"Yogi in the Bible Belt"
In this documentary, Summer Smith E-RYT reveals her experience of opening a yoga studio in Canton, Texas, a conservative East Texas town about an hour outside of Dallas. She addresses the questions and concerns her mostly Christian community has about yoga and also sheds light on the true purpose of yoga, how it can create community, and why the practice is accessible to everyone, no matter their background.
Through "Yogi in the Bible Belt", Summer hopes to demystify the practice of yoga and bring awareness to this healing, historical, and spiritual practice.
About Summer Smith, E-RYT 500
Summer Smith, E-RYT, opened Yama Yoga Studio in 2006 in Canton, Texas, a small East Texas town in the evangelical south about 60 miles outside of Dallas.
Summer has always been a spiritual seeker. A tumultuous childhood piqued her curiosity about faith, connection and inclusion. She was exposed to both Wayne Dyer and Richard Bach at an early age and was able to turn perceived misfortunes into spiritual growth. That education introduced her to a variety of spiritual and religious ideologies all with a common thread. The “Divine” lay at the center of them all. This epiphany led her to her life’s work.
With these experiences, Summer produced the documentary, ‘Yogi in the Bible Belt’ with the help of close friends, Donna Gatewood and Stephen Self. In this documentary Summer shares her experiences in her conservative town including residents’ questions and concerns concerning yoga. She also sheds light on the true purpose of yoga, how it can create community, and why yoga is accessible to everyone. Through "Yogi in the Bible Belt", Summer hopes to demystify the practice of yoga and bring awareness to this healing, historical, and spiritual path.
‘Yogi in the Bible Belt’ is a very personal project for Summer. It is a way to help others open their hearts and to help them when they are feeling stuck or lost. From the initial resistance of some residents to a thriving, close knit community of yogis, Summer is seeking out others with similar experiences. Yoga has never been just a physical practice to her. Summer strongly believes in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, as a prescription for healing. Applying those lessons for growth and union with the divine are the core of her personal practice and teaching style.
Ultimately, she believes yoga is a map for navigating this life and a lens from which to view your true nature, that of a “Divine Spiritual Being”.
"Yogi in the Bible Belt" Traveling Workshop
A class, documentary screening and conversation with E-RYT Summer Smith
Summer Smith is on a mission to bring her story to studios everywhere and start a dialouge about the history of yoga, why it is accessible to everyone, and answer any questions about her journey opening a studio in a conservative town.
This traveling workshop is approximately 2 hours.
Yoga Stretch Class - 60 minutes
Documentary Screening - 30 minutes
Q&A with Summer - 30 minutes