Yoga is incredible for out body because it helps us improve balance, body awareness, flexibility, core stability and mindfulness. But since Yoga originated as a Hindu practice, if we are believers in Christ, should we really be doing yoga? And if so, how can we incorporate our faith into our practice? All that and more in today’s post!
As a personal trainer, I know how important stretching, core work and mobility is to maintain a healthy body. Yoga is incredible for us for all those reasons!
But in the past, I have talked to Christians who stay away from yoga and meditation because of the “spiritual” aspect to it. Meditation can often be feared by believers because it is assumed that you are coaxing yourself into a trance and opening up yourself to evil spirits entering your body.
Now I am not a yoga expert, but I have been to quite a few yoga classes at a variety of studios over the years. Although there are probably classes somewhere that really get into the spiritual side of yoga and Hinduism, I have found that most American yoga classes focus on the physical aspect of Yoga and on developing mindfulness.
Stretching and mindfulness are good! But when we instead focus outwardly on Christ instead of just inwardly on us, then we are turning it into a whole different kind of experience.
I don’t doubt for one second that there are “spiritual” yoga classes out there that don’t glorify God, whether it is through worship of self, worship of other spirits and gods, or diving into the spiritual realm where it becomes a sinful practice.
But as with most things in life, whether or not doing yoga glorifies God depends on our heart condition.
Are you going into yoga to connect with other spirits and gods? Or are you doing it to take care of your body and connect with the one true God? Are you meditating to delve into a deep transient state, or are you meditating in prayer or on God’s word?
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Yoga can give us the time and space to do this while taking care of our body.
It can be a great tool for connecting with God, as long as our heart is in the right place.
This is also something I talk about on the podcast I recorded with my friend Caroline Williams (who I will share about below). If you want to check out the podcast episode, click here to listen: Clothed In Strength Ep. 4: Turn Your Yoga Practice Into a Time to Connect With God with Caroline Williams
I recently had the chance to attend the Redefined Conference in New Orleans, hosted by the Faith and Fitness Magazine. This was a wonderful time where I had the opportunity to connect with other fitness professionals who are intertwining their passion for fitness with their faith and making it a ministry. I met so many incredible people, listened to powerful speakers, and was able to fellowship and pray with these individuals.
Some of the ladies there were part of an organization called the Holy Yoga Foundation. I had never heard of this before, but am so happy I had the chance to learn about it!
Holy Yoga is a type of yoga in which they intertwine scripture and prayer into the yoga practice.
If you are someone like me who likes to multi-task and not very good at devoting time to stretching, then this would have caught your attention! If you are a Christian, I think you can also agree with me that it can be challenging to constantly be in communication with God.
What I love about Holy Yoga is that it takes that time of quiet and self-care and incorporates Jesus into it. If you are already someone who does yoga or meditation often, it is a great chance to bring Jesus into that part of your life.
I have been incorporating Holy Yoga into my practice ever since attending this conference, and I am so appreciative the dedicated quiet time I have to care for my body and commune with the Lord.
If you want to incorporate Holy Yoga into your practice, here are two things you can do:
Follow YouTube Videos. There are a bunch of Holy Yoga videos and faith based meditations you can do for free. I have included some of my favorites below by Caroline Williams:
You can also learn about this topic more in depth in my podcast episode with Caroline. If you want to check out the podcast episode, click here to listen: Clothed In Strength Ep. 4: Turn Your Yoga Practice Into a Time to Connect With God with Caroline Williams
I hope you will try incorporating Holy Yoga into your life in a way that works for you! It is a great chance to focus on spending more time with God while taking care of your body.
God bless you today friend!