Recently I have been reading a book that teaches the art of Zen and how it can be used as an aide in your running routine. A very interesting couple, to say the least. I am a fairly new runner but I really enjoy it and have always felt my early morning runs to be very meditative. I love the stillness of the day, finishing its last moments of slumber before the sun. I get in my pace and stay there, my feet a predictable rhythm along with my heart. So, adding something like Zen, makes sense. Continue Reading…
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Lately I have been thinking about the idols in my life. We all have them but there are some that are harder to recognize than others. The innocent ones that don’t seem to fit the category. Those are the ones that have been revealed to me recently.
An idol is anything that takes priority in your life so much so that you depend on what it gives you more than God.
I have come to realize even my spouse and my child can become idols in my life.
Similarly, I think about the yoga movement. It is beneficial to our bodies, minds, and spirits and I love it. Yet there is a lot of controversy over how it fits into the life of a Christian. Some people believe that going through the physical poses of something that originates from a different belief system, you are worshiping other gods.
Yet in our american culture, which is the framework for the classes of which we are a part, I don’t think the threat lies there. I think the threat lies in things like materialism and vanity. The yoga culture in our world is not even one of simplicity and contentment like Buddha would have taught. It is that of consumerism and trend.
Corporations are playing on our need for beauty and belonging, and we are buying into it with 50 dollar yoga pants and every little gadget promising to improve our practice.
If we are going to examine the gods of yoga as a Christian, I think we need to see it as it stands in our culture.
Yoga appeals to the emotions. It’s part of what makes it effective to the whole health of a person. Yoga is not just physical. It is spiritual and emotional. Not only are some poses designed to release anxiety and trapped emotions, but it puts us in touch with our own limitations. Learning a new discipline requires humility and submission to our limitations. But, take heart, we are all in it together. That’s why we call it our practice.
Personally, I have learned more about limitations now that I am pregnant than ever before.
It has been very humbling to see my abilities changing as my body does. I have had to swallow my pride, as I modify my poses.
An important part of yoga is the ability to listen to your body, not pushing it past its limits. We have to all swallow our pride and challenge ourselves at the level that is appropriate for us. Many times, before a class, I will encourage my students to not judge themselves or compare themselves to anyone else. Now I confess, I am taking a lesson from my own book. I have to submit to my limitations, not only for my own physical well being, but now I am responsible for a life inside of me.
I am very thankful for my knowledge of prenatal and gentle yoga, so that I can modify my poses.
Starting November 1st, I will join the ranks as I lead a gentle/prenatal class. If you can relate to the need for a gentler practice, come join me!
I, Bethany, am embarking on a personal challenge. I would like to achieve the ability to run. Why? You may ask. Isn’t yoga enough? Shouldn’t I be content with simply yoga? Yes. I am. But I also love the opportunity to develop new skills and disciplines.
(And it could also come in handy in the case of a zombie apocalypse.
We think about these sorts of things in our house.) Continue Reading…
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! You know what I love about Thanksgiving? All of the cooking and baking together with friends and family. I absolutely love food, but Thanksgiving is widely known to be a very meat centered day of the year. So for those of us who prefer to skip the meat and load up on veggies, I found some awesome alternatives on PETA’s website. Check it out.
OR . . .
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy your time with family and friends, and hold onto the thankfulness you own all year round.
Keep you eyes Open! Christian Yoga Studio Gift
Certificates are available tomorrow.
Give someone a gift that will nourish body, mind, and soul.
Today is the first day of Nanowrimo. No, that isn’t another foreign sanskrit word to confuse you. Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. And because of the encouragement of my husband, who has done it before and my constant love for the written word I have chosen to embark on an insane journey toward novel writing.
I am very excited to join the community of writers in accomplishing something I would never do by my own motivation alone. But this means, I am going to be ridiculously busy for the next 30 days. Therefore, my blogs may suffer a little. You may see more recipes. You will most likely see once a week posts but when it is all finished, I will have a mystery novel written.
Yes. I am excited to pour my soul into a novel of mystery. I will not tell you too much about it now, but it will be dark and suspenseful. Following the life and experiences of a young girl, dealing with tragedy.
Thanks for your faithfulness to those who visit my blog and read my thoughts on yoga and health. If this novel turns out any good, I may let you read it. No guarantees, though.
I have always struggled to squeeze Bible reading into my day. It is something I am ashamed to admit. I have never understood as to why I could not take five minutes to sit down and read. It is such a simple thing but so contrary to my schedule. Yet I believe more spiritual growth takes place the more familiar we are with God’s Word. What if we made God’s Word a mantra that continued even after we have rolled up our mats and left the building? Continue Reading…
Start seated comfortably. Feet are level on the floor if you are seated in a chair. Hands come to a neutral place. Sit up tall, whether you are sitting in a chair or on the floor. Breathe deeply. Chest is open for deep breathing. Give yourself some time to quiet your mind. Be patient with yourself. This is not easy.
Once the rhythm of your breath has taken you away, meditate on these words: “In reference of your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”Ephesians 4: 22-23 Continue Reading…
Take some time to be still. Find a comfortable pillow to sit on or sit up tall in your chair. If you are sitting in a chair, place both feet firmly on the floor. Bring your hands to a comfortable place in your lap or palms up on your knees. Keep you chest open for deep breathing.
Take deep breaths. Focus on your breath. Feel it start at the bottom and reach up and out of your head. Hold it for a moment and then slowly exhale, releasing staleness and the negativity of your day. Notice your inhale filling the belly, filling the lungs, and exhale following it out of your body. Sit here for a while. Let the rhythm of your breath envelop you. Let it clear your mind of the noise and chatter that keep you from God.
Isaiah 30:15 (NLT) states: “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.’
Take some time to meditate on this. Meditate on the Sovereign God. Focus on each phrase. Let this be your mantra today.