Under 20 Minutes

Full Body Yoga Flow | 20 mins

Gently move through some basic yoga postures for a full-body yoga experience, setting you up for the day or warming your body up for another form of exercise!

Drawing from Eugene Peterson's book, The Contemplative Pastor, we explore what it means to pray into the will of God.

Peterson parses out three tenses in the Greek language – the active voice, the passive voice, and the middle voice. The active voice takes action (i.e. I counsel my friend), the passive voice receives action (i.e. I am counseled by my friend), while the middle voice “actively participates in the results of an action another initiates” (i.e. I take counsel).

In applying this to prayer, Peterson writes,

I do not control the action; that is a pagan concept of prayer, putting the gods to work by my incantations or rituals. I am not controlled by the action; that is a Hindu concept of prayer in which I slump passively into the impersonal and fated will of gods and goddesses. I enter into the action begun by another, my creating and saving Lord, and find myself participating in the results of the action. I neither do it, nor have it done to me; I will to participate in what is willed.

This practice comes from The Abbey, an online community for lovers of Jesus and yoga. Each month we release two full-length practices and this short practice is part of a longer slow flow. Get in on the goodness at theyogaabbey.com

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.

Prayerful Meditation Practice to Slow Down in Greece

Awaken to the presence of God in and around you in this 12 minute prayerful meditation practice filmed in Greece. In this meditation practice we prayerfully become aware of the senses of our bodies to help calm our minds and center our hearts. God invites all of ourselves into His presence, so rather than trivialize or ignore parts of ourselves, let’s become aware of them, bring them into the light, and offer them to the heart of God.

20 min. Christian Meditation Practice

This video will equip you to go deeper into your meditation practice, especially as you encounter obstacles to sitting in stillness, silence, and solitude for an extended period of time. In his book Christian Meditation, James Finley writes, "to stop meditating simply because we feel we are not good at it amounts to abandoning the very aspects of our self that need patience and loving encouragement. "

In this practice we make space for and compassionately turn our attention towards the places in our hearts that feel unlovable. Use this video a time or two to help familiarize yourself with this kind, compassionate, and courageous presence, and then practice on your own, in full stillness, silence, and solitude.

12 min. Pray Through the Beatitudes

Move into a time of silent meditation or journaling. You can practice this seated and still, or walking.

What happiness comes to you when you feel your spiritual poverty! For theirs is the realm of heaven’s kingdom.

What delight comes to you when you wait upon the Lord! For you will find what you long for.

What blessing comes to you when gentleness lives in you! For you will inherit the earth.

How enriched you are when you crave righteousness! For you will be surrounded with fruitfulness.

How satisfied you are when you demonstrate tender mercy! For tender mercy will be demonstrated to you.

What bliss you experience when your heart is pure! For then your eyes will open to see more and more of God.

How joyful you are when you make peace! For then you will be recognized as a true child of God.

How enriched you are when you bear the wounds of being persecuted for doing what is right! For that is when you experience the realm of heaven’s kingdom.

How ecstatic you can be when people insult and persecute you and speak all kinds of cruel lies about you because of your love for me! So leap for joy – since your heavenly reward is great.

- Matthew 5: 3-12, The Passion Translation

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?