"If you believe in Me, the Hebrew Scriptures say that rivers of living water will flow from within you." ~ Jesus (John 7.38)
"Bethanie's class was a magnificent representation of this discipline; a practice of yoga woven throughout with Christian faith, scripture, & prayer. The whole session was a prayer! ...
You're a wonderful teacher, Bethanie! Keep offering that gift to others."
Father Thomas Ryan ~ Author of Prayer of Heart & Body
"Thank you so much for leading the Cumbria Maranatha Yoga session on Zoom (during) Advent 2020, when it is customary to celebrate the central role of Mary in our understanding of Christmas. Most appropriately, you based your session on the prophecy of Isaiah (7:14) of the birth of ‘Immanuel’ and how this was fulfilled in the Gospels of Matthew (1:23) and Luke (1.26-38). You made a special point of contrasting the young Mary’s trust and belief in the angel’s words and her submission to God’s plan, compared with the doubt of the elderly priest Zechariah in his disbelief that his wife could give birth to John (the Baptist). Like that of Mary, our response to God’s calling needs to be one of willing acceptance.
You were able to convey this biblical Advent message so beautifully, in the form of a ‘yoga sermon’, enabling it to be understood, not just intellectually, but at the level of body, breath, mind, and soul so that, like Mary, we too can wholeheartedly say ‘yes’ to God.
You gave an excellent example of how to integrate Christianity and Yoga, in that the yoga practices and Christian teaching were offered seamlessly, in a totally convincing and compatible way. Furthermore, you made it acceptable and accessible to all (with suitable modifications/teaching aids etc) so that everyone could follow, according to their own needs and level of ability. You modelled how I first envisaged Maranatha Yoga to be - a way of telling the Bible story that speaks to our hearts, minds and bodies, and engages us at every level of being. In the silence and stillness of the ensuing Christian meditation, the affirmative response stays with us, translating into belief and action. It then manifests in ways that are meaningful, healing and transformative in our lives. You have a knack of getting to the nub of what is important and the content of your session was inviting, challenging, and engaging, with a refreshing and rewarding outcome This was confirmed by the appreciative feedback.
I am delighted to have made this connection with you and wish you every success in your ministry and mission to integrate the Christian message with yoga practice and meditation."
~ Christine Pickering, Author of Maranatha Yoga: A Preparation for Christian Meditation and Founder of Maranatha Yoga
"I am a left below-the-knee amputee due to a work accident in 2015. For the next 12 months, I chose to abuse alcohol & drugs to deal with the loss of my limb. In 2016, my mental anguish was finally so great that I admitted myself into treatment. During my 28 days in a local Recovery Center, I was introduced to Yoga by Bethanie as part of my weekly case plan.
I will never forget my very first class. I WAS ABSOLUTELY AGAINST IT. THERE WAS NO WAY MY HUGE EGO WAS ALLOWING ME TO GET ON THAT FLOOR WITH THE CLASS. So I entered the room where there was aromatherapy and candles lit & I said, "Hello, I'm sorry but I won't be able to attend your class today. I only have one leg."
Bethanie responded, "Have you ever seen online videos of amputees doing yoga?"... I answered, "No." She said, "Have a seat on your mat. I want you to see this." After I watched on her phone for a couple of minutes, I decided to stay for practice. For the first time, I practiced yoga as best I could. The peace & calm I experienced that hour was amazing. I couldn't wait for the following week to practice again!
Since leaving treatment, I've continued to practice yoga with Bethanie. What an amazing experience it's been so far! I have such gratitude that I am able to stand on 2 feet and practice while growing closer to my Heavenly Father. Thanks be to GOD for doing for me what I couldn't do for myself on that day I was first introduced to yoga.
With yoga as a part of my Recovery Plan, I've learned to be more transparent with my needs, to rely on God, and to let go of my pride. With God All Things Are Possible... HE WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY!!!"
Steve G. ~ Austintown, Ohio
"I Love Yoga!!! Those are words I never thought I would be saying, but I really do.
I tried a few classes over the last few years at the request of my daughter
but couldn't really get into it. The truth is, I was in pain.
I have degenerative disc disease in my hip and back and spinal stenosis in my neck.
I've been told I would need surgery. Worse than that, it hurt every time I would get up from sitting.
I felt much older than my 57 years.
Well, a few months ago a friend asked me to join her at Bethanie's yoga class. I went, thinking it wouldn't help but I was wrong. That first night I did ok, but I loved the music, prayer and scripture more. I also noticed that there were people of every shape and size present. It made me feel like I could actually do this. Also, the class was so relaxing that I didn't even realize
I was using muscles I haven't used in a long time.
I continued to go, continued to use those muscles. Continued to meet God on my mat at each practice. Little by little I began to notice I wasn't hurting quite so much. I can move my neck more and it's about 90% better now and the pain in my back is gone. I'm gaining more flexibility with each practice.
I'm so thankful to have found this class where I can practice yoga
while praising God and I know before long I will be pain free completely.
I will end with this, it doesn't matter how old or young you are, skinny, heavy, or in between.
There's a place for you and your mat at practice. If I can do it, anyone can do it."
