I’m Not a Yogi

My adventures in teaching yoga began with my own holistic approach to healing my hormonal imbalance. I had virtually stopped producing estrogen and my hair had started falling out. All of that was caused by nutritional deficiencies which was caused by food allergies which was caused by leaky gut which was caused by poor diet and long term use of prescription/OTC medications. You can see how it was really a chain of events so breaking one link in the chain led to a host of other issues and complications. I initially wanted to study kinesiology and be a physical therapist but money constraints and the birth of my son kept me from finishing college.
Finding physical and hormonal balance through the practice of yoga postures inspired me to share that knowledge with others so I started taking yoga teacher trainings.
What I found along the way is that true yoga is very much steeped in Hindu and Buddhist spirituality and as a Christian, I really struggled with this. I therefore do not claim to teach yoga, because I don’t teach…well, yoga. I have conflicting convictions. What I DO teach is dynamic stretching and proper alignment in the body. There are areas of yoga I don’t touch.
I do not “Om”. This Sanskrit word is typically translated to symbolize the three major Hindu deities. Some Christians say that it can symbolize Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but I disagree. The Bible tells us that we as Christians are to have no other gods before Yahweh God (Exodus 20:1-7) and that we must not misuse his Name. We are also told that there are forms of worship that are unacceptable to God.
Worshipping God out of wrong motive or via pagan/other religions’ methods are unacceptable forms of worship.
I do not say “Namaste.” That word has a few varying translations, the most common of which is, “The light in me honors the light in you and in that light we are one.” This is accompanied by a bow with the palms together at the heart center. In Daniel chapter 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow to the statue set before the Chaldeans by Nebuchadnezzar. They refused, were thrown in a furnace, an were rescued by God to show His glory. Bowing is a sign of reverence and worship. It signifies humility and submission. I bow to King Jesus, and no other because “…there is no other god who is able to deliver like this.” (Daniel 3:29) and we are told “Take care then, that the light in you is not darkness.” (Luke 11:35) Paul added that Satan appears as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14) and we experience true light only through the preaching of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4) Jesus himself said, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
We are also told in the Bible that there is only one way to heaven, and that is by faith in Jesus Christ alone. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) and “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself- a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.” (1Timothy 2:5-6) That means that all beings called god are not the true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel. And any god or spirit who does not affirm the deity of Christ Jesus is false. (1 John 2:23; 4:2-3)
I do not meditate. (Psalm 119:15). Meditation for a Christian means the mind is actively engaged focusing on the word of God. This is different from dharana, or “one-pointed concentration” of yoga in that our attention as Christians is turned heavenward to God as opposed to inward toward the body or the breath. My goal is a closer walk with Jesus and not an experience of oneness with the universe or Samadhi, God-consciousness. Words mean things, and we have to be very careful in what we say so that it honors God. “I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak.” (Matthew 12:36) I want my words to always glorify God.
So for those reasons, I’m not a Yogi. I’m just a gal who likes to stand on her head and release her psoas muscle. If you want to learn how to stretch your hamstrings, gain flexibility and mobility, I can teach that. I believe that I am not

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a body with a spirit, but a spirit with a body and the body will eventually fail. My spirit will live on forever in the presence of God my Savior because of my faith in Jesus Christ. I am saved by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone. Amen!

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5 thoughts on “I’m Not a Yogi

  1. I love these verses and your perspective. I have used yoga, as well as acupuncture, to help with health issues and I have loved it. I have only done yoga dvd’s since I can’t seem to find a studio that just focuses on the physical and not spiritual. In the beginning I also wrestled with a biblical approach to these practices…I pray a lot while doing them.

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    1. The studio I go to is a non-disciplinary studio, which basically means, if you want the spiritual side, they offer it, but the primary focus is asana (poses). I could recommend you some home practice DVDs that I’ve benefited from if you like 🙂

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    2. https://youtu.be/e6EMwF6eORs Rodney Yee is a good one to watch for alignment. In this video, watch his transition from down dog to lunge, I’ve always had problems getting my foot up far enough but the key is lifting the foot while you’re still in down dog before you shift your weight forward to the shoulders, and then leading with the heel instead of the toes. Just a tid bit to consider. Also, http://yogawithlillah.com/ this lady teaches with my master instructor. And then there is my good friend Sara, http://www.saramorrisonyoga.com/blog/. She usually has very insightful answers to any questions I have regarding alignment or practice in general 🙂 You can get some decent home practice DVDs from yogafit.com, but be warned that as someone picky about proper spinal alignment and protection of the spine’s more delicate areas, Beth Shaw makes me want to shake my TV because she sinks into her lumbar spine in many poses that require core strength so if you do go that route, don’t mimic her lol. Hope these help! 🙂

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