Hips

45 min Intermediate Flow filmed in Scotland!

This 45 minute practice is great if you've been sitting for a long time and just need to move. Think lots of hip and leg stretches, heart opening (hello, Wild Thing!), and balancing. Plenty of opportunities along the way to make it more advanced or less challenging depending on your ability today. 

The theme for this practice comes from Psalm 100:3, "Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture."

I filmed this practice in the middle of a long road trip through the Northern Highlands of Scotland, 10 days of unplugging from the internet, social media, my inbox, and work. These are the words that encouraged me during this time:

“Aren’t you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don’t you often hope: ‘May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.’ But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run. This is the way to spiritual exhaustion and burn-out. This is the way to spiritual death.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

– Mary Oliver, "Wild Geese" 

“Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.” 

― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life

Christian Yoga Deep Stretching & Relaxation: 20 mins.

strengthen your body + calm your mind + open your heart + connect with God

Flow Description

This twenty minute gentle yoga practice is full of deep easy stretches, perfect for winding down after a long day, or some deep stretching after a cardio workout! All the poses are seated which means you can do this right in bed ;)

There is a lot of silence built into this practice, a lot of space without my words so that you can wait on God, for His words.

Let’s ask Him for real goodness in our circumstances right now. Let’s choose to submit and surrender to it. Let’s ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us with Joy and not just happiness…Joy in the most trying and confusing of circumstances. Let’s make space for him to cultivate that in us. For us to quiet the chatter, calm the fear, and breathe in His goodness.

Scripture

“Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good.” – Proverbs 16:2 {MSG}

 

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” – Phil. 4: 6-9 {MSG}

Prayer

God, we don’t want that thing that looks satisfying in the moment but is just going to leave us empty, hungry, still searching for something better. We want the kind of perfect provision that only comes from you. We want to sow and reap good fruit, not fruit that dies in season. And so we’ll wait, hands open, hearts humbled, for the thing that is so unbelievably good through and through.

Amen.

Embrace Your Individuality: 50 min. Arm Balancing Christian Yoga Flow

strengthen your body + calm your mind + open your heart + connect with God

Flow Description

Fire up your core, strengthen your upper body, embrace your uniqueness, and learn to take flight in this 50 minute arm balancing practice. Whether you’re brand new to arm balances or you’ve been building them into your practice for years, you’ll find something to challenge and encourage you in this practice.

We spend a lot of time working our core strength and play with two arm balances: Tolasana (Scale Pose) and Bakasana (Crow Pose). Having two yoga blocks, or a couple stacks of books nearby will be super helpful in exploring these poses, so make sure to grab them before you hit play.

Our theme for this practice is embracing our uniqueness and the importance of you and I running in our own lanes in order to best reflect God’s love to the world around us.

In an essay titled The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis writes, “Each of the Redeemed shall forever know and praise some one aspect of the divine beauty better than any other creature can…Each has something to tell all others – fresh and ever-fresh news of the ‘My God’ whom…all praise as ‘Our God.’” 

This is why we must stop the comparison game and choose instead to embrace our individuality…even (and especially) on our yoga mats.

So no matter where you are on your yoga journey, no matter what physical or emotional challenges you’re walking through, have grace for yourself and embrace the beautiful and unique calling on your life.

Scriptures

{1 Corinthians 12:12-31, emphasis added}

12-13 You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive.

14-18 I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

19-24 But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

25-26 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

27-31 You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. You’re familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his “body”:

apostles
prophets
teachers
miracle workers
healers
helpers
organizers
those who pray in tongues.

But it’s obvious by now, isn’t it, that Christ’s church is a complete Body and not a gigantic, unidimensional Part? It’s not all Apostle, not all Prophet, not all Miracle Worker, not all Healer, not all Prayer in Tongues, not all Interpreter of Tongues. And yet some of you keep competing for so-called “important” parts.

But now I want to lay out a far better way for you.

