Picture captured by one of my favorite people in the whole world. When I visited Washington, there was an abundance of this practice that keeps me whole. Whenever I adventure anywhere, I bring my mat. But sometimes, in special places and spaces (like overlooking the pacific ocean on water-smoothed rock), I don't need it.
There is an editorial from a Christian magazine that I have pinned to a bulletin board behind my computer station. The header says: Invade the Secular with the Sacred. It's what I do. It's what I have always done.
Over the last 33 years, I have had a plethora of life experiences that have led me closer and closer in my walk with the Lord. One of the greatest? Yoga. (Another is motherhood if you haven't clued in on that yet!)
My deep love of yoga began early in life.
I was just ten years old when I started experiencing pain in my joints. It quickly expanded to my low back and hips. I now know much of that pain was and is from joint hypermobility. But back then, I was diagnosed with lots of other scary disease processes (it was before we learned about the challenges in my joints; and it was just before I would be diagnosed with CFS/ME). Running, sports, and even leveling-up in my dance classes, just weren't an option. My body was crafted with limits. Yet, I'm inclined to move. I am wired to move. Movement hurt.
There's always a "but" in stories like these. And mine came when my mother introduced me to Rodney Yee's back care video (on VHS). It was a chair yoga sequence. Back then, chair yoga wasn't a thing. No one talked about it. And it definitely wasn't offered at local gyms. I didn't think much of it. I just practiced it, and some of my pain lessened. Yet, that introduction changed the trajectory of my entire life when I found myself battling a perinatal mood disorder and a brand new back injury at the exact same time in adulthood.
First, I found a teacher. (A video just wasn't enough!) I can't even remember her name thanks to CFS/ME and several years of sleep deprivation, but she was lovely!
And then I found a training.
I've been teaching ever since. My specialty? Adaptive family-centered yoga. Eight years later, I'm now working to make this kind of yoga accessible in my community. For my tribe. Because it didn't just change the trajectory of my life; it has aligned me with God's beautiful plans for a body that by the world's standards is often "less than."
I'm a Christian. I yoga. And I highly recommend it to every single beautiful human that I meet.
I believe that the physical practice of yoga can be the foundation for a deeper relationship with the Lord. In a world full of busyness, we get to slow down and connect on the mat. We get to dig into the scripture we've perhaps just read - because there are no distractions. We get to praise God with our precious bodies. Bodies we have been gifted for such a time as this. Bodies crafted with limits and intent. Yes, yoga is my favorite way to worship; I crank up those Christian beats (and sometimes some really awesome secular ones) and move.
As I wrap up this post, I read the words in front of me again:
Invade the secular with the sacred.
Movement used to hurt all the time. Now, often, it doesn't.
Do you believe that we can separate out the physical practice of yoga from it's original religious roots? If yes, do you practice it? And if no, why do you believe this? I would love to hear more about your walk, sweet friends.
We are better together, we are worthy of well, and we are made for so much more than we can imagine in this moment. Believe it. Receive it! Namaste.
I love this post on the word "namaste," by the way. It's a beautiful word, that I personally take to the mat in my Christian practice. The light (God's light) in me bows to the light (God's light) in you. We are all the same.
We really are.