with Microsoft Word – a much more safe and easy to use technology.
Bethel’s idea to create Yoga Chapel began when she was taking her Masters Degree at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina and beginning to take her first yoga classes there too. Being an active and physical person Bethel wasn’t all that sure she would enjoy yoga at first, but she soon found it a perfect antidote for all of the heavy brain work she was doing each day as she realized through yoga how disconnected she was from her body. Later she worked for a time at the L’Arche community in Ontario for people with developmental disabilities and experienced firsthand how crucial the body, touch and presence are to developing relationships and improving overall well being.
Over the years she has been challenged and sometimes criticized by individuals in the Christian community for offering something that mixes eastern practices with Christianity, but at the same time she has been greatly encouraged by many others from this same community. An example of Christian community support came when Bethel received a grant from the United Church of Canada’s New Ministries Foundation which in her own words “helped the dream of the Yoga Chapel become a lived reality.”
I encourage you to go to Bethel’s Yoga Chapel website and read her philosophy. It’s really well thought out; incorporating Spirit, Movement and Meditation. Bethel says each class opens and closes with a short reflection that is inspired by scripture, following themes like the creation story, parables, the lectionary and Lent. Bethel appreciates the traditional way we worship and she wants to provide an alternative for people who may have given up on attending church or for non-Christians who are open to hearing about these ancient stories that have been passed down for generations. She also wants to help the people who attend her classes be more effective in their everyday lives through the benefits of participating in her unique practice of yoga. Yoga Chapel is a mobile ministry, offering series through any church or community that would like to be a host. The best way to stay updated on upcoming classes is to visit Yoga Chapel‘s schedule and to follow its Facebook page.
You can join Bethel for classes (donation-based classes that support local and international charities) just go to her website and look for upcoming events and classes, or join Bethel in Mission, BC at the Creative World Festival on August 11th. For more information see the Yoga Chapel website.