Yoga instructor Jason Freskos recently discussed how San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral is using yoga to promote healing.
STINSON BEACH, CA / The yoga program at Grace Cathedral was the largest diverse yoga gathering in the northern hemisphere before COVID-19 took control. Known as the Yoga on the Labyrinth program, this gathering attracted hundreds of people to Grace Cathedral every Tuesday. Yoga instructor Jason Freskos recently discussed how this program was promoting healing and inclusivity through the practice of yoga and will continue to do so in the future.
“Yoga is inherently inclusive because it is for everyone,” Jason Freskos said. “A quality instructor can alter nearly any yoga class to suit the individual needs of students. There’s no one type of person who practices yoga, as people of all backgrounds and ages enjoy its many benefits.”
Jason Freskos explained that, before the pandemic hit, the Yoga on the Labyrinth program was held every Tuesday at 6 p.m., at the Grace Cathedral in downtown San Francisco. Grace Cathedral is a grand, historic Episcopalian church that spans nearly the size of a football field. Jason Freskos explained that roughly 5,000 people attended a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at this church in 1965.
The gorgeous, well-lit setting surrounded by French Gothic architecture serves as an ideal yoga practice setting. On Tuesdays, yoga mats fill nearly every corner of the church, including between the pews and in the Cathedral’s famed indoor labyrinth. Multiple volunteers are required to run classes for this many people.
“It’s incredible to see the diversity of the people who attend these Tuesday night sessions,” Jason Freskos said. “It’s the largest continuous yoga class in North America, and participants come from across San Francisco, around the country, and the world.”
Jason Freskos explained that the event has become iconic in the yoga community, and it’s an absolute must for yoga practitioners visiting San Francisco. That’s partially because it’s so much more than a yoga session. Each class at Grace is focused on promoting spiritual growth and social justice. The program also draws famed post-class speakers, musicians, and more. Jason Freskos explained that Tuesday nights at Grace are entire evenings dedicated to spiritual awareness, bringing so many people of the community together in unity.
“It’s important to note that the Tuesday night yoga sessions have been set on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Jason Freskos said. “However, the yoga program is now available online, with Dharma talks available weekly on the Grace Cathedral Facebook Page and audio streams of previous Yoga on the Labyrinth sessions.”
Jason Freskos expects the Yoga on the Labyrinth program to resume as usual when the pandemic passes.