Linda U. ~ Canfield, OH
"I took my first yoga class yesterday with Bethanie and group. It was a great experience. She explained each position completely and how to transition from one to the next. That in itself was super helpful. I felt like I was keeping up anyway...
Secondly, the readings, and the sharing during the class was very inspiring and gave me a positive first experience. I am sore as heck today, and tomorrow will probably be worse. But, I felt welcome and blessed and God was glorified during this class.
Bethanie's class was a great intro for me to Christian yoga, and very professional as well. To describe the class to someone else, I would tell them it is a prayer time,
with a lot of stretching and body awareness exercises.
Thanks to Bethanie and group for introducing me to a new and healthy way to worship our Lord."
Mark J. ~ Canfield, OH
"I try to attend every week. Bethanie is such an amazing instructor. She loves Jesus and people... It is evident at every practice. I have never felt comfortable taking part in classes until I tried hers.
She is so encouraging."
Tracie F. ~ Boardman, Ohio
I met Bethanie several years ago in the beginning of my journey through middle age. Having stayed home to raise children (also a son on the Autism Spectrum) I was questioning my faith; actually God's faith in me. Then my father took terminally ill and I cared for him the last 6 month of his life. I was lost & grieving! Bethanie taught me to open my mind body & soul to Jesus. I gained an inner strength & the ability to communicate w/ God... I was getting strong! But I continued to struggle with 'control'.... this practice led me to an inner dialogue w/ Jesus Christ that encompassed my whole being. God led me back to my original vocation of a mental health professional. Today I work w/ children and adolescents who are suicidal, homicidal, and/or sexually abused. I never wanted to go back to this career but God wanted me to; sure glad I listened to Him. I now take some of Bethanie's lessons and share them w/ my patients. I keep paying it forward & now I am able to close out the noise & listen to Jesus through the practice of yoga; not to mention the amazing physical strength one gains!"
Christine V. ~ Canfield, OH
"Yoga with Bethanie is a refreshing worship experience: spirit, mind, and body, aligning our lives to God's Word as Bethanie reads it over us and challenges us to focus our minds on His Holy truths, while also challenging us to align our bodies with strengthening stretches and poses! Bethanie is so approachable and down to earth--always willing to help if you're having trouble with a stretch, or even with a life issue! This practice is a beautiful offering of our whole self to the Lord!!"
Daneen S. ~ Austintown, OH
"Bethanie is guiding a group of people into reviving something we have lost in exercise...she is teaching me how to move like I remember moving when I was on the playground as a kid (flexible and strong). Beyond that, she is helping people serve God with all of their strength. At each practice, Bethanie reminds participants that their yoga mat is their alter to God, and to offer their yoga practice to Him. I am so grateful to be a part of these classes. It is such a meaningful time,
and I always walk away refreshed."
Kimmy M. ~ Austintown, Ohio
“I had never taken a yoga class. My daughters attended classes at a studio, so I observed the start of one class with them. I left because I could tell, it just wasn’t for me. In May 2016, I saw an article in the Youngstown Vindicator about Yoga by Bethanie - this sounded perfect! I have a serious health issue and needed some type of exercise... I also needed time for prayerful meditation.
I was hesitant before I attended the first class. I thought I would feel old and clumsy and not know what I was doing. Bethanie was very welcoming right from the start, as were the others at the practice. Although I could not do all the postures... I learned a few things and I didn’t feel embarrassed!
Bethanie was helpful and understanding. I really enjoyed my first yoga practice; It was centered on Bible scriptures and there was wonderful praise music playing throughout the class time. We opened with a prayer together and closed with a devotion and prayer. It was just what I was looking for!
I have grown in my walk with God and have strengthened my body in the process. I look forward to the practice each week. I am sometimes sore in places where we worked our muscles, but it feels good to be working to strengthen my body along while I’m growing in my faith.
Recently, Bethanie remarked to me that she has seen a lot of improvement in my yoga postures and my flexibility. She is a great encourager because I had been feeling like I wasn’t ‘getting it.’
I feel great when I leave, and I feel very close to God. I am so thankful that I saw that article and God led me to check out ‘Yoga by Bethanie.’”
Laura W. ~ Canfield, Ohio
"As a nurse, I know that Yoga is good for you. It aids in flexibility, strength, muscle tone, breathing, calmness, stress reduction, even pain prevention. As a Christian, this practice is all that plus a worship experience through music, prayer, praise and scripture. It unites the mind, body and spirit. Bethanie has the unique ability to speak from the Holy Spirit to each and every person in the class to offer that word or scripture that is right on target!
She seems to be able to 'hit a homerun' each and every class."
Cindy T. ~ Salem, Ohio
"My life is so busy that I forgot I was breathing before I went to yoga with Bethanie! God gave me this breath and I was taking it for granted. This practice has allowed me precious time meditating on and praying thru God's Word; precious time taking care of this Temple that HE dwells in; precious time with sisters (and even some brothers) in Christ; worshiping my Savior with my whole mind, body, and spirit
...and it all happens on my mat!"
Robbie J. ~ Canfield, Ohio
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