Posts tagged #christian yoga

Advent Week 2 Meditation Audio and Script

In this second week of Advent, let’s take the time to prepare our minds and souls and to make room for His presence. Take five minutes of your day to stand in his awareness and love. This is a season when we may get lost and anxious amidst Christmas gift shopping, but have you stopped to meditate on the gifts God has given you? These are the gifts that truly matter because they tell you your mission in this world. 

 

 

 

 

Take a seat somewhere comfortable. This could be a yoga mat. If you are on a yoga mat get into a comfortable cross legged position. Otherwise sit with both feet on the ground. Gently close your eyes. Draw the crown of your head towards the heavens as you draw your shoulder back and down. Place your hands on your thighs with your palms facing up.

Start deepening your breath to help you connect to the Holy Spirit. On the day of the Pentecost, the Holy spirit came from heaven like a rushing wind. So, Let the Holy Spirit fill you with each breath. Visualize the Spirit filling you with joy, kindness, peace, and grace. Visualize a beautiful golden light overtaking you with each breath.

As you are doing this, exhale the tension from your body

Feel completely Relaxed.

Bring the breath to your chest, then upper belly, then lower belly.

Now let the air go from the lower belly, upper belly, and finally the chest.

Continue this three part breath by bringing the breath to your chest, then upper belly, then lower belly. Now letting the air go from the lower belly, upper belly, and finally the chest.

God has gifted each of us with unique talents and spiritual gifts. Let us embrace all that beauty and use those to help others and improve our world. Take a deep breath and embrace this verse:

First Peter 4: 10 says: "each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms".

Now let a deep breath out. 

What are some of the gifts God has given you? What are you good at? What do you excel at?

Take in His grace as you meditate on your gifts and take 5 deep breaths.

One more time, Take another deep breath and embrace this verse one more time:

First Peter 4: 10 says: "each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms".

Now take some time to meditate on how you are currently using your gifts. What have you been doing with what you excel at? 

 

Take in His grace as you meditate on your gifts and take 5 deep breaths.

 

One more time, Take another deep breath and embrace this verse one last time:

First Peter 4: 10 says: "each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms".

ased on the gifts you have been given meditate on what is God's mission for your life. What can you do to better explore those gifts and accomplish your mission?

Take in His grace as you meditate on your gifts and take 5 deep breaths

Everyone has a gift. Everyone is unique. Embrace your God given uniqueness, your gifts. In this Christmas season, rather than buying material gifts, be a gift to the world. Give of yourself to others. Build others up, make someone happy, embrace someone, help someone. 

As you rest in His grace for a few last breaths I want you to inhale His Grace

Exhale self doubt

Inhale His Grace

Exhale self doubt

Inhale His Grace

Exhale self doubt

Inhale His Grace

Exhale self doubt

Now open your eyes slowly and feel your feet on the ground. Let's Thank God for this day and to Him be the Glory of your gifts and actions today! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids Holy Yoga: Class and Resources to teach John 10

Kids at VBS Yoga at New Life Church Community Center in Chicago

Kids at VBS Yoga at New Life Church Community Center in Chicago

I have been having so much fun this Summer teaching VBS yoga at the New Life Community Church Center in Humboldt Park. I am happy to share my resources here so that you are able to use them with your own children or classes. This particular class teaches the message in John 10 and the takeaway of the class is that Jesus is the gate, and only through him we can make it to the father. The video, class script, and all resources I used are below.

Warm up:

Class today is surrounds the concept of Sheep! What do you know about Sheep?

  • Sheep wander
  • Sheep are weak
  • They need their master to protect them
  • They only respond to the voice of their master 

Show kids the following video to exemplify the idea that sheep only respond to their masters:

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e45dVgWgV64 

Jesus tells us that we are also his Sheep. Why do you think so?

Breath Exercise: What sound does a sheep make? Now we are going to try to breathe like sheep. Take a deep breath in making your belly grow into a balloon, then breathe out like a sheep as long as you can.

Son salutations

FLOW (Script)

If a person climbs over [mountain climber] or through the fence of a sheep [sheep pose (cat)] pen instead of going through the gate [gate pose], you know he’s up to no good—a sheep rustler!

The shepherd [mountain pose] walks right up to the gate [standing Gate pose -( tree)]. The gatekeeper [warrior II] opens te gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice [Warrior I].

REPEAT WITH THE OTHER SIDE

The shepherd [mountain pose - reach to the sky to your sheperd Jesus] calls his own sheep by name and leads them out [Dancers] When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice [warrior III]. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.”

