Bethel church room becomes local yoga center

By Linda Howe

Yoga instructors Christine Liberti, Wendy Youmans and Kristin Otten in the Bethel United Methodist Church’s Annex room. The room, built in the mid-1950s in memory of Leslie and Marie Davis, was initially used as the ‘Friday Gift Shop.’ By making it available for use, the church now gives the gift of yoga to the community.

Yoga instructors Christine Liberti, Wendy Youmans and Kristin Otten in the Bethel United Methodist Church’s Annex room. The room, built in the mid-1950s in memory of Leslie and Marie Davis, was initially used as the ‘Friday Gift Shop.’ By making it available for use, the church now gives the gift of yoga to the community.

The Bethel United Methodist Church has become a bit of a yoga ‘mecca’ in recent years, as three of the nine certified yoga teachers in the Bethel area hold classes in its Annex Room.

The room had gone unused in recent years, so as a way to bring it back to life and reach out to the community, the church invited the yoga instructors to use it. A total of about 40 people come for classes each week.

The teachers each bring their own flavor of yoga to their classes.

Kristin Otten teaches a power vinyasa flow on Monday evenings and Thursday mornings. Her classes are set to energizing music, wherein students are enabled to connect mind and body through breath, tap into their core being, and awaken their authentic power.

Kristin is from Denver, Colo. and has been active in sports and wellness throughout her life. She played Division III field hockey and lacrosse in college and was a member of three NCAA championship-winning teams.

Later, Kristin discovered and fell in love with power yoga, which provides a great physical challenge, yet also nourishes, mind, body, and spirit. In 2005, Kristin achieved her 200-hour teacher training certification through CorePower YOGA, a Baron Baptiste inspired enterprise. Kristin has taught all levels of yoga for over eight years.

Kristin can be emailed at everybodyyogaofmaine@gmail.com.

Tuesday and Thursday Christine Liberti teaches two classes in the Annex. Christine has been a student of yoga for over 25 years and a certified yoga teacher since 2009. Her 200-hour certification was with YogaSpirit Studios in Hamilton, Mass.

At YogaSpirit Studios the focus was on form and alignment as well as linking movement with breath that is an Iyengar-based practice. Christine’s goal is to share the benefits yoga has to offer to strengthen the mind, the body and the

spirit. She can be reached at [ mailto:cliberti@aol.com ]cliberti@aol.com.

Friday mornings finds Wendy Youmans offering a weekly yoga class. Wendy has been teaching yoga for over 10 years and has been a certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor since 2007. The Friday 8 a.m. moderate/advanced yoga class (some experience recommended) allows for all body types to benefit from the physical, emotional and spiritual flow of movement, meditation and breath work.

Wendy will be offering a Beginner Yoga class at 9:30 a.m. on Fridays from May 9-30. Wendy’s classes are a testament to the power of community (and occasional does of humor) to make everyone feel welcome. Wendy can be reached at yogawendy@gmail.com.

Practicing yoga can reap many benefits. Yoga clears the mind and offers strength, balance, and flexibility when practiced on a regular basis. It is a gift that offers life-long health benefits.