faith, yoga

Can Yoga Be Holy?

“We are born with two broken legs and told to play the Superbowl! We don’t have a shot without Jesus!” – Brooke Boone

Why is Jesus a part of Yoga for me? 

Because without Him, it seems pretty pointless.  Yes, there are the physical benefits and quieting your mind for meditation is good for stress relief.  But if you ask me, without Jesus, it will be minimally effective in causing lasting change in your life. There is so little I am capable of accomplishing in my life without God.  And even if I manage to do it for a while, I will eventually burn out.  What will keep me going?

It is the Word of God that inspires me to keep going.  It is His presence in my life that keeps me coming back to my mat.  When I need to be quiet and listen, I come to my mat and I spend time listening to the Lord in the silence.  When my body needs to move, I can flow on my mat in worship of Him.  He can teach me in the challenge, as I build strength in my body, He can show me strength in my soul.  As I surrender to a pose, I can learn to surrender to Him more fully.  Yes, Jesus is in all of Yoga for me.

But the body is not important.  Why spend time worshipping through Yoga?

If the body is not important, I want to ask you, why does the evil one use it to tempt us?  If it is not important, why did God give us one, why does fasting matter, why did Jesus come in one?  No, the body is not supreme, but it does matter.

Isn’t Yoga a religion?

Yoga is not a religion.  It is a spiritual practice.  Much like fasting, prayer and spending time in the Word.  Other religions use it, just as they use fasting, prayer, and reading of their religious texts.  It is a tool that can be redeemed for the glory of God and used to enhance your spiritual walk.  It may not be a practice for you, just as not every Christian fasts, but I believe with my whole heart that it can be used to worship God.

May Jesus reign over all areas of your life.  May he be in the getting up and lying down, in the work you do and in your rest, in your relationships both easy and challenging, in your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Hymn of St. Patrick
Christ be with me and within me
Christ behind me and before
Christ beside me and to win me
Christ to comfort and restore
Christ beneath me and above me
Christ in quiet and in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land.  I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”  Genesis 28:15

God Bless!

Lindsey Morales

 

 

faith

Just Be Held

“A broken world can never fix a broken person.” – Matt Evans

Almost 5 years ago, I thought my world was falling apart.  I was pregnant with my son.  I should have been hopeful, excited about adding a second child to our family.  I was only a couple of months from my due date and planning my daughter’s 4th birthday party.  What should have been a beautiful time of anticipation and celebration quickly turned into a time of sorrow.  Someone very dear to me decided to walk out of my life.  It was unexpected, it broke my heart and it felt like my world was crumbling all around me.  It was the beginning of what was the darkest days of my life.  I closed myself off from God and in doing so, I closed myself off from hope.  Over the 4 years that followed I went through a process. 

Romans 5:1-5 says:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, if you had told me then that God would use such a heart-breaking event to shape me into the person I am today, I would not have believed you.  I could not believe any good could come from such darkness.  And it took about 4 years for me to hope again.  It took 4 years for me to open my heart to the Holy Spirit and accept the hope offered.  It took forgiveness to break the chains between me and this person who broke me.  It took God’s grace for me during the process for me to learn to offer grace to others.  You see this person is broken.  This person is beloved by God just as much as I am and through the Holy Spirit I hope with a hope that is not of me that this person will reconcile someday. 

I had to forgive myself for the person I was during that dark time.  I had to ask forgiveness from God and from some of the people I hurt during that time.  And I pray that God’s love covers all of that.  That He is so much bigger than me and my brokenness. 

Today, I feel whole in a way I never have, because God’s love has taught me perseverance, character and most of all hope.

The song “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns says:

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
 Just be held, just be held
If your eyes are on the storm, you’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross, You’ll know I always have and always will.
And not a tear is wasted, In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes, your life is in My hands

So if you’re in the dark times, and you don’t see how God could possibly make beauty from these ashes.  I encourage you to remember that God is always on the throne, even in the darkest of times.  I believe this more today than ever because God did the impossible, He took what felt like “my world falling apart” and made it all “fall into place.”

Just be held.

Blessings!

Lindsey

faith

Auto-Pilot

“Busy is the state of your calendar, hurried is the state of your mind.” -Kimberly Mervyn 

I wrote this down at my Holy Yoga Immersion Experience.  This week, it has popped back up as my calendar has filled up.  I kept making a wrong turn on my way to teach a yoga class.  My daughter was in the car and was laughing at me.  I said, “sorry, I was on autopilot.”  Realizing she didn’t know what that meant, I explained how sometimes our brains take over and proceed with the most common course of action.  I was hurried, my soul was anxious, I am starting a new business and with that comes the fears of failing, the stress of fitting it all in, the financial anxieties… you get it. 

