the yoga church

WHY

I see a world full of spiritually hungry people. People for whom traditional forms of church can’t or don’t feed their hunger. I see a world full of people hungry for meaningful community. Community that allows for vulnerability. Community that allows for—and in fact demands—a love of spirit and body. Community interested in providing children with a sense of Divine Mystery without unnecessary baggage. I see a world full of people hungry for spiritual practices and traditions that nourish rather than stress the soul.

I am one of these hungry people and I can’t wait any longer. So I am mustering up the courage to answer the call I feel deep in my bones to start something new. I can’t do it myself though. The building of community is not a solo act. Join me.


WHAT

The yoga church is a place to gather in community and wrestle with big questions. It’s a place to revel in the mystery of existence, build self awareness, and work for peace and justice in the world. It’s a place where we can explore spirituality as the embodied human beings that we are. Where we can move and breathe together. Chant and sing together. Rest in silence together. Explore the mystery of God together. And pray together.

We have no religious or dogmatic creed. We hold love as the highest value. Whether you are a devout practitioner of a particular faith, an atheist, or somewhere in between, you are welcome. No matter your race, ability, gender, age, or sexuality, if you believe in equality, integrity, learning, listening, and community, you are welcome.

It is our goal to create a space where people can be spiritually nourished. Where they can study religious ideas and grow into the people they are meant to be in this world. We use the ancient scriptures of all religions, but rely most heavily on the scriptures important in the tradition of yoga (specifically the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads). We also draw from the teachings of the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers (the Judeo Christian Bible and Quaker writings). And we use Quaker process to help organize our structure and support our decision making.

The yoga church is a place where children are valued. Where milestones and seasons are marked and celebrated. Where intentional living is cultivated.

The yoga church is something new. Come and help us build it.


WHO

Summer Cushman, M.Div.
(founder of the yoga church, minister, yoga teacher, and yoga therapist)

Minta Allred
(yoga church kids teacher and yoga teacher)

Karen Williams
(yoga church encourager and adviser, mama, and acupuncturist)

Jeremy Cushman
(yoga church encourager and adviser, and english professor)


WHERE

We need your help to answer this question!

Do you know of a space in the community that we could use for yoga church?

Ideally the space will be large. We want a space that allows us to move. And we want enough room for lots of people (because we think there are lots of people who will be excited about this idea). Ideally the space will have two areas, one for adults and one for children. And, of course, the space needs to be accessible.

If you have an idea, please contact Summer.


WHEN

As soon as we have a space, we can get started. We’re thinking we’d like to meet one evening during the week, preferably Wednesdays from 5:30-7pm.

Here’s what we’re thinking for the schedule (of course, as the community comes alive, this will probably change a bit).

  • 5:30 – Invocation – Centering Song/Chant
  • 5:35 – Community Check In – Joys and Concerns
  • 5:45 – Simple Integrated Yoga Practice
  • 6:20 – Teaching/Sermon
  • 6:30 – Meditation
  • 6:45 – Group Sharing
  • 6:55 – Benediction – Closing Song/Chant

In the future I can imagine having regular community events such as potlucks, book clubs, peace and justice action committees, small spiritual nurture groups, and whatever else will speak to the needs of the community.


WHAT ELSE?

We need your help to make this dream a reality. You can:

Brainstorm – We’re raring to go. Help us think of people we should reach out to in regards to space.

Spread the word – We want to make sure that everyone who could benefit from a new kind of spiritual community knows about the yoga church. So, talk us up! And share this website!

Donate props – We will need chairs, mats, blankets, and blocks.


Thank you! We cannot wait to build this community with you.
If you have any questions or ideas, don’t hesitate to contact Summer.