Yoga & Christianity

 

How it began

I sat down one evening and just wrote out my thoughts on the matter.  Yoga and Christianity. I love Instagram. Instagram is my social media method of choice. I find Facebook too depressing while the little squares on my IG feed just generally lift others up and encourage! My IG feed is basically all yoga. I started my account just over a year ago as a way to keep myself accountable and track my progress as I finally decided I needed a healthy lifestyle change. Very quickly I found the yoga community, or it found me, either way we found each other and have been close ever since! There are so many inspirational yogis and yoginis on Instagram whom I follow. What originally started offline as a 30day health challenge 30days before my 30th birthday quickly turned into a new found love of yoga.

I must admit I never tried yoga before. I always shrugged it off as the “old lady” exercise. Et voilà Instagram and my eyes were opened to a whole new world! This was very exciting for me and I instantly fell in love with it.

I have been completely self-taught. Well IG taught. I would see something on Instagram and start it myself or watch a few you tube videos then try it or read a few articles etc. The nice thing about being self-taught is I was able to leave out the mumbo jumbo and work on the asanas (the poses or postures).  I do believe there are so many health benefits you can reap from yoga. Not just the different stretches and poses and what that does for you physically but also the mental side of it where you are working towards a goal of a pose or where you must overcome fears and failures. Where you will learn to accept some days you have it some days you don’t.

As I said before I follow a number of people most of them are yogis.  Some of them claim to be believers (Christians) probably more of them do not. Here’s where I fall on that spectrum…

 

I love God first and foremost.

 

I have been born again, covered by the blood of Christs sacrifice to pay my penalty. Through God’s grace and by faith. I do not deserve this gift of everlasting life of sin covering atonement but it has been given to me freely and I love God and wish to serve Him above all else because of this.

So enter the yoga community and there is a lot of rubbish out there. Sure I still like nice quotes about peace and calm and focus etc. But none of that is going to make your life better. Sure there are temporal things which may seem to make your life better or bring you fleeting happiness.  But we are not temporal beings.

 

We are eternal beings.

 

Whether your eternality is in Heaven with God or in eternal torment in hell; we are eternal. We are also beings created to worship. So often we get this wrong. A quick read through just about any book in the Old Testament and you will see where we human beings have failed to worship correctly. And we still do. We now have the internet and resources untamed at our fingertips. There are apps that you can get on your phone to read the Bible wherever you go, or listen to it, that give you too many different translations to count! There are apps you can listen to sermons and pod casts and even apps to be able to quickly translate the Greek or Hebrew text so while reading you can be a Berean and search down the meaning of the text. We have so much available and yet we know so little.

 

We fail to put our time and effort into what matters and put our time and effort into what doesn’t.

 

Which is exactly where Satan wants you to be. If he can keep you there in your lostness worshiping the moon or the earth and he can keep you content in that he will. He doesn’t want you to see the truth! So sure maybe you are a happy person. But are you a lost person? Are you going to be a happy lost person up to the gates of hell then your eyes will be opened to the truth when it will be too late? I see so many yogis on IG, who claim to be a Christian, fall prey to this silly nonsense.

The biggest point I want to talk about is our worship. It’s what you will see so much of in yoga in relation to spiritually. Let me put this disclaimer out there that the “American Christendom” is not the true way. In America I live in a society where people will easily say they believe in God and therefore call themselves Christians. But they don’t know the gospel. So you are left with people who call themselves Christians and can even speak christianese (since most of these people have “gone to church”) but are so far from the truth. And that blurs the lines for all those onlookers. In yoga there is much practice and talk about self.

 

Everything is wrongly rooted in self.

 

Even where yogis look beyond self to a higher power it’s directionally off. I recently heard a yogi talking about the moon phases and about gravity and “imagine if it does this stuff to the water and the earth what it does to us” and basically praising and fearing the moon.  Don’t get me wrong moon phases are cool. And I love science. And the moon phase t-shirts, tattoos and jewelry all appeal to me because I think, again, the moon is pretty cool.  It’s big and beautiful and just neat. My son had a little section in his 5th grade science this year learning about the pull of the moon and the tides. It’s pretty cool stuff look it up if you’re interested. But stopping at the moon with our worship is just silly. Why you ask? Because who created the moon?

The one and only God did. He is the Alpha and Omega (Rev 1:8, 22:13) the beginning and the end.  The Creator and Sustainer of the universe (Col 1:17, Ps 135:6-7). Why would we let our worship center and focus on the created instead of The Creator?

I think the biggest error in yoga practice is all those that are getting swept up with the created instead of getting swept off our feet by the Creator. 

 

Here are a few things I know about myself.  I do not have power. There are those famous rich pastors out there who love to preach a prosperity gospel. “Health, wealth, happiness” however this kind of teaching doesn’t line up with scripture. No matter how much I visualize something I cannot make it happen. Heck I cannot even stop myself from getting allergies or a little cold even though I wash my hands and use the cart wipes when I go to the store. If I can’t even prevent myself from getting a little sniffle why would I be disillusioned to believe I have the power for these great amazing things? God has the power. Through the Holy Spirit in me God can do a great work not for my glory but His. He is the point. He is the point of his creation and for all of his created beings to worship him, bring glory to him and enjoy him forever. But we get confused and lost and worship other things. Don’t let your focus be stopped at the creation (which includes self) that’s just where Satan wants it to stop.

