Every Tuesday evening at 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., something wondrous occurs—yoga on the labyrinth. The Cathedral resonates with the sounds of om and live calming music, while hundreds of bodies perform sunrise salutations, stretches, and moments of meditation in a most spiritual and unforgettable way. Led by the soothing and mesmerizing voice of yogateacher Darren Main, who has written several books on yoga, the hour-plus experience in the solace setting of the church unites people from all around the world of different religions and ages under one roof. Each week features a different talented musician accompanying the class.
You don’t have to be super supple to join the class, which is donation based with a requested $10 to $20, but no one is turned away due to lack of funds. You work at your own pace through gentle yoga instruction and will leave more relaxed, revitalized, and centered. Just wear comfortable clothing and a light jacket, which will keep you warm in the cool environment, and bring a mat. Note that there are limited mats available, if you should need one to borrow with a deposit of one dollar.
Main, who has been teaching for over 20 years, began instructing this yoga class at Grace Cathedral seven years ago. It first started as a small yoga class for the churchgoers several years prior, but it was then promoted by Main to the community at large and his faithful following of students. The class is more than just performing asanas or positions. It is a spiritual and healing experience for many.
“The initial attractions were the venue of this beautiful cathedral, the sacred music, and the desire to center the mind and meditate within a peaceful community gathering,” states Main, whose chief intention is just to offer a place for individuals from all walks of life to connect with their bodies in a loving and compassionate way.
In addition to the yoga class is a candlelight labyrinth walk held at Grace Cathedral’s indoor, marble and granite labyrinth on the second Friday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. accompanied by live music performed by select Bay Area musicians. Built in 2007, the labyrinth was modeled after the one in Chartres France and was the brainstorm of the Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress,who speaks briefly to newcomers on the meaning of the labyrinth.
“It is not a maze which has many paths, where you can lose your way. The labyrinth is a single path to find your way.” She adds, “It’s a path of prayer, walking meditation, and music for the soul—a cosmic dance that we are all in together.”
There is also an outdoor granite labyrinth built in 2013 to replace the 1995 one in the Melvin E. Swig Meditation Garden. It is just outside up from the the cathedral’s main entrance.