Yoga on the Labyrinth
Donation-Based Yoga in San Francisco’s Iconic Grace Cathedral
Each week hundreds of people fill San Francisco’s iconic Grace Cathedral to practice yoga and meditation. Taught by teacher and author Darren Main, and set to live music offered by a variety of renowned musicians, this gathering is truly unique.
Some are young, others old. Some have practiced yoga for years, while others are just trying yoga for the first time. Diversity is the norm at Yoga on the Labyrinth and everyone is welcome regardless of religion, race, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity.
While yoga was developed in ancient India, people of all faiths, spiritual traditions and cultures have found that this body-centered meditation is a great way to improve health, quiet the mind, open the heart and deepen one’s spirituality.
Participants are Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or on their own unique self-styled spiritual path. Other students are agnostic and atheist. Many are San Francisco residents, but Yoga on the Labyrinth also draws students from the world over.
What time should I arrive?
While the class starts promptly at 6:15 PM, we recommend you arrive no later than 5:45 PM. Some students arrive as early as 5:30 PM to get much sought-after mat space on the labyrinth itself.
What is an appropriate donation?
We suggest a donation of $15 – $20 which is the going rate for a yoga class in San Francisco. Your contribution helps us cover our expenses and your generosity helps us to offer yoga to everyone regardless of the number of pennies in their piggy bank. If you have a little extra, please give a little more. If times are financially difficult, please contribute only what you can.
Donations support Grace Cathedral, Darren Main and our talented musicians. No one is ever turned away because of money. Donation boxes are located at both ends of the cathedral and we even accept credit cards.
How much experience do I need?
This is an all levels class. New students as well as those that have been practicing for a while are welcome to attend. Because this class is gentle, it is particularly suited for newer students and those with physical limitations, but more experienced yogis enjoy the practice as well. All students are encouraged to modify their practice to suit their unique needs and more advanced students are always welcome to do more. Please inform Darren or one of his assistants of any concerns and we will help you to modify your practice accordingly.
Do you provide yoga mats and props?
We have a limited number of rental mats, but these are on a first-come basis. In addition to a yoga mat, many people also like to bring yoga props such as a strap and a block to support them in their practice. For a helpful list of useful yoga props and where to buy them click here.
I have an injury or a medical condition. Is it safe for me to practice?
Because this is a gentle yoga practice, it is safe for most people. That said, it is important to discuss yoga and meditation with your doctor so she or he can advise you—especially if you have any significant injuries or medical or psychiatric concerns.
Do I need to be Christian to attend the class?
Absolutely not. While the practice takes place in a stunning Episcopal cathedral, people of all faiths attend. On any given night you are likely to practice alongside Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists and agnostics as well as people from almost every Christian denomination. Yoga on the Labyrinth is an opportunity for people of every persuasion gather in a spiritual, but decidedly non-religious community. Only a personal desire to quiet the mind, open the heart and heal the body is needed.
Can I take photographs?
Personal use photographs of the cathedral, the musicians and teachers are allowed as are photos of the class as a whole. Please respect the privacy of individual students, however, and only photograph individuals with permission.
Also, please remember that this class is a meditative experience so use your cameras in a very respectful and non-disruptive manner. Professional photographers, journalists and filmmakers are welcome as well, but need to request permission in advance.
Darren and the musicians often get requests for signed books and CDs and are available before or after class. Books and CDs are available at the donation tables and online.
If you would like to welcome students to Yoga on the Labyrinth or volunteer as an assistant teacher, we want to hear from you. Please ask for Ramona at the donation table for information about volunteer opportunities.