Wild Haven Rescue, Recovery, & Respite Resource Guide

Christ Centered Yoga: Living An Embodied Lifestyle

May 03, 2024

Whether you believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior - as I do - or not, everyone I know who is not a Christ follower says Jesus was a great leader and a great man worth emulating. That no matter what you believe, living like Christ would make the world a better, a kinder, place.

 

As a Christ centered yoga practitioner (who also offers secular yoga for those who may have been spiritually abused - I can say Jesus without sayin’ Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, y’all), it’s an honor of mine to GET TO RECONCILE and RECLAIM the goodness of yoga; to be intentional and mindful to draw on the good, noble, kind, and true parts of yoga that align with God’s Word and how we can use it to honor, worship, pray and praise Him while being the church - the hands, feet, mind, and heart of Christ - utilizing yoga as an instrument, or tool, of sorts.

 

Yoga in Sanskrit simply means yoke. Yoke means union or to join and align. In the Yoga world, that means to yoke the spirit, mind, and body in unity or union. In the farming world - like I’m from - a yoke conjoins an ox to another ox, or horse to a horse, by which to ‘work’ together to pull the plow …and it is HEAVY! I have an old one in my home as a symbolic reminder of how heavy the yoke is.

 

However, to a Christ follower - Jesus says His Yoke is easy and his burden is light. I have found that Christ centered yoga is SO much more deLIGHTful than merely aligning our own personal spirit, mind, and body - but it is COmmUNION with the Triune God and, for me and several others, it’s “church in yoga pants as we SIMPLY live, move, and have our being - breathing - on our modern day prayer mats.” (Nod to Acts 17:28 & Daniel). It’s abiding with God our Lord, aligning with Jesus as the bride, arising with the Holy Spirit - in the same power as Jesus, and shining His Light in, through, and out of us as we unite as the BODY of CHRIST to lead by serving.

 

We do not unify with or worship the universe or any other god, but we commune with, in, and for, the CREATOR of the universe, The Triune God, by respecting, honoring, and caring for his creations - nature and human beings. We are embodying praise and worship of The DESIGNER who formed every part of creation and US as “Designed Naturally AWEsome” Living Beings all the way down to our DNA. He SPOKE (energy) and creation was formed. He gets into our mess - the ONLY God who came and continues to come to meet us where we are-  who from the beginning, got his hands dirty in the dust to form us, and then BREATHED (in Hebrew means Spirit, flow of water, and wind) HIS VERY OWN Holy Spirit into us!

 

As Christ followers who know the Creator of the Universe, we know that there are universal truths. So it makes sense that in all religions there are God’s universal truths that got twisted by man. But now, we GET TO RECLAIM the parts that align with HIS TRUTH in the same power that he gave us through his Holy Spirit. Much like we know prayer is only one part of the Christian lifestyle, most yogis know, movement is actually only one aspect of yoga.

 

We know that Satan takes God’s Universal Truths and twists them. But as AMBASSADORS and RECLAIMERS (as Paul says), filled with The Truth of the Word, the example of Christ, and His Holy Spirit in us, we CAN discern the enemy's lies from the real Truth and reclaim back to God what he called good and very good. Yoga is like an instrument.

 

Like many instruments created by pagan religions that we use in churches to worship God, WHO we worship and honor matters more than the instrument. Our bodies are vessels, instruments if you will, and WHO we live to worship, HOWever HE creatively formed us with our various gifts, talents, and abilities to learn and practice skills, will impact HOW we worship. Even in church, some people sing, some don’t, some play instruments, others don’t, some raise their hands and sway, some dance, while most churches I’ve been in, most people stand still. Some are judging all of the above, some stay focused on what they are doing - some are confused about what to do or not to do!

 

So, here I am as I believe the Great “I AM,” (the Lord) has called upon me to be and do life - along with and alongside other Christ centered yogi brothers and sisters in Christ - as an ambassador, a servant, a RECLAIMER of yoga to untwist, to separate the truths from the lies, and break the chains of lies that have bound minds, spirits, and bodies in fear, and reveal how yoga CAN be reconciled back to God and redeemed to embody the LIFEstyle of Christ! Because truly, “in HIM we live, move, and have our BEing (breathe)”- Acts 17:28 (Which, in fact, is Paul quoting a a poet who is attributing those facets to another god - but he’s using THEIR terminology to lead them back to the ONE true God.)

