I was first introduced to yoga when I was freshman or sophomore in high school. Not because I was really intrigued with the health benefits, but because it had become the cool thing to do as per pop culture. So, I bought the yoga and Pilates DVD that MTV was selling at the time. Some of you may remember that one of the girls from the Real World or Road Rules or one of those shows hosted it.
I soon realized it was much harder than I thought, but that I also had somewhat of a knack for it. I loved the way it improved my flexibility, and it forced me to slow down a little from the busyness of being an overachieving teenager.
However, it was never anything more than a hobby. I was pretty good at and probably did for more selfish reasons than anything. No one else I knew practiced yoga and it made me stand out a little (at least in my head). Plus, the yoga clothes were adorable and I was all about fashion!
Fast forward 12 or so years and that conceited teenager searching for attention, self-approval and rest eventually became a 27-year-old newlywed expecting her first child and totally obsessed with growing closer to Jesus.
While scrolling through my feed on Instagram, I started noticing one of my favorite bloggers was doing something called Holy Yoga. I was totally clueless to the practice of Holy Yoga, or even that there was a form of Christian yoga altogether. I son found out that not only had it been around for ages, it was just as controversial as it was beloved.
Now, I'm NOT going to get into the battles that go on between religions when it comes to incorporating Christ in the practice of yoga. I'll save that for a future post when I have the energy and heart to do the topic justice. Right now, I just want to share my personal experience with you. So, if you want to debate about it, please do that somewhere else because I will probably delete any harsh comments; my air doesn't need that kind of negativity.
...moving right along...
Practicing Holy Yoga has been life-changing for me.
I know that may sound a little ( or a lot) dramatic, but it's the truth.
I am always on the go. From the time my feet hit the floor in the mornings, it's like a nonstop race to the finish. A finish that never really comes. There's always something more that needs to be done, and worshiping God consistently throughout the day can often become an afterthought. *GASP* Yes, the Christian-blogger-lady just said she has a hard time having a Biblical worldview all day.
It's often hard for me to see the beauty in trying to cook a meal with a toddler on my hip, and a hungry husband in close range, and laundry calling my name from the bedroom, and mounds of documents that I know are waiting for me when I get to the office. I sometimes get overwhelmed trying to balance spending quality time with my family and my friends people I want to get to know better and, well, brushing my teeth and showering (really, are their new mama/wives that still have time to brush their teeth and shower and a regular basis?). Holy Yoga has forced me to stop and savor life. Savor it in an unselfish way. Savor it in a way that causes me to focus on God, and His will for me, and His desire to be close to me, and His desire to speak to me.
And yes, even His desire for me to be healthy.
If you've ever been really dedicated to any kind of physical training, you'll know that it changes more than just the way you look.
It changes your outlook on life.
My ex-husband was super into going to the gym and working out in general when we met. I enjoyed running a mile or two, but he was like...serious serious. That mindset carried over into his overall health, not just his appearance. He couldn't imagine spending two hours at the gym only to leave and stuff himself with sugary treats or greasy fast food. He ate at home a lot, and his body benefited from it. The way he ate appeared to give him more energy, and the natural endorphins we get from exercise seemed to have him in a more pleasant state when he came home from a hard day of classes.
Holy Yoga allows me to receive those benefits and so much more.
It's a time for me to push myself physically as well as spiritually, and to be reminded that I am broken and need him desperately every day. It's a way for me to take care of my temple on the outside, and well as set the intention of my day on why this body is a temple to begin with.
"Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who live in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body."
|| 1 Corinthians 6:19:20, NLT ||