Yoga to help ALL aspects of your life! Yes, even your FAITH!
Yoga Series: Improve all areas of your life – series continues…
Make sure you check the last Yoga post on Strength
I am thrilled to be sharing with you about my new yoga practice. You may know that I LOVE my weight lifting and my hard cardio workouts, but this newfound yoga practice is really growing on me.
If you have not read my previous yoga blog posts and wondering why so much yoga and no weights anymore??? Unfortunately I have been dealing with an upper back injury for over a year now and no matter what I try, nothing is making it any better. I began a 30 day yoga challenge, which has spread into several months now and I want to share with you the many benefits of Yoga.
So far I have shared: Flexibility & Strength (see previous post in series)
Today I am sharing Faith with you.
There are many misconceptions as to why a Christian can or cannot practice yoga. As with anything, it is a matter of intentionality. What are you meditating, contemplating or dwelling on? What are you setting your heart and mind toward at any given moment? Scripture says, whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Colossians 3:23 reads, “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others.” Christians, no matter what we choose to do to honor our “temple,” do it all for the glory of God. When we take care of ourselves, we are honoring and glorifying Christ.
Yoga is not a religion in and of itself, nor do you have to be religious to practice yoga. Some have used the practice of yoga, meditation and times of stillness to reflect on self enlightenment, a source they believe in, or as an act of worship.
There is a myth that one must be Hindu or Buddhist to practice yoga. The truth is that yoga predates many of the religions that have incorporated yoga techniques. In the Middle Ages (500- 1500 BC) numerous variations and practices stemmed from the common Hatha yoga practice. Bhakti yoga is one stem. It focuses on surrendering to God. Unlike other types of yoga, Bhakti is a spiritual journey and a devotion to the divine. This often confuses followers of Christ, and makes them question practicing yoga. Hindus incorporated Bhakti yoga and other yoga techniques into their religious practices. Other religions have done the same thing, however, because Hinduism is the most popular religious group to incorporate and use yoga, many believe that yoga is Hinduism, and that you have to worship other gods or believe other philosophies in order to practice yoga. This would be like saying you can’t read the Bible if you are not a Christian. Of course, the Word of God and Jesus is inclusive and for everyone, just like the practice of yoga. (from the Yoga Faith website)
How a practitioner or a group chooses to use yoga is their business. It certainly is not up to others to judge how or why one practices. The reality of our world is that we are so quick to judge one another or throw stones at something we don’t quite understand or have never experienced for ourselves. Our job as human beings is to honor, respect and edify one another and learn to put aside all judgments.
In the following video, you will see how I incorporate prayer and devotion to God in my yoga practice. By the way, make sure you check out my retreat page: ggmack.com/retreats because I will be teaching Christian Yoga at our Wellness Retreat in October.
More Benefits to come: