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 [...]
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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 [...]
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com “If you’re your authentic self, you have no competition.” — author unknown Last year I was in a particularly challenging yoga class after taking several months off from any physical activity. I was especially happy that I completed the entire 75 minute class without croaking. As I rolled up my mat, feeling very content, I heard the teacher and a student discussing what a “beautiful practice” a particular student had. Enter my ego. My satisfaction with my practice [...]
Recently, there have been a lot of debates revolving around the idea that teaching children Yoga in school is somehow "of Satan." Children seen with their hands in what is usually referred to as the "Prayer Position" are thought to be worshiping or praying to Satan. That is disturbing to me in so many ways. It makes me wonder how anyone, especially Christians, could see children with their hands in a prayerful position and think such a thing could be of Satan. Speaking as a Christian that has been practicing and teaching Yoga for more than 40 years, I am deeply [...]
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love is constant. Psalm 107:1 I love roller coasters and water parks and I’m usually up for anything...except when it comes to rides that drop straight down. Maybe you’ve ridden the Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure or the Tower of Doom at Elitches. I don’t ride these rides because I find no fun in having the floor drop out from under me, thank you very much. But a few years ago, we were at Great Wolf Lodge where I was peer pressured by my 7 and 11-year-old to ride [...]
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 [...]