Q: Why does your work stand out from others?
A: At Prayerful Breath Yoga, my classes bring together the benefits of yoga with practicing the presence of God. In God’s presence, there is fullness of joy, rest and peace. Our souls are restored and our health renewed. In each session, I bring sacred music, scripture and meditations from Christian writings as our focus. My goal for each participant is physical wellness and a biblically defined spiritual connection.
Q: Can Christians practice yoga?
A: We were created with a mind, soul and body. But for centuries, many of Christ’s followers have forgotten the body. It has been left out of the spiritual equation. As a result, many in the Church are not enjoying the optimal health they should. Instead of treating our bodies as the temples of the Holy Spirit, we ignore the needs of the body or worse, squander our health with habits we know are harmful.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” ~ Romans 12:1.
Q: Does yoga have its roots in Hinduism?
A: Although Hinduism embraces yoga, the movement and discipline of yoga predates modern Hinduism. Yoga is considered a practice within religion rather than a religion in itself. So with yoga being a spiritual practice, it is the intention of the practitioner that matters.
In this sense, it can be likened to prayer or meditation. The differentiation between Christian prayer and Hindu prayer is who we address in prayer. In the same way, we can meditate on scripture without reciting or chanting a foreign mantra of an Eastern religion.
Q: Why yoga and not some other form of exercise?
A: Yoga is a perfect vehicle to bring our awareness back to the wondrous creations we are. Calming our mind and being led by the Spirit, we bring health to our bodies through movement. Yoga incorporates breathing, stretching, and toning of the body while focusing the mind on the present moment. This reduces stress, and therefore acts as an antidote to the many stress-related health issues of our day.
“Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” ~ Psalm 150:6
Q: How did you decide to teach yoga?
A: When I first tried a yoga class, I was amazed at how it made me feel. I loved doing ballet and dance, but as I got older, I had to give it up because of its wear on my body. Yoga brought me back to movement and the addition of breath awareness was revolutionary to me. But it wasn’t just the physical. Through movement, I found a connection to my spiritual foundation. As a follower of Jesus, I used being in the present moment as an opportunity to be in His presence. I was hooked! I knew I found something that I could practice for the rest of my life. I wanted to share what I’d found with the world. To me, my practice is an experience of Christ-centered, moving meditation, grounding me in all areas of my life.
Q: What do you like most about teaching yoga?
A: I love the light that comes to a persons face as they discover the benefits of Christ-centered yoga. Sharing a way to explore the presence of God, the wonders of the body, the awareness of the breath, and the calming of the mind is a rush that never gets old!
Q: Can I do yoga if I’m not flexible?
A: Yes! With patience, the practice of yoga-type movement gently unfolds the body into flexibility. Saying you’re too inflexible to do yoga is like saying you’re too dirty to take a bath!
Q: I’m new to yoga. How do I know which instructor is right for me?
A: Look for an instructor who has a 200-hour teaching certificate. Ask about the use of props and modifications. You want an instructor who can create a safe and stable practice that will work for your body. Instructors who try to make your body fit the pose in a cookie-cutter manner can often cause strain or injury. Find an instructor who will see you as a unique individual.
I want to specifically note, our spirits are vulnerable in a yoga practicing environment. And because the practice of yoga is so easily used as a spiritual tool, I will strongly advise you to only practice it in a biblically sound meditative environment. And, guard yourself from any mantras, chanting, philosophies, and/or music which may not clearly represent the God of the bible.
“Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:5
Q: Do you have a favorite story from your yoga teaching experience?
A: I have a student who had never done yoga before and was very inflexible. She said she had never been able to touch her toes. After a few months in my class, she came to be, very excited and said, “Look!” (reaching the ground with her hands), “I can touch my toes!” We were both thrilled! Not because touching your toes is magic, but that she had achieved a goal she thought wasn’t possible for her!
Q: What do you wish new clients knew about you?
A: I am a person of utmost integrity. What I say, I will do. It is my desire to provide the best experience possible. I am a wonderful listener and will try my best to create an experience that exceeds your expectations.