Many people are familiar with the verse “Be still and know that I am God” found in Psalm 46:10 and a lot of individuals can say that they have been encouraged to quiet their minds in an attempt to tune out the noise of the world and hear God speak. So, in an effort to spend quiet time with God and tune into His “frequency”, one might pose the question, “Where does yoga fit into all of this?” Yoga, which means “to yoke, unite or integrate” in its original Sanskrit, is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline that originated in India a long time ago. Recently, “Christian yoga”, an alternative to traditional yoga, is becoming more mainstream. Though the reception to this alternative style of yoga has been mixed (upsetting purists, the Vatican and even some Christians), some things are for certain and can’t be ignored or scorned– it is increasing in popularity and people are taking notice of the number of salvations and healings that are taking place. Carol Serwna, founder of The Barefoot Yoga Studio in Jupiter and a successful yoga teacher for the past 25 years, shares her thoughts about this spiritual discipline and clears up some misconceptions about this highly sought-after alternative that is gaining a devout following.
In The Beginning… When Serwna moved to Florida 12 years ago from Maryland, she felt that God was leading her to open a yoga studio that would incorporate her faith while also providing more of a spiritual Life to her community rather than just a business endeavor. “The vision for this studio was to reach the lost and to incorporate a healing Life for those who needed it,” Serwna shared. “I have a strong evangelistic spirit and I want to share Jesus with others. Although the studio was met with some resistance at first (including one passerby who used to pray against the studio), as traditional yoga comes from Hindu roots, I really felt a calling from God about opening up this studio and the outcome has been incredible. Barefoot Yoga is the only ‘Christian’ yoga studio in the area, though I try not to label it as that because it is truly an outreach Life and people from all faiths take part in our classes.”
How Barefoot Stands Apart There are many aspects within The Barefoot Yoga Studio that separate it from other studios in the area. First off, the chanting to Hindu gods, popular in many studios, doesn’t take place. “In my opinion, I feel that it may open you up to avenues that aren’t beneficial. I always tell people who are interested in yoga and who are looking at various studios to find out what the studio is promoting. Just like you would ask any other health or fitness professional what their certification is, I think it is important to learn what the spiritual background of the teacher is and what is taught there regarding spirituality.”