In December 2017, I started reaching out to some Minneapolis churches about renting space for yoga classes. I was struck by the idea of affordable yoga in a non-studio space, but where to go? I decided to see if I could find a local, progressive church that had space I could rent. But not just any church.
As I searched for a potential space, I had a list of non-negotiable qualities I was looking for. To be selected, the church had to be:
Invested in the community around its buildings, not just the community within its walls
Inclusive of all ages, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, races, religions, and belief systems
Committed to social justice of all kinds
Open to yoga as both a physical and a spiritual practice
Supportive of making yoga accessible to all bodies
I was also hoping to find a location that was located on public transportation and that would embrace my mission of making yoga affordable. Ideally, it wouldn't be too far from my day job so that I could commute there easily. I hoped that the space would inviting and maybe have a few windows. If I could light a few candles once in awhile for a candlelit restorative class, that would be a bonus. I started sending out letters.
I went looking for a church basement and I found a unicorn
I am beyond excited to report that I found a unicorn. St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Loring Park offers all of the things I was looking for--a supportive staff, women in leadership, a vibrant community, an inclusive stance on LGBTQ folks, an active presence in the community that has little to do with evangelism and everything to do with social justice and doing the right thing, on the bus lines, ADA accessible, AND I can light candles for candlelit restorative. Did I mention there's a full-size labyrinth on the floor of Whipple Chapel where yoga class will be held? Yeah. It's pretty cool.
But St. Mark's is truly a "unicorn" because in addition to ALL of these amazing qualifications, they also have free off-street parking, which in Loring Park is pretty incredible!
There are two classes on Thursday each week--I hope you will consider joining me for one or both! Classes start on April 5th!
6 PM - Gentle Yoga
Intuitive and adaptive, in this gentle yoga class your body is always right and the pose changes to meet your needs–rather than the other way around. This 60-minute class may be completed on a mat or seated in a chair. Bring a mat if you have one.
7:15 PM - Restorative Yoga
The antidote to today's always-on culture, restorative yoga uses props to fully support each pose so that you can relax and renew. Class is completed entirely on the mat or in a chair. Soak up Whipple Chapel's contemplative energy in this 60-minute class. Bring a mat if you have one.
Cost: $10 per class. Pay-what-you-can available if the class cost would keep you from practicing.
See you on the mat...in beautiful Whipple Chapel!