Shake Up

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 3: Balancing Flow

Welcome to Part 3 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 29 of the book where we are challenged to fast intimidation and let go of fear.

Balancing Poses are great to do when you’re feeling fearful, anxious, overwhelmed, so we're incorporating a lot of them into this practice! The physical act of balancing forces your mind to focus...if you give in to the million thoughts swirling around in there, you’ll fall. And here’s how we strip fear of its power, we remind ourselves that it’s ok if we fall. It’s ok if we fall. Because it’s not perfection it’s after, it’s Jesus. Falling on our yoga mats doesn’t mean we’re an embarrassment or a failure.

The key to balancing is fluidity...the more rigid you are, the harder it will be to maintain balance. So we’re going to embrace more movement than usual in this practice – micro movement, subtle movement, movement that helps you connect with where your body is in space, helps you notice where you’re holding tension and where you can release.

We’ll move slowly and carefully, like we're moving through water, making space to actually listen to the Holy Spirit instead of just charging in guns blazing.

In her book 40 Days of Decrease, Alicia writes, “During the trials, Jesus’ words were manipulated, His faith doubted, and His character slandered...Jesus knew that man was neither the author nor the director of His life. He was certain that His future did not rest in the frail, fickle, fragile hands of human favor. Consequently, Jesus had no fear for Pilate to exploit. Jesus did not fear death. Jesus did not fear suffering. He possessed an authority that could neither be bought nor beaten: an interior authority that others could misrepresent but never intimidate.”

We explore this thought deeper in our practice and embrace the following prayer as we move:

“When you realize fear is being used to intimidate you, pause and verbalize this simple prayer: Jesus, you have already embraced everything that I fear. I renounce fear’s hold on me. By God’s grace I share Your victory. Will fear vaporize as you say ‘amen’? That would be lovely. But even more powerful is the fact that the cycle of awareness, resistance, and prayer decreases your vulnerability to intimidation by strengthening your will with Truth.”

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.