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Open to Grace Christian Yoga celebrating 10th anniversary

'It’s a social thing,' says yoga teacher. 'Many of the students have been coming series after series for years'

Open to Grace Christian Yoga is celebrating its 10th anniversary of business in Orillia.

Owner Sandy Patrick started wellness yoga at the Orillia YMCA back in 2006 while experiencing illness and a dark time in her life.  

“I eventually did the yoga teacher training through the YMCA,” she explained. “I volunteered at the YMCA for a number of years teaching yoga.”

Patrick, 59, said she felt called by a "higher power to not only teach yoga but also incorporate" her Christian faith into it. After doing some research, Patrick stumbled upon 'Yahweh yoga.'

“It’s yoga but with a Christian perspective,” she explained. "In June 2012 I opened Open to Grace Christian Yoga out of Westmount Congregation in Orillia and have been doing that since.”

Patrick says hundreds of students have come through her classes since then. She teaches in an eight-week series format and is currently teaching three different classes including a chair yoga class, a gentle yoga class, and a gentle flow class.

“My classes incorporate scripture, readings from the Bible, devotion, and Christian music and prayer,” Patrick said. “It’s not necessarily just for Christians, we have lots of people who come who are just curious about practicing yoga from that perspective.”

She says yoga is very spiritual and is often taught from a faith perspective world-wide. 

“A lot of people that come to the yoga do belong to some Christian denomination,” she said. “Many people come to my classes and find that it’s a way to draw closer to God’s heart, and to centre themselves and be able to hear from God.”

Patrick says her students are often supportive of each other, share experiences, and pray for each other.

“It’s a social thing,” she said. “Many of the students have been coming series after series for years.”

The retired nurse says yoga is something that allows her to continue her lifelong passion for helping people.

“It’s a way to share the love of God with other people,” she said. “I lean on my faith and God’s strength to share this yoga practice and my faith with others.”

Patrick says her health is good and she wants to keep teaching yoga for as long as she possibly can. She is grateful for the opportunity to teach and the relationships she has with her students.

Registration for Open to Grace Christian Yoga’s fall programming is currently open to students. Registration will open for new students on July 5. For more information, click here.

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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