 

What my yoga practice kooks like. 

That one night when I sat down and wrote out everything, all my feelings on Yoga and Christianity I didn’t share them right away.  I feel like I may have just gone on a rant and I did not want to do that.  This is not about a rant, or about being holier than thou.  I asked on my IG for people to share any questions they have.  I am more than happy to address something specific if someone wants to know what it looks like for me in my practice.  How I do not compromise on my beliefs.  Some practical things… I don’t Om.  There is no power in that word.  There is power in the name of Jesus so that will be the word my lips proclaim.  I do not use malas or pray repetitive prayers or sit in yoga meditation.  I pray to the one true God.  I pray Scripture back to him.  I meditate over the Word that God has given us to grow in my relationship with Him, to know him more, to love him more and to serve him more.  If you are interested in what my practice looks like or have any other questions please reach out to me.

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Top 10 Yoga Christmas Gifts

 

Christmas is fast approaching!  If you’re like me you probably still have some shopping to do, I know I’m not alone here.  You’re either reading this post because you are still searching for those last minute gifts (and perhaps you have no idea what to get a person who loves yoga), or you are the yoga lover and you’re just searching the web for some wish list ideas for yourself!  Either way this list is sure to please and it includes gifts ranging in price from under $10 to over $100 so there is something for every budget.  I have a passion for yoga and all the health benefits it has brought me so this list is my top 10 things that any yogi or yogini would love to have, including myself ( hint, hint).

  1. Pranamat 

This little mat is not your ordinary mat.  Each of these little lotus buds has points on it that offer you a “therapeutic massage”.  I believe the best description I read was one that said it is a “modern day bed of nails”.  This offers a sort of acupressure, holistic massage type of pressure that will help relieve pain, increase blood flow and a number of other health benefits!  Check out their website to learn more of the amazing benefits of spending just a few minutes a day on this mat!

2.  Dharma Yoga Wheel

A perfect gift for any yoga lover this wheel will help with balance and increasing flexibility!  There are so many ways to incorporate the use of this wheel into your daily practice. You can use this wheel to help you hold a pose, have proper form in a pose, deepen your stretch, or help you warm up your muscles just to name a few.

3. Liforme Yoga Mat

This yoga mat is a favorite among a lot of yogi’s.  It’s not just the thickness, grip, or eco friendliness of the mat that make this one great but the markers on it help not just the beginner but even the most advance yogi with proper alignment!

4. Recork Yoga Block

Everyone needs props! These blocks are great props to have in any practice.  Use them to help with stretches as well as poses!  I personally love the model of this company that uses recycled wine corks to make their products!

5. Oil Diffuser

We all know there are so many benefits to essential oils!  There are so many oil diffuses out there on the market you really just have to research what type would be best for you.  There are ones that cover a larger room or ones for a smaller room.  Ones that are all plastic or all wood or have a mixture like this one or even glass ones as well; it’s really based on your style preference.  I personally added this one to my wishlist because it is just the right size, I love the shape and the option to have the led light with multiple colors to choose from to help set the mood.

6. Infinity Strap

Again this is another one of those props that everyone should have!  This strap helps with alignment as well as flexibility.  Seriously everyone needs one of these! Check out their site for more about how this strap can help in your practice!

7. Yogi Surprise

 

 

The gift that keeps on giving.  These little boxes are a monthly subscription box.  Choose from the lifestyle box which will include 6-8 full size yoga lifestyle items or the jewelry box which includes 2 handmade pieces of jewelry and 1 organic treat, handcrafted in Bali and fair trade!  These boxes are truly the best gift for any yoga lover! Click the affiliate link here to sign up to get your monthly subscription and use code YOGILOVE to receive a 15% off for life discount!

8. Yoga Clothing

Everyone needs comfortable clothing that they can move around in when they practice.  These leggings are so stylish they can go right from the studio to the street!  I love the look of these two which are from Alo Yoga.  There are so many great yoga clothing companies out there here are just a few more : Albion Fit,  Onzie, Montiel, GTS 

9. Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp

I love my salt lamp!  Not only does it cleanse and purify the air but it lets off this amazing glow!  There are so many wonderful benefits of using a pink Himalayan salt lamp, check out this article for 10 reasons you need to have this in your home!

10. Air Plants

Ok… these things are just the coolest aren’t they?  These would make a great gift for anyone!  If you peruse Pinterest at all I am sure you have seen these in glass as well as just hanging in beautiful geometric shapes.  These make a great addition to any space in your home or in a studio!  There should always be something living and something green.  It sets a mood and especially in the middle of winter here where nothing is green and living these are a great mood lifter when there are these cute little plants just hanging around!

 

Happy shopping and Happy Holidays!

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