By Heather Collins
Sally Bassett has learned to balance many roles, including professor, humanitarian, CEO, author and world traveler. She’s found the peace and strength to handle it all through the spiritual benefits of yoga, and she’s hoping to help others discover them, too.
Bassett is the author of “Yoga through Christ: Via the Eight Limbs of Yoga,” published in February through Christian Faith Publishing. The book offers a step-by-step approach to developing spirituality through yoga. Bassett considers it a ministry from the mat.
The Zionsville resident is an adjunct professor at Christian Theological Seminary and Butler University, where she teaches yoga basics and philosophy. She also is the founder and president of the Peace through Yoga Foundation, a nonprofit she founded in 2012 to make an impact through transformational yoga and service.
The book is geared toward every spiritual path, Bassett said, not just Christians. She recommends the book for yoga enthusiasts, theologians, students, teachers and general audiences.
“As a Christian, my path includes Christ. We all want the same goal, but there are many paths. My book, hopefully, will inspire others to find their own spiritual path,” Bassett said. “Yoga is spiritual. It’s not religious.”
Bassett said most Westerners come to the mat for the physical benefits, but her book explores the spiritual benefits of yoga.
Bassett moved to Zionsville in 2009. Previously, she was immersed in the business world as the president and CEO of Ambassador Travel Club.
“Yoga gave me the balance I needed while in the busy corporate world,” she said. “It grounded me in quieting the mind. I’d go to a class as a student with a busy ‘monkey-mind’ and could leave 75 minutes later in a very calm, Zen-like state. Yoga can actually be like peeling an onion one layer at a time. We’re not all the titles we wear each day.”
Bassett began training yoga teachers in 2002. That same year, she founded Peace through Yoga studios in Zionsville. In 2011 she opened the Peace Through Yoga: International Center for the Girls in the middle of the rainforest and 2 miles inland from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica. The center offers the Girls for Success program, which teaches 16 local girls English, sewing and yoga. Bassett travels to the center and hosts service retreats throughout the year.
Bassett said she is mixing her spiritual, travel, yogi and humanitarian backgrounds through her inner and outer journeys. She has visited more than 140 countries but said yoga is what gave her direction.
“Everybody gets on the mat for a reason. I ended up on the mat in 2001. It just brought me a lot of peace,” she said.
Chris Yovanovich, owner of Indiana Yoga Studio in Lebanon, previously taught at the Peace through Yoga Studios and is the director of development for the Peace though Yoga Foundation.
“(Bassett) has a magical way of leaving you feeling more energetic, joyful and just lighter in your body and mind after taking her classes,” Yovanovich said. “By creating a sacred and safe space to go deeper into your spiritual practice, Sally is truly a transformative yoga teacher.”
Bassett hopes her book will help people strengthen and transform their spirituality through yoga.
“There truly would be peace on earth if everyone did yoga,” Bassett said. “I hope to inspire people to get on their mat through my book, regardless of religion.”
“Yoga through Christ: Via the Eight Limbs of Yoga” is available at Black Dog Books, Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.com. She will do a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. June 3 at Black Dog Books, 115 S. Main St., Zionsville.
Benefits of yoga
Dr. Sally Bassett’s top 10 list of spiritual benefits from yoga:
- Develop a deeper sense of inner peace
- Increase your capacity for love and compassion
- Deepen your ability for concentration
- Teaches you to let go and let God
- Enables you to find “stillness of the mind simply be present”
- Helps you discover oneness with God with a feeling of bliss and joy
- Commits you to the 10 basic yoga values that help you reach your greatest potential
- Let’s you find union with your mind, body and spirit.
- Create a community of like-minded individuals who can resonate the inner peace off the mat and into the world
- No yoga, no peace. Know yoga, know peace.