This Christian Yogi Setting your Intentions on Him!
If you are wondering, "can Christians practice yoga?...the answer is ….Yes!
If you know what your Intention is!
There are many misconceptions as to why a Christian can or cannot practice yoga.
As with anything, it is a matter of intentionality.
What are you meditating, contemplating, or dwelling on?
What are you setting your heart and mind toward?
Scripture says, whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God
(1 Corinthians 10:31).
Colossians 3:23 reads, "
Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others."
Sweet souls, do you have some apprehension or even fear about yoga...
Good News!! You don't have to because, as Colossians 3:23 says, the Lord sees your heart!
Never let fears or misinformation stop you from becoming curious about new and exciting experiences!
I encourage you to look to the Word of God for yourself and find out what the real deal is!
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
I perform for an audience of ONE!
Your yoga practice, centered on Christ, can be your worship in action and your faith and prayers in motion.
"Love The Lord with all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your soul, and all of your strength."
Scriptures declare worship and adoration with the "whole self." Body, mind and spirit!
I love doing the Lord's prayer through Sun Salutations!
So What is Yoga!
Religious leaders that practice yoga as part of Hindu and Eastern religions typically make separations between "real" yoga guided by a guru for spiritual enlightenment vs. merely physical postures that might still give body-health benefits. Yoga is set apart from any other physical activity as a mind, body, and spirit practice because yoga creates a space for holistic wellness. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits are all-embracing.
Yoga is defined as a union, to unite or to yoke. Not only do we unite our postures with our breath and our practice with our lives, but many yogis choose to combine our faith with our yoga practice. I have used yoga, meditation, and times of stillness to reflect on God and as an act of worship. However, yoga is not a religion, nor do you have to be religious to practice yoga. Many use yoga to align, lengthen, and strengthen our body with yoga because yoga's physical benefits are for real.
Personally, yoga is the reason my legs stopped hurting! After going through some pretty serious chemo to fight stage 3 cancer, I experienced neuropathy from the tip of my toes to right above my knees. I tried walking for miles to get some feeling and circulation into my aching legs without much relief. But when I started taking yoga classes, feeling gradually began to return.
Surprisingly I also found peace and comfort on my mat. I was able to connect with God in the quiet and stillness of this beautiful practice.
Let's Go to Church!
So what does that mean for this Christian yogi?
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." – Psalm 139:13-14
In this Psalm, David exclaims that this process of human creation is wonderful! His soul couldn't help but revel at this, in awe and wonder.
When I go to my mat, I think about the benefits I'm providing for my body, but I am also set my Intention on praising and communing with my heavenly Father.
I set my Intention on Him!
There are plenty of people who practice physical yoga poses for the body benefits. And some who use yoga as a way to honor and praise God as I do. Whatever speaks to me is okay!
Again, I perform for an audience of one!
As a believer in Jesus Christ and a person who actively seeks a relationship with Him, I can be in a yoga studio that doesn't practice Christian yoga. I am confident that I have a hedge of protection.
When I go into child pose, I feel I am in the shelter of His protection.
When I go into warrior 2 pose, I feel Him lifting all my burdens and filling me with His Spirit
(shining my heart forward)