■ BY SUE ERWIN
There are more than 4,500 people across the world who are trained to teach Holy Yoga, and one of them practices right here in Boca Grande. Leslie Barrett teaches a Holy Yoga class on Wednesdays at the United Methodist Church of Boca Grande. The classes are held at 9 a.m. on certain scheduled days in the fellowship hall at the church.
Leslie has been teaching Holy Yoga at the church since last year, but she’s been a yogi for many years.
She is a member of the United Methodist Church, and when she brought up the idea to a few church members last year, they showed in interest in taking the classes.
“It was a pretty intensive training program,” the yoga instructor said.
The class begins with a scripture, and attendees can reflect upon the words during the hour-long activity.
“Some people choose to just meditate and think about the scripture for part of the class, and that’s fine,” Leslie said.
She teaches more of a yin-style class, and each posture is held for about two to five minutes.
“It really allows you to stretch and get to the deeper tissues,” she said. “We use props that can help accommodate people to find what works best for their bodies.”
The class is open to all ages and skill levels.
“We do a good amount of floor work using mats, but everyone is encouraged to do the poses at their own pace and comfort,” Leslie said. “The program teaches the history and principles of yoga with biblical foundations of the Christian faith.”
Students can expect to do traditional movements like sun salutations, butterfly poses and twisting/balancing poses for strength training.
The classes are free.
The next scheduled class will be on October 23 at the church. Classes are planned to take place on the following dates: Oct. 30, Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Nov. 20, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11.
Holy Yoga Global was founded by long-time yoga practitioner Brooke Boon in 2006.
Brooke was raised in the Jewish faith, but a personal crisis led her to a church where she found a bible and read it cover-to-cover. She developed an intimate relationship with religion, yet struggled to reconcile her background in yoga with her newfound faith. Her desire to include the gospel and use a simple wellness ministry to share with others became her mission.
Leslie plans to resume the classes on Wednesdays in January.
Originally from Colorado, Leslie moved here with her husband about seven years ago. She’s also a certified school teacher, but she and her husband have four young children, so she hasn’t taught for the past few years.
The United Methodist Church is located at 325 3rd St. W. The fellowship hall at the church can accommodate about 30 people, and students are encouraged to bring their own mats.
To contact Leslie, send an email to bglighthouseumc.com.