So yesterday I decided that while my calendar is full, that does not mean I need to feel hurried.  That does not give me permission to snap at people or be short with them.  That does not mean that I can’t find the time on said calendar to slow down and just be.  Be in the presence of my maker and be thankful to him for the many blessings that are filling my calendar right now.

In my yoga classes this week, I talked about stepping out of the boat in faith.

Matthew 14:22-33 (NIV) says

                22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

I am so much like Peter in this passage.  I doubt; I begin to sink and I cry out to God to help!  He never disappoints but I imagine he often says “you of little faith, why do you doubt?”  Why would he call me out onto the water if I was going to sink?  The reality is I begin to sink when I take my eyes off Him.  This last week, I felt that hurried state in my soul and felt like I was sinking.  Today, I choose to look up at my maker and trust.  Having faith doesn’t mean I don’t have spreadsheets, it doesn’t mean I don’t do my best to manage my business, but what it does mean is that I do my best and forget the rest!!!  He’s got me.  He will not let me sink, I just have to keep my eyes fixed.

Psalm 20:6-8 (NIV) says

6 Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm

 In Holy Yoga we talk about rooting down to rise up.  Today, let’s root down in the Lord and rise up victorious.

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You Are Loved

I am reading this book by Lysa TerKeurst titled Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.  Last night I read her statement “Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.”  This is such a beautiful statement, but, as Lysa goes on to say in the book, it is easier said than done.

What she is referring to is living each day knowing you are loved by God, by your creator.  But it brought me back to a time when my husband and I kept having the same argument.  It was as if I assumed everything he said was meant to put me down, for some reason, always on the defense.  Now, I have been blessed with a man who can not only keep his cool but even spout something profound when he’s angry.  What he said next was a turning point in our marriage… at least for me.  Amid his frustration, he said something so amazing, “I love you, when you think I am trying to put you down, remember that I love you and give me the benefit of the doubt that I am not trying to hurt you.” Those words sunk in deep.

It didn’t take long before I was feeling defensive again.  He asked if there were any tomatoes in the fridge because he wanted to make his signature spaghetti.  Well there weren’t, and my mind started doing it again, assuming he was upset with me.  As if he would be upset with me for not picking up tomatoes when I went grocery shopping.  My mind started racing with my defense.  His disappointment was showing through and I took it personally.  Now rationally looking back, I can see that this had nothing to do with me.  He had not asked me to pick up tomatoes and I cannot read his mind.  His disappointment was not with me but with the simple fact that he couldn’t make spaghetti that night.  No biggie.

As I went to respond, I remembered his comment during our last fight and decided to voice my hurt feelings with the preface of “I know you did not intend to hurt me, but” and then explained how it felt like he was disappointed in me for not anticipating his needs.  This was a game changer, because instead of putting him on the defense and escalating a simple statement into an all-out fight, he just saw that he had hurt me.  He knew he didn’t mean to and I knew it as well but I was hurt all the same.  He hugged me and reassured me that he was not disappointed in me and it was done at that.

“Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.” – Lysa TerKeurst

How often do we waste energy assuming another person’s intentions?  Making up a whole inner dialogue that we think the other person is having when they say or do something?  The reality is that we have no idea what they are truly thinking.  When I voiced what was happening in my head, I gave my husband the chance to dispel all of it.  Satan no longer had power because I believed a simple statement, that my husband loved me and wouldn’t try to hurt me.

It makes a huge difference to speak to the people you love from the mindset that they love you and are not intending to hurt you.  It is easy to let Satan twist people’s words or intentions in our minds and feel hurt for something that was never meant to hurt.

Going back to Lysa’s quote “Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.”  There are people in this world who don’t love you, who will hurt you.  I think what Lysa was trying to get at is that when you feel hurt by people in this world, you need to go the place in your mind where you know that the Creator of the Universe loves you.  That He sent his Son to die on a cross for you.  If someone doesn’t love you, that’s ok because you won’t need their love if you know beyond a shadow of doubt that you are loved for exactly who you are and who you were created to be.

I hope this spoke to your soul as it did to mine and you go forth with your day reminded that you are loved!

Blessings!

Lindsey Morales