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 review, I was confronted with the question, “What is holding me back?”
I searched my heart, and I found several stones hidden there. The first stone I uncovered was fear. I was afraid of submitting my card deck to a yoga organization that did not share my same worldview. More specifically, I feared rejection and humiliation. I feared others would judge me for my beliefs.
I’m not sure if you are aware that being a Christian yogi is kind of a controversial role. Both Christians and Hindus alike have voiced strong opinions about the idea of Christians practicing yoga. (blog posts to follow) I was afraid that I would be caught in the middle of this controversy. I realized that by not submitting my yoga cards, I was operating from a place of fear, otherwise known as ego, self, inauthentic self, or sin. As I placed the stone of fear on the altar of God, I was reminded that in Christ, I am held by the Love of God. I am safe. There is nothing to fear.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
The next stone I unturned was the stone of pessimism. My quick dismissal of the opportunity to share the Postures of Prayer was due entirely to my assumptions of how a Christian yoga deck might be received by other yogis. I was convinced that the editors would not take a Christian yoga deck seriously, and was sure that they would be turned off by a yoga practice centered around Jesus Christ.
This stone of pessimism was a particularly complex and heavy stone. Wasn’t this a form of reverse discrimination? Who was I to presume what God would do in this situation? How could I possibly grasp how God was revealing himself? Why was I so convinced that the gospel of Jesus would be rejected? Lord have mercy, I am embarrassed by my audacity!
As I labored bringing this stone to the altar of God, I was reminded that as a followers of Christ, we are meant to be a people of hope. We have been given a message of hope and are called to embody this hope, recognizing that in Christ all things are possible. God is on the move in this world, reconciling heaven and earth. Where men may fail, God is ABLE. Stories like Joshua leading the Israelites into the promised land, and Gideon leading an undersized army to victory teach us that all God requires is a surrendered heart willing to trust in his power.
My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith would not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. Romans 11:12
Was I withholding the gospel story? Was I standing in God’s way? It was clear that my fear, pessimism, and lack of trust were holding me back from submitting my card deck. Unintentionally, I was minimizing the power of God. It all came down to the question “what could potentially bring God the most glory?” I decided to put my heart on the altar and to trust in God.
If their purpose or endeavor is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God. Acts 5:38
I submitted the cards for review. I wrapped them up all pretty and hand delivered them, trying to make a good impression. I was very nervous. I was facing my fear and you know what? It was good. While the review of the Postures of Prayer yoga deck was not extravagant or glowing, it was fair and accurate. I felt humbled and grateful to the editors of yogabasics.com for their spirit of openness and willingness to embrace true diversity of thought. Through this experience I was reminded that we are all pursuers and seekers of Truth. I am comforted by the words of Jesus “…ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10
My favorite part of the whole experience was the picture that appeared at the top of the blog post. (see above) In the picture, there is an altar with candles, crystals, and statues of the Buddha. The cards on the altar range from Magic and Light affirmation cards to Dark Days tarot cards, and there placed on the altar are The Postures of Prayer: A Christian yoga deck. I was surprised and thankful to see Jesus represented on that altar. I was embarrassed that I almost kept him from being there. If you look closely on the altar you might just see the stones that I left there.
*** Shared with permission from CYA Master Trainer & Contributing writer, Kelly McClellan You can follow Kelly and more of her musings here.