Though her yoga classes start with energetic chaos as people shuffle into a downtown studio, Sarah Fagala’s emphasis on abiding peacefully transitions her attendees into a restful, calming mindset.
The junior English teaching major form Borne started participating in Yoga as a form of self-care.
At first reluctant to find a physical outlet to deal with stress, Sarah said she found it healing surprisingly fast.
“I started to experience this healing in ways I never thought I could,” Sarah said. “It radically changed the way I thought about the Lord, and myself, and because of those things it radically changes the way you interact with other people.”
Over the summer, she became certified through a program by Holy Yoga, an international agency that connects yoga and spirituality. Though she said she had no intention of starting her business, she knew she wanted to help others partake in the changing experience.
After the program, she went home and continued to do yoga regularly, especially when she dealt with anxiety.
“In those moments, I learned what it means to abide and rest in truth, what it means to meditate,” Sarah said. “Yoga was the tool that the Lord used to teach me those things.”
Throughout her time at home, she said she continued to come back to the parable of the sower when she would meditate on scripture.
“I didn’t know why I kept coming to it, but eventually it started hitting me that you truly reap what you sow.”
When she came back to ACU, she was surrounded by people every day and wanted to share the benefits of what she had learned.
Even though she teaches yoga, she said the root of her program is to teach people how to abide and meditate on scripture.
As a time to invest in community, she plays worship music throughout the session.
“I always want the room to feel safe and comfortable, not like its a workout.”
She starts the Sunday night sessions with a resting pose to slow down breathing and focus on being present. Then, she reads a scripture and encourages people to focus on a word or phrase the Lord has spoken to them.
The class has a range of pose difficulty, but Sarah welcomed all levels of experience, and said all poses are achievable to people who invest.
Typically an hour long, the yoga portion begins in a flow. In the middle, Sarah brings the class to a resting posture and reminds them to press into the Lord.
“There’s a tone that’s set that is really peaceful. Everyone is just thinking. The Lord is always saying something to us, so if you give him time to talk, He will.”
Sarah decided to teach the class downtown to broaden her reach further than college students. The owner of the studio gave her a key and offered the space whenever it is empty.
“I want to be for all of Abilene, I want it to be multigenerational. I want it to be a bigger community, so I veered away from doing it on campus.”
Since beginning this semester, she averages 20 people per session. In the beginning, she said it was closer to 30, but as the semester comes to a close, the number has been lower.
One of the hardest parts for her to overcome, she said, is the fear of enough. After each session she asks herself what could have been better.
“For me, I’m always ridiculously hard on myself and when everyone leaves, I question my ability to facilitate and teach,” Sarah said. “A lot of times, I walk away feeling really doubtful even though people give compliments. Its so good, but it’s really hard to receive because I always feel like it could be better.”
For next semester, she said she is considering two sessions per week, and moving the time up. Her goal is eventually to teach people who have been through abuse or trauma, but her focus centers around one word: abide.
“A lot of people have no idea how to abide or be still, and don’t know what transformation looks like because they haven’t experienced it. If you don’t sow, you won’t grow. My obedience is God’s love language, so it’s all about helping people learn.”