I know Yoga has gotten a lot of negative press among the Christian community… But I think its baloney. I have done a lot of research and soul searching on the subject- as I would like to one day teach Yoga. I understand that the roots are based out of Eastern religions and do have some hokey beginnings… But the physical practice of Yoga can be done without all that crap.
You see- Yoga has taught me more about my spiritual walk than you’d think. I basically grew up in church… but no one ever taught me how to pray and meditate. I always wondered what the difference between “quiet time” and “nap time” was. I had my quiet time every morning- right before I woke up. I knew I was supposed to pray, I just didn’t know how. So I always just prayed rehearsed prayers- usually got distracted with a list of to do’s or fell asleep… This was how shallow my prayer life was- for years! I started taking Yoga about 3 years ago. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t until about a year and a half ago when I started taking Yoga under a different teacher that I began to notice the spiritual benefits. This instructor had us focus more on our breathing and quieting our minds… I began to go immediately into prayer during her classes- without even realizing it. I had a revelation… this is what prayer is supposed to be… not just a rehearsed dinner prayer… but a quiet conversation, where I don’t do all the talking, but quiet my spirit and wait for Him to move. It was life changing… honestly! That instructor has since left my gym- I miss her a lot… but I continue to do yoga both at the gym and at home… and I am forever grateful for the lesson of how to pray and meditate that I learned from yoga.
I am productive, organized, and focused.
I am energetic and healthy.
I am calm, peaceful, and content.
I only speak positive, uplifting, and encouraging words about others.
I only think good and pure thoughts.
I am a light to those around me.
I am a doer of the Word.
I forgive because I am forgiven.
I receive grace and mercy; therefore I am a giver of grace and mercy.
I am a child of the KING and have the rights of the kingdom.
“I lift my eyes to the hills- from where comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, maker of Heaven and Earth”. Ps 121:1&2
“Do not be anxious about life, what you eat and drink, nor about what you shall wear”. Matt 6:24
Some days I may improvise and add some, some days I skip some… It all depends on my mood.
How I “meditate”.
I’m going to go into a lot of detail… if it bores you, close the web page.
I usually begin in a seated cross legged position- if I’m feeling over ambitious- Ill start in full lotus (ankles pulled up on top of the legs). I start by taking a few deep breaths and focusing on my breathing. This helps me clear my mind and get focused. I spend about 2 minutes just focusing on my breathing. Then I will usually go into prayer. Of course this is a very personal part of the process. I always begin with giving praise and thanks, for whatever it is that is on my heart… of course then I move into my “wish list”. You know… “Dear God, help me to have a good day, let work be quick, productive and easy, let Jimmy have a good day, open doors yada yada…” we all have a wish list. Don’t lie. I then will usually spend a few minutes in quiet- again focusing on my breathing if I get distracted. I like to take this time to be quiet to listen for the Lords guiding. It’s usually during this time that I will feel a tugging on my spirit to call or text someone later that day or receive an answer to a prayer I may have had earlier. I still struggle with learning the difference between God’s voice and my own will… But this time of quiet helps me focus and generally I can distinguish between the two. After a few minutes of quiet I move into my affirmations. Now, I usually don’t say any of this out loud… I know I can- and maybe should- but I feel a little dumb when I do… even though I’m usually the only one in the house when I do this. But in my mind I repeat my affirmations and scriptures. While I’m doing this I move into a few low key yoga poses… I will generally run through a sun salutation just because it is easy to remember. If I’m feeling tired that day I may keep to the floor running through a few floor stretches (child’s pose, cat, cow, and thread the needle are my favorite). I end my meditation by laying on my back in a supine position with palms open about 8 inches from the body and feet splayed out… very comfy. If you’ve taken yoga- basically this is savasana. I just relax and give myself a few more moments of peace. I always end by thanking God for the Ultimate gift that he gave us in his Son and thanking him for my hubby (he’s the second greatest gift God has given me).
I’m by no means saying that you have to do yoga to be spiritual… or that this is THE WAY to pray and meditate. This is just the way I do it- the most productive way I have found for me. Of course not every time I do yoga am I in prayer… for instance- tonight I am taking a Hip Hop Yoga class and I’m sure there won’t be much prayer or meditation during that one…
Hope this answered any questions you may have had.