REPEAT THE OTHER SIDE

I am the gate; [gate pose]  whoever enters through me [super man] will be saved [kneeling lunge] They will come in [child’s pose] and go out [lift up into kneeling], and find pasture [camel pose – open your heart to God].

Now what's the take away of today's class in pose form?

Jesus (reach for the sky - mountain pose)

Loves me (reach for your toes - forward fold)

He died in the cross ( bring both arms out to the sides)

He is the gate (gate pose)

He is the light (gate pose on the other side)

Final Meditation

Now let’s slowly come to a lying down position and imagine that you are melting. Like ice cream in a hot summer day. Just let your body sink into the floor and I want you to close your eyes and imagine in your head what I am about to say.

Meditation Script:

Imagine you are lying down on a beautiful green pasture. The grass is wet, the sun is shining. It is the most beautiful sunny day. You feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. The warmth of the sun relaxes your head and neck…. Your shoulders…. And your arms. Your hands feel heavy and relaxed resting in on the grass. Around you sheep are roaming the grass. They wander, but they walk together. You see a little boy trying to call the sheep and move them. But they don’t move. The sheep don’t pay attention to them. The sheep continue to wander mindlessly. They eat the grass. They admire the day. But then all of a sudden they hear the sound of his master. Their shepherd call and little by little every sheep on the pasture looks at him. He calls again and every sheep follows their master. Anyone can call the sheep, but they will only obey their true master. That is how it should be with us. At the sound of His amazing grace. Our heads must turn. At the sound of His amazing grace. Our eyes should open. Now slowly. Open your eyes.

 

 

 

 

Contemplative Prayer: Be Still and Know

Today I teach you a different type of meditation for those of you who are planning to take the 40 day lent meditation challenge starting on February 10th. Today's meditation is a christ-centered meditation called contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer was brought to the west by father William Meninger after he found a 14th century book entitled the cloud of unknowing. 

Much like the basic meditation you learned last week, contemplative prayer is done cross-legged with a straight spine. To start, deepen your breath and focus your attention to your inhales and exhales. And throughout the meditation you will repeat a mantra or word that is meaningful to you. I use the word Maranatha - which in Aramaic means the Lord is coming. I repeat Maranatha in my head in each inhale and on each exhale. I focus on what the word means to me and visualize Christ dying on the cross for my sins. Maranatha is a very powerful word. Everyday we should long for Him to come back. Maranatha will remind us to keep our minds in the Lord and on our eternal life with him. This meditation will help you keep yourself in tune with the divine and less concerned about the material things in life. 

During this meditation, don't ask anything from God. Just be still and stand in his presence much like Psalm 46:10 recites :

Be still and know that I am God.


Stay Blessed and watch the video to do a guided meditation: 



Basic Meditation: Learning to wait for God

Lent season is coming! This year I am going to invite you to, rather than giving up something for lent, to adopt a new habit starting February 10th. This new habit is to spend 5-20 minutes a day for 40 days in the presence of the Lord through meditation. Despite of any mystical ideas you might have regarding what meditation is, meditation is nothing more than silencing your mind to listen to God.  Psalm 62:1-2 introduces this idea of waiting silently in the Lord:

  • Truly my soul silently waits for God; 
  • From Him comes my salvation.
  • He only is my rock and my salvation;
  • He is my defense;
  • I shall not be greatly moved.

Our God deserves to be loved and you deserve to spend time with Him. Nowadays life is so hectic, we need to train ourselves to know how to wait silently for God. So take these daily 5-20 minutes to sit in His presence. Don't ask for anything, just be. I promise, it will change your life and your relationship with him. 

In the next few weeks that antecede lent, I will present ways you can meditate. This week I teach a very basic meditation where you silence your mind and focus on the breath. Make sure that you have a timer with you. If you use your phone, put it in airplane mode and turn the sound on. Find a comfortable and silent space and sit cross legged with your spin upright. Watch the video to learn the rest.

Since starting a daily meditation practice, I have noticed a few differences: The first is that I am much more present. Rather than being worried about social media all day, I have learned through to soak in the present moment. 2) I have become calmer and learned to trust God. I have a tendency to worry a lot. But when you realize that God is in control and you have a strong and intimate relationship with him you can trust him to lead the way. 3) I have heard the Lord speak to me a lot clearer. It may not necessarily happen during meditation, but he will speak to you much louder when you take time to be in his presence everyday.

I believe this practice will bless you. Stay blessed and looking forward to take this challenge on starting February 10th!





Holy Yoga for Christmas

ChristmasHolyYoga.jpg

As we approach the celebration of our Savior's birth we should start thinking about our rebirth in Christ. Today's class focuses on 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things passed away; behold, all things become new".  

I invite you to meditate on this scripture and ask yourself:

Who are you in Christ?

