Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bottling what Yoga is to Me!

As mentioned in yesterday's blog entry, so many puzzle pieces in my life have been clicking together lately -- I mean really clicking together and completely lining up with the desires of my heart, my deepest passions. Yesterday, I also shared some of what Joel Osteen writes about this subject in his book: Daily Readings from Become a Better You: 90 Devotions for Improving Your Life Every Day.

Perhaps you read on my BottlingHealth.com bio that I am enrolled in a yoga teacher training course. What quickly felt like prayer in motion to me the first time I attended a yoga class over two years ago ignited a brewing passion in my heart to exercise my temple that way as another outlet to connect with and honor God!

Prior to attending that first yoga class, I really hadn't had any yoga discussions with anyone, thus no recommendations to try a class. However, every time I drove by Peaceful Yoga's roadside sign, I felt a pull on my heart to check out a class there. Eventually, I did, and the class, like I said, felt like prayer in motion and a very peaceful and personal way to connect with God. So that's what yoga became for me without having much information at the time about all of the 'controversy' behind it. All I knew was that more than any other form of exercise I had experienced, I felt God more strongly when I did yoga (and still do).

In spite of the differences of opinions about yoga, such as whether Christians should do yoga or not, I have always felt strongly rooted in my Christian walk since taking yoga. That never wavered. In fact, my heart opened even wider for God. Whenever we extend our arms upward in class while opening our hearts (or do any heart-opening posture), I feel as if I'm soaking up God's love to even deeper levels. So, I guess it would make sense that the yoga teacher training course that seemed to have found me has an emphasis on heart-opening, and the flow of grace combined with self-effort. My interpretation of the latter -- "Meet God half way!"

As CLEAR as I have been about my journey.......still, here I am -- last night and this morning -- pondering everyone else's views about yoga. Yesterday, during a hormonal shift that can happen for us women, I seemed to step into everyone else's minds about the subject, via online articles with conflicting opinions about the subject. What was so crystal clear to me days and weeks before, suddenly became slightly blurry. Was I allowing myself to be influenced by someone else's interpretation of what I should or should not be doing? Was I falling into a realm of using man's perceptions to let me know if I'm honoring God or not? Would not my heart be the best 'one' to tell me that?!

If we push aside all of the 'this and that' about yoga and focus on the postures for a moment, how can a posture such as this (me on the left) make me not feel like I'm honoring God? I understand that not everyone may feel this way when doing yoga, but when I do a posture like this -- it's God and me. It is simply me and God (you know, Jesus' Father...my Father!). That's it! During the posture, I thank Him, I honor Him, I glorify Him. And I am overcome with peace and love because of my opening up to Him.

Money Shows Up!

Although every penny of the yoga teacher training price didn't just magically fall into my lap prior to the training, it was as if God made an opening for me to at least step in 'the door' and then step out on faith and begin the training process. Then, as it goes, the morning of my first training class, I received an unexpected refund and an unexpected financial belated Christmas gift -- the amount of the two turned out to be precisely the amount of my monthly training payment...plus $3 extra. It truly felt like a sign to me from God to not worry about the monthly payment, because He will make it available for me every month...and give me extra. Was the $3 extra dollars symbolic of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit? :-) (I love symbolism!)

So, here comes the next training two weeks later. Well, lo and behold, what just happens to show up in my life two days before? A check for precisely the amount of a monthly training payment AND an extra check worth $150. The check that matched the price of my training payment was for some freelance work that had been done almost a year ago. Was it a mistake that my payment had gotten delayed or was God holding on to it until this time in my life?

Daddy Shows Up, Too!

My daddy, a strong Christian man who nurtured so much of my faith in me, passed away almost 13 years ago; yet, he feels very alive to me when I'm at my training. There has been a segment of each class where I completely felt as if he was there with me. This brought me to the point of joyful tears both times. In fact, during my second training class, his angelic spirit met mine and we danced together. It was too powerful an experience for it to be a mistake and not orchestrated by God.


So, I hear what folks are saying about yoga and non-Christian influences, etc., but I can't quite wrap my brain around it because it doesn't alter my personal walk with God. I remain rooted in my love and alignment with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And isn't that precisely what we are to be doing as Christians -- finding our personal relationship with God and growing that relationship as much as we can? Yoga is a wonderful puzzle piece that helps me do precisely that...



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