 

Much like the verse above, go do your research. Jesus and his apostles often met people where they were, they reclaimed and redeemed what was stolen and twisted by the enemy to make it whole and good again. Yoga is not Hindu, but it was written by one. It was a conglomeration of many religions. Yoga at that time was actually mostly sitting, praying, and meditating …and mostly practiced by men.  Something VERY clearly we see done throughout the Bible as well. Most of the yoga movements we see in America are based more in European gymnastics than yoga. Such as “Sun Salutations.”

 

I’m more than willing to discuss - respectfully - these truths with you. To share resources, or you can simply show up or purchase one of my online sessions and participate in what several of my fellow Christ Centered Yogi often refer to as “Postures of Prayer” or “Postures of the Heart” as we embody (an expression of or to give a tangible or visible form to - an idea, quality, or feeling) the lifestyle of yoga (Christ’s Light Yoke) in COmmUNION with the Triune God and the “church” (the people) by abiding, aligning, arising, and shining with the same power of Christ working in, through, and out of us because HEALING THE WORLD BEGINS WITHIN ME. HEALER FIRST, HEALING SECOND.

 

Several Biblical References came to mind as I wrote, but I did not want to lose my train of thought, here are a few if you feel the need to dig into scripture:

 

Yoke is mentioned 86 times in the Bible (some refer to farming, others as a form of “union,” and some as “service/servitude”), Union is mentioned 59 times.

 

Matt 11:28 is one of the most well known references to yoke: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

 1 Timothy 4: 4-5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

 1 Cor 12 Variety of gifts, but the same Spirit and same power of the Spirit

 

Ephesians 1:19-20; Romans 8:11 Same power in the Spirit to heal and bring life (Keeping in mind Deuteronomy, let’s be very clear that we do not call forth, conjure up, or mediate, divinate with dead spirits or darkness.)

 

2 Cor 5:19-20 Reconciling, Reclaiming, Ambassadors of Christ

 

Acts 17:28 Live, Move, and have our being”; as even some of your (pagan) poets have said…

 

Psalm 104:33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

 

John 15 -Abide in Me and I in you …

 

Some believe tithing is 10%, but Jesus says it is to freely, joyfully lay down our lives as a living sacrifice - keeping hope even in the suffering, picking up the cross and bearing others burdens but also saying to cast cares/anxieties on him (throw far away as possible - like a rabid raccoon you pull off of a friend and throw it as far away from the both of you as possible): John 15:13, 1 John 3:16; Galations 6:2; 1 Peter 5: 1-11

 

Verses about tithing in reference to the New Testament/Covenant: Romans 6:14 and 12:8; Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 8:11-14 and 9:7;  Ezekiel 36:26-27; 2 Peter 1:3-4.

 

And finally, my life verse: Isaiah 61:3 (and surrounding verses about the prophecy of Jesus to come) and fulfilled by Jesus himself as accounted for in Luke 4:18-19

 

In the same power of Christ, I am here to bear witness, to be a reconciler, reclaimer, and lead others to His Life giving Living Water to restore their Ashes to Beauty as a LIFEstyle.

 

I have tasted and seen for myself that the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is a good good Abba, and trusted Lord of my life, who deeply cares for each of us, who’s Love is unwavering in his pursuit of us, whispering to our spirit, and waiting for us to seek, to knock, to open the door for Him to come in to exchange our heavy yokes for his light one and MOVE us from glory to glory and into ALL glory after we have left this earth!! Hallelujah Hallelujah, Amen and Amen!

 

Maybe we can explore more deeply how the LAWS (Love, Acceptance, Worth, Security) are reflected in Christ AND in the 8 limbs of Yoga...as we live, move, and have our being (breathe) in what aligns with The Word and let the rest go just as Paul did in Acts 17:28-29.

 

Shalom (may peace beyond your understanding be with you) my Wild Haven Warrior friend, or, hopefully, soon to be friend! 💜

Trish