 

Questions

C.S. Lewis wrote that “Each of the Redeemed shall forever know and praise some one aspect of the divine beauty better than any other creature can.” What aspect of God’s beauty do you resonate with uniquely? What part of his character do you find yourself constantly soaking in and encouraging others in?

What truth do you need to remind yourself of today, to help you run in your lane, to sing your unique song?

Find Your Freedom: 30 min. Christian Yoga Practice

strengthen your body + calm your mind + open your heart + connect with God

Flow Description

This 30 min. freedom-focused practice includes some more challenging options for the experienced yogi with lots of stretching and gentle movement for the beginner yoga!

We study a conversation Jesus had with some religious leaders about living in real freedom. The people he’s talking to push back and say – we’ve never been slaves! What do you mean we need to be set free? The irony in their statement is that these people had been enslaved for centuries, and at the very moment of their conversation with Jesus were subjects of the Roman Empire. They were too proud (or blind?) to see the obvious truth of their earthly identity. But more than that, they miss Jesus’ deeper point about real heart freedom, not just political freedom.

How often do we do that in our own lives? Brush off all this talk about freedom, telling ourselves we go to church and we sometimes read our Bibles and go to Bible Studies, so we’re fine! But Jesus is calling us to a deeper freedom. He shows us a better way, shows us he’s trustworthy, promises us we won’t be disappointed, and invites us into a new way of living.

Scriptures

“Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. ‘If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.’ Surprised, they said, ‘But we’re descendants of Abraham. We’ve never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, ‘The truth will free you’?’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you the most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through…” {John 8:31-36}

“Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are – face to face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” {2 Corinthians 3:16-18}

Questions

Kris Valloton says, “an idol is anything you have to check with before you say yes to God.” What are you checking in with that’s holding you back from saying YES fully? Your bank account? Your career plans? What other people will think? Your schedule?

Christian Yoga: Bird of Paradise Flow

Practice yoga. Experience God.

strengthen your body + calm your mind + open your heart + connect with God

Flow Description

This 40 minute flow will challenge your body and your heart as we work towards Bird of Paradise pose. We spend a lot of time building heat, stretching our shoulders and chest, opening our hips, playing with binds, and exploring the edge of trust and fear. The point of the practice is not the destination (“achieving” the peak pose), but embracing the journey and taking care to listen to your body as you go.

Scripture

“You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
   spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
   I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
   shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
   under them you’re perfectly safe;
   his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
   not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
   not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
   drop like flies right and left,
   no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
   watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge,
   the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
   harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
   to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
   their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
   and kick young lions and serpents from the path.
“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
   “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
   if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
   I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
   give you a long drink of salvation!”
{Psalm 91}

Yoga for when you're feeling disconnected

Reconnect with LOVE with a yoga practice that features side stretching, a focus on leg strengthening, and yummy hip opening.

Flow Description

This is a 35-minute Jesus-filled yoga practice for those days you’re feeling disconnected from yourself, your heart, and from God.

Each time we say yes to Love we reconnect with God and God in us. We reconnect with our purpose, identity, freedom, and peace when we receive and let ourselves be changed by Love.

This yoga practice features side stretching, a focus on leg strengthening, and hip opening.

Stick around until the end for the most beautiful soul-warming Savasana meditation!

Scripture

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord.” {Jeremiah 29:11-14 (AMP)}

Christian Yoga Morning Flow: Gentle 12 min. Warm-Up

Flow Description

Roll out of bed and onto your mat with this 12 minute yoga flow. We’ll warm-up our body for the day with some yummy hip circles, energizing down dogs, and gentle stretching.

Scriptures

“Get out of bed, Jerusalem! Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight. God’s bright glory has risen for you. The whole earth is wrapped in darkness, all people sunk in deep darkness, but God rises on you, his sunrise glory breaks over you.” {Isaiah 60: 1-3}

“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” {Psalm 34:5} 

“Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him.” {Psalm 34:5}

Prayer

Father, thank you for today. Thank you for this moment, in this place. I believe you have me here for a purpose and I don’t want to miss that purpose today. Help me open my heart to you, trusting Your goodness and provision.