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

 

 

Lifestyle, Faith, God, Jesus, Relationships, Marriage

Beauty From Ashes

This week I prepared for my Holy Yoga classes and it never ceases to amaze me how God shows up and changes my message as the class goes on.  I walked in with “A cheerful heart is good medicine!” – Proverbs 17:22. As I began talking I felt God leading me toward the idea of Wabi Sabi.

Wikipedia defines Wabi Sabi as

Wabisabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

The visual representation of this is broken pottery repaired with gold. 

In a world where we watch other people’s lives through the scope of social media, we get accustomed to seeing people’s highlight reels.  This begins to distort our view of what beauty truly is.  As a Yoga instructor I post exciting new poses or pictures of me doing Yoga that I feel are beautiful, but my Instagram highlight reel is not my process.  It leaves out the many times I fell or failed in that pose before I eventually found it!  When I teach, I want people to see the beauty in the process.  When we wobble and fall in a balance pose or struggle and shake in a strength building pose.  When we get nowhere near reaching our toes or feel that our bodies just don’t twist that way.  These are examples of the process.  They are beautiful because when we try something new for our bodies, we are going to struggle.  It is in the consistency, the persistence, the hard things, that we find God’s beauty!  In these moments, we learn not only to strive, but also to surrender.

A quote by Eyse Murphy says “Growing closer to God is not the result of ‘trying harder’ but of surrendering more.”  I love the beautiful parallels between my Yoga practice and my faith.  In any pose, there are muscles that are working and muscles that must surrender, in our faith there is a certain amount of work that we must do but there is also surrendering to God’s beautiful, grace-filled love.  And when we fall and fail, we get back up, dust ourselves off, learn and grow.  In this we are like the broken pots being filled with God’s beauty (gold). 

Isaiah 61:3 NIV

    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

To you who feels you are not strong enough to practice yoga – come and let God teach you something about strength.

To you who feels you are not flexible enough to practice yoga – come and let God teach you something about surrender.

To you who feels you are not enough or less than – come and let God show you His eternal, unfailing love.

God bless you, beautiful children of the most high!!!

Lindsey Morales