As a follower of Christ, I have spent much time in study and prayer over my yoga practice. I have sought the counsel of my pastor, my elders, my accountability group, and my husband. I have not glazed over the controversy that surrounds Christians practicing yoga. I have put my love of yoga on the altar of God for him to take from me if it did not bring him Glory. Instead, what I have found is that God has given me innumerable opportunities to talk about the Love of God, which is Christ, from my yoga mat. He has shown [...]
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But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16 And so I begin the task of explaining how and why I have reconciled my practice of yoga with my Christian faith… My hope is to answer honestly and intelligently for all interested to know how a Christian can keep [...]
Dear India, I would like to thank you for gifting the world with the beautiful practice of yoga. I would like to apologize for all of the ways that Christians (including myself), have intentionally or unintentionally, disregarded your religious and spiritual traditions and overlooked their contributions to the world for thousands of years. I would like to acknowledge our indebtedness to you India, for your rich philosophical traditions and practices. Thank you India, for sharing your gifts with the world. My heart is broken over division within the yoga community. As a Christian practicing yoga, I have seen this division up [...]
Standard My husband might suggest to you that I’m addicted to the BBC series Call the Midwife, and, perhaps he’s correct. I recently viewed a powerful episode that dealt with the issue of trauma, and more specifically how we “treat” those who’ve been affected by trauma, particularly in our early response to trauma. In my mind, it conjured thoughts of sterile emergency rooms and even more sterile conversations with those required to gather evidence… of not-so-well-meaning statements of “should’ve-known-better” judgement and “if-I-were-you” advice… of well-meaning friends who try so very hard, but still fail in their offerings… In Call the Midwife (series 5, episode [...]
What is a mala? A mala necklace is a string of 108 beads that are used in a meditation practice. It is a tool to help you count mantras and to act as a tactile guide. A mala has a guru bead or stone to start and end the round of mantra or meditation session and often has a tassel. The guru bead represents a space where we can draw in our mantra and sit in stillness. Guru means remover of darkness. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, ”Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine [...]
Though the ages, prayer beads have been used as a universal tool for meditation and prayer in most every culture and faith tradition. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and the Baha’i Faith all use some form of prayer beads to recite chants, prayers, or devotions. Judaism uses knotted fringes on the corners of a prayer shawl as a reminder for prayer. The practice of pausing on each knot or bead during prayer helps us to center our hearts on God and to guard our minds against distraction. Using beads during prayer in the Christian faith is believed to originate with the Desert Mothers and Fathers around [...]
Christian resources are plentiful. You can find everything from cards to dice to digital apps. Thankfully there are wonderful Christ-centered options that can safely center your practice and classes.~ CYA Not long ago, I was approached by popular yoga website and asked if I would like to have them review my Postures of Prayer yoga card deck. Initially, I shrugged it off and figured that this yoga site had made a mistake and didn’t realize that my yoga deck was centered around the Christian faith. When I received the second email asking if I would consider submitting my yoga deck for [...]
Postures of Prayer & Praise are “outer representations of an inner reality” In Luke 10, when the lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, he asked him how to inherit eternal life. Like a learned rabbi, Jesus turned the question back to the lawyer, who answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus confirmed his answer as true, with a command and a promise: “Do this and you will live.” When I teach on embodied prayer [...]
For real change to take place, the body needs to learn that the danger has passed and to live in the reality of the present. ~Bessel van der Kolk, MD (pioneer in the field of traumatology) in The Body Keeps the Score I have already written about my journey listening to the voice of God as I’ve explored yoga as a creative Christian practice. I also want to share another reason behind my exploration of yoga as I’ve sought the Lord’s will and wisdom in this somewhat tricky and controversial issue as a follower of Jesus Christ. I am deeply passionate about [...]
I first saw the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz collecting dust on a shelf at my first job at the Yoga Garden. I vaguely knew what the actual four agreements were. What I did know was that this was one of the yoga books. I would not exactly say that there is a yogic literary canon, but most people accept this book as one of the common texts for yoga training. When I finally decided to pick this book up off of my own shelf, it collected dust for about a year. I was amazed at how fast I flew [...]