Who is the new you with Christ? 

The bible says, in Galatians 5:22-23 that in the Spirit,

  • You are love
  • You are joy
  • You are peace
  • You are forbearance
  • You are kindness
  • You are goodness
  • You are faithfulness
  • You are gentleness
  • You are self-control

During today's class please bring your thoughts to these questions and to what we become in Christ. Take the time to meditate on areas you may need improvement and thank God for what you have become in the Spirit.

Have a blessed class and Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving Restorative Holy Yoga

Yoga is the practice of being present. In class you learn to remain present through pain, happiness, and emotional breakthroughs. Being present also teaches us to be appreciative and thankful. There is so much that happens in our lives through the actions of others and we may not necessarily realize it or even be thankful. But by practicing presence, we are more likely to notice small actions. We are also more likely to notice the the grace of God in our lives. 

Everyday, unbeknownst to us, the hand of God protects, delivers, and saves us. We may not realize it. We may not see it. But His overwhelming love and protection are present in our every step. Sometimes the biggest deliverance is in the small coincidences, the missed opportunities, a inopportune delay... But these may also be the times when we don't recognize how our Savior is acting in our lives. So, today as we enter Thanksgiving week, I ask you to stop, take a few moments to Thank God for all He has done for you.

I want you to use the sequence in the video as a vehicle to stop, breathe, meditate and just give thanks to your Savior. The class is a restorative practice - you will need it in this rushed and chaotic holiday week. I hope you enjoy it and I pray that God opens your eyes for all of the coincidences unseen.

God Bless you!

How Holy Yoga teacher training rocked my world

The night before retreat, it dawned upon me: I was leaving my babies, my husband, and my life behind to fly half way across America to practice some yoga I had never practiced before, with some woman I had never met. What was I thinking? I convinced myself I shouldn't fly out the next morning, after all my daughter had a cold, I didn't want to wake up early, and how would my family survive without me? 

But then after prayer, I decided it was crazier to spend money on a retreat, then realize you are crazy for going and not go at all. So, the next morning at 5 am I was up and ready to roll. I guess you could say I begrudgingly obeyed the calling of the holy spirit. But boy, am I happy I did... The retreat is covered in prayer and Grace and you can clearly see the Spirit moving in so many different ways. Being here has been truly life changing. It transformed my yoga practice and the way I see my relationship with Jesus. Each day, the experience gets deeper. You learn to use your body to worship. You get addicted to connecting to the holy spirit on your mat. I warn you: It's like crack cocaine (disclaimer: I have never actually had crack cocaine). 

I was grouped with an amazing group of 10 beautiful yogis and a caring small group leader. The grouping was random, but nothing is random to the Almighty. All of us came from a catholic faith background and related in so many levels.  Even though we barely knew each other when we came in this week, I have opened up to these women in ways I never had to anyone before. I store the bad stuff away and never talk about it, but here I was led by our kind group leader to dig deep. Digging deep, I realized how much God had acted in my life. How much he has put me through a metamorphosis. 

And then there is the amazing yoga instruction. Being an ashtangi, I am very picky with yoga classes that are not ashtanga. I have always believed Ashtanga to be the holy grail of yoga, the ultimate sequence. But, here you get on your mat and you open your heart in worship with your body and soul. You let the holy spirit in through breath work and fiery asanas. This yoga has me floored. There was a particular class with Jonnie I will never forget. I had a very intimate encounter with the holy spirit on my mat. I was sweaty, crying, and overwhelmed with connection. He spoke to me. At the end of practice, a person next to me I had never met was in tears. She said: "When you prayed I heard two voices. So I looked over at you, and I saw a being of light involving you in prayer, praying alongside you." It was uncanny. 

IMG_20151104_100148.jpg

Then came Brooke's  power yoga class. Have you ever been to a pentecostal revival? Now picture a yogi pentecostal revival.... That's what Brooke's class is like - a class full of fire and life, probably unlike any other yoga class you have ever been to. Brooke's class made me see that there are other amazing styles out there, that there is life outside of the box of Ashtanga yoga, that there is freedom, and fun. Brooke's class is probably the best yoga class I have ever taken in whole entire life. And, having a 6 day a week practice means I have taken way too many yoga classes. 

And then, there is the church clap.... But, I will let you find that one out for yourself.... 

Yes, God moves here. You see it everywhere, with you, and your peers. You see transformation, you see catharsis. If you are Christian and a yogi, I highly recommend you come here. If you are not Christian and a yogi, I recommend it even more. Holy yoga is legit. Holy yoga retreat is metamorphic. Holy yoga friends are sisters. This week will forever be in my heart.