Morning

Gentle Yoga Warmup (10 mins!)

In this practice we we flow through some gentle movements to warm up the entire body, making this an ideal practice to do on its own, before another video, or before another type of exercise.

Our spiritual theme for this practice comes from Jesus’ Parable of the Sower. We concentrate on one type of soil described by Jesus:

Luke 8: 14-15  The seed that falls into the weeds represents the hearts of those who hear the word of God but their growth is quickly choked off by their own anxious cares, the riches of this world, and the fleeting pleasures of this life. This is why they never become mature and fruitful.

The seed that fell into good, fertile soil represents those lovers of truth who hear it deep within their hearts. They respond by clinging to the word, keeping it dear as they endure all things in faith. This is the seed that will one day bear more fruit in their lives.

Mark 4:18-20   And the seed sown among thorns represents those who hear the Word, but they allow the cares of this life and the seduction of wealth and the desires for other things to crowd out and choke the Word so that it produces nothing.

But the seed sown on good soil represents those who open their hearts to receive the Word and their lives bear good fruit…

Matthew 13:22-23    The seed sown among weeds represents the person who receives the message, but all of life’s busy distractions, his divided heart, and his ambition for wealth result in suffocating the kingdom message and prevent him from being spiritual fruit.

As for the seed that fell upon good, rich soil, it represents the hearts of people who hear and fully embrace the message of heaven’s kingdom realm. Their lives bear good fruit…

As we warmup our roots in this 10 minute flow, we invite the Holy Spirit to bring to awareness the weeds in our hearts that may be choking out the seed of God’s abundant life in us.

Stretch + Be Still: 12 min. Seated Yoga and Meditation

Matthew 6:6-7, The Passion Translation

Whenever you pray, go into your innermost chamber and be alone with Father God, praying to Him in secret...When you pray, there is no need to repeat empty phrases, praying like those who don't know God, for they expect God to hear them because of their many words.

Take this time to pray and journal through some of these questions.

  • How do I pray? For example, what kind of tone or attitude do I adopt? Do I put on a performance for God?
  • What does it look like to pray like someone who doesn't know God?
  • What does it look like to pray as someone who does know God? As a child of God?
  • Do I pray like someone who doesn't know God?
  • What kind of tone do I take with God?
  • How often do I expect God to hear me because of my performance, forgetting that God hears me because I'm His child, His beloved one?

Hit Reset: 5 min. Christian Meditation

This video is the perfect antidote when stress, overwhelm, and chaos creep in!

Meditation has become a vital part of my daily spiritual practice. The stillness and silence has helped me connect with God in a new and deeper way and its benefits have overflowed into the busy and noisy parts of my life. I retain more of the things I read and study in the Bible, I'm able to reconnect with Love more quickly when the storms roll in, and I'm able to hear God more clearly. 

Yet strain does not seem to do good. At the moment I feel something “let go” inside, lo, God is here! It is a heart-melting “here-ness,” a lovely whispering of father to child, and the reason I did not have it before, was because I had failed to let go.” - Brother Lawrence

We’re not going to talk, we are just going to receive.

Sometimes you want to talk to your son, and sometimes you want to hold him tight in silence. God is that way with us; He wants to hold still with us in silence.” Frank Laubach

15 min. Love Meditation | Yoga When You Need a Tender Touch

This entire practice takes place seated or reclined, so it is the perfect companion to the end of a long day or those moments you just need to be still, soft, and open with yourself and the Lord. Throughout this practice, we meditate on one specific aspect of love – physical touch. 

God put on skin and became a human being – that we know and celebrate yearly at Christmas. But that God-Human, like all humans, required physical touch in order to survive and thrive. It didn't stop there though. The healing power of physical touch became part of His ministry, a way to deliver healing body + heart + mind. Jesus never became too holy or too mature to touch others or allow others to touch him.

It brings me to tears to think of the moment Jesus shared with his fearful disciples three days after his crucifixion. He was alive, miraculously, and in the room with them where they were hiding. Despite seeing Jesus and hearing Jesus, Thomas still could not believe that Jesus was alive. So Jesus invited Thomas to touch him, to run his fingers along the holes in his hands and the hole in his side. He invited Thomas to touch his woundedness and be healed of his disbelief.

And so that's the inspiration for this short slow practice – the recognition that physical touch is a powerful communicator of intimacy. Touch can heal disbelief, fear, anxiety, and all the hidden places shattered by the ugliness that impacts our lives.

We spend this whole practice seated or reclined on the floor with one hand making contact with our body at all times. Like I said, it's different, but it's pretty holy and healing.

Psalm 17:8 (TPT)

Protect me from harm;
keep an eye on me like you would a child
reflected in the twinkling of your eye.
Yes, hide me within the shelter of your embrace,
under your outstretched wings.

Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)

Long ago the Lord said to Israel: "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself."


 

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.

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.