Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Yoga and Christianity

So many times I have heard the question raised "Is Yoga Christian" or something along those lines. At the heart of this question is fear - if I try yoga, am I defying God's will or giving the devil a foot hold in my life, my heart? I don't believe that to be the case. I do believe that as a Christian, yoga is a perfectly safe practice. I am a Christian - this is the first and foremost of the defining roles I play. A Christian, mom, wife, friend, daughter, sibling, teacher, yogi. Yes a yogi, I teach yoga as well as practice yoga. I am good at yoga - God has blessed me with a gift of leadership to help others (and myself) live a more healthful life through quieting the mind, breathing deeply, withdrawing from the outside world, honoring the body and listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit that lives within. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God. You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. We honor our bodies, which simply means we listen to and respect ourselves. If we feel tired we take rest, if we feel pain we take care, if we feel strong we challenge ourselves. This is not contradictory to anything we learn as Christians. Matthew 6:24-27 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can not serve God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink: or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet our heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? We take time to withdraw from the outside world and turn focus inward. Our daily lives are full of activity, stress, distractions - it is so easy to get caught up in it all. It is so necessary to press the pause button, let go of the things we are holding on to tightly and just be present in a quiet moment without worry. Jesus took time away from the masses, moments of introspection and reflection. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control. We quiet the mind of the endless loop of thoughts that drown out the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. In all things, all places we choose Who and what influence the words from our mouths, actions from our hands and feet as well as the thoughts in our minds and hearts. Joshua 24:15 But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.