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Christian Yoga for When You Need A Shake Up: Part 4: Restorative Yoga

Welcome to the final video of the Christian Yoga for When You Need A Shake Up video series! 

This series is inspired by the book 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole. This video draws from Day 39 of the book where we are challenged to fast intimidation and let go of shame.

Over the course of 25 minutes in this video, we do about 5 poses, the first two or three standing at the wall, and the last two lying on our mats using the wall as a support to fully surrender. It's a deeply restorative practice designed to help you fully engage with the spiritual truths woven throughout.

The Scripture we set our focus on comes from Matthew 28: 1-7:

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. 

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.

As we walk through this text, verse by verse, we ask Jesus what tombs we're still guarding in our own lives, tombs full of shame or fear, things that Jesus has already conquered that we now have the freedom and authority to walk away from.

“Is shame standing watch over any dead things in your life? Jesus died to forgive you - follow HIs example and forgive yourself. Fast guarding that tomb. Let an earthquake or an angel roll away the stone so that you can see that nothing is there anymore. It is empty. Jesus conquered it. Jesus removed it. All that is there now is light and hope. So rest, weary soldier. Jesus’ empty tomb means that shame has no ground on which to stand.” - Alicia Britt Chole, 40 Days of Decrease

Christian Yoga for When You Need A Shake Up: Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the Christian Yoga for When You Need A Shake Up video series! 

This series is inspired by the book 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole. This video draws from Day 15 of the book where we are challenged to fast spiritual self-protection. 

In Part 1 we focused on opening those bound up places in our heart, welcoming into the light those doubts and questions and disappointments that have been swirling around. God is more than big enough to handle them. Their power exists only in the darkness, but once they’re brought into the light, they lose their grip.

This week we’re drawing our attention to one of our most major coping strategies in the face of pain – self-protection.

In her book 40 Days of Decrease, Alicia writes, “Uncertain that God will protect us, we proactively protect ourselves. To avoid further emotional and theological pain, we lower our expectations, edit our dreams, and shrink back from God through fear-driven planning, endless worry, hypervigilance, or the numbing of hope. With each choice to self-protect, another layer is added to insulate our hearts from attentiveness to God’s presence.” 

The key to dusting off the numbness in our lives is presence.

When we read Bible stories we tend to zoom in on the one event at the expense of seeing the entire picture. You’ve probably heard the story about Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey with everyone laying palm branches and their coats along the road (maybe even as a kid you remember bringing palm branches to church). But I never really made the connection that just days later this same crowd who was shouting Jesus’ Kingship was calling for his crucifixion. The Disciples, who would soon lock themselves in a room after Jesus’ death were welcomed and affirmed, Judas was still invited to the communion table that night even though he was about to betray Jesus. But Jesus knew all this and yet He still showed up, He still participated fully, He stayed present.

What must Jesus have believed about Father God and about himself in order to stay present? What must you and I believe about Father God and about ourselves in order to feel safe enough to drop the wall of self-protection and remain present?

Christian Yoga for When You Need A Shake Up: Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of the Christian Yoga for When You Need a Shake Up video series!

This video series is inspired by the book 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole and this specific practice is based on Days 4 and 5 of the book. Over the course of this four part video series, we'll press in to shake off the dust that's been accumulating in our hearts, reignite freedom and passion when that familiar boredom and staleness sets in.

This 30 minute Christian yoga practice is full of deep breathing and quiet moments, a handful of simple flows to get you moving, and an invitation to wrestle with some of the harder questions in life.

We examine the story of John the Baptist, specifically the later part of his life when he finally meets Jesus (the Messiah he'd spent his entire life prophesying about!), baptizes Jesus, loses many of his own disciples to Jesus, and then finds himself sitting in a prison...a long cry from the crowds of people he used to attract. Prior to sitting in prison, John had boldly declared that Jesus was the one they'd been waiting for! But as he the days stretched into months in prison and Jesus was out performing miracles and training up his own radical disciples, John sent a message to Jesus inquiring, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3)

In her book 40 Days of Decrease, Alicia writes, “From within prisons of pain or persecution, injustice or accusation, limitations or unmet longings, we, too, can wonder if Jesus is truly who we thought He was. A key invitation of our spiritual journey is to be emotionally honest about our uncertainties.”

So in this yoga practice, we challenge our hearts to be honest about the doubts, questions, and confusion lurking in the dark. We trust that God is big enough to handle them, that he won't punish us for asking them, and believe that, like his response to John, he'll lovingly affirm His calling in our lives.

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.

Yoga for Today: A Gentle Christian Yoga Practice to Cultivate Presence

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

Flow Description

What if everything you needed today, in this moment, was already yours? What if we really believed that we were beloved children of God and not orphans?

These are the questions we move and breathe through in this gentle yoga practice, a practice designed to cultivate greater awareness of and gratefulness for God’s goodness in our lives.

We dive into the story of the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years and explore how God provided for their every need every day. In the form of manna and quail from heaven, the Israelites never went hungry. Each morning these provisions were fresh, and God commanded them to only collect what they needed that day – if they tried to hoard up extras for the next day, they rotted overnight.

Julian Green says this: “The story of the manna gathered and set aside by the Hebrews is deeply significant. It so happened that the manna rotted when it was kept. And perhaps this means that all spiritual reading which is not consumed – by prayer and works – ends by causing a sort of rotting inside us. You die with a head full of fine sayings and a perfectly empty heart.” 

You see, we aren’t orphans left alone in the wilderness to starve. We are children of God, invited to come to the table and eat every day, every moment, to the full, so that we can be nourished and we can nourish others. Let’s set our gaze on this deep truth as we move and breath on our mats.

Scriptures

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. {Matthew 6:30-34 (MSG)}

Questions

Do you trust that God will give you what you need today?

And that he’ll also be there tomorrow?

And the next day?

Regardless of whether you put your time in?

Prayer

Father,  help us remember that we are your children, that we’re not abandoned, we’re not forgotten, we’re not orphans, we’re not strangers walking around on the street picking up nice sayings to put in an empty heart.

Father, we want to be children who are transformed by your love. Children who don’t hoard what you give us, but we let it transform us and then we give it away. We want more of you in our lives and in the world around us. Help us live in the present moment, with our eyes open to what you are doing right here, right now.

Thank you that you are alive and active and moving and that we get to be a part of this. Amen.

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?

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.