NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Beverly Steiger, co-owner of Holy Yoga of Connecticut, considers her job not just a business, but a ministry.
"Holy Yoga is experiential worship. It's designed to help the student connect with God on a yoga mat," said Steiger, of New Fairfield, who owns the studio with fellow town resident Toni Maconi.
Holy Yoga in New Fairfield is a nondenominational studio offering Christ-centered Hatha- and Vinyasa-style classes for students of all levels. Class offerings include Chair, Gentle, Restorative, Weights, Power and Flow.
Holy Yoga is based out of Phoenix, with 1,400 Holy Yoga instructors worldwide. Most teach their classes in churches, community centers and YMCAs.
"It's a place that's free of judgment and lets you experience God in whatever way that looks like for you," said Maconi, who, along with Steiger, had been teaching Holy Yoga in churches around the area before opening the studio.
All classes at Holy Yoga begin with prayer. Instructors weave scripture into each class.
"We are very hands-on during class," Maconi said. "We do a final blessing at the end of each class."
The studio contains a prayer and meditation room, where students gather after class to talk and pray. "We stay as long as we need to after class for whoever needs us. That's why we're here," Steiger said.
The instructors also hold a weekly fellowship hour, as well as Bible study and meditation.
Holy Yoga student Ellen Shea, a retired teacher, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November. "Taking Holy Yoga through my chemotherapy has kept my spirit up. The passages that Beverly would chose fit my life and what I was going through. They gave me the energy to get through the week."
Unlike most other yoga studios, Holy Yoga has no mirrors on the walls. "We do this on purpose because we want you focusing inward. We want you to feel what the poses look like. It's that mind-body connection," Steiger said.
Steiger said she practiced a variety of different styles of yoga for 20 years. But when she tried Holy Yoga, "my soul was touched, I connected to God in a way I never had. This experience changed me and I just want to share that with other people," said Steiger, who has also received Trauma Sensitive Holy Yoga training certification.
Holy Yoga of Connecticut is at 88 Route 37 in New Fairfield. For more information, click here .
Holy Yoga is participating in New Fairfield's Small Business Day on Saturday, Sept. 17, and will be offering a free sampler class from noon to 1 p.m.