“What’s Holy Yoga?”
“Oh there’s training for that? You didn’t just make it your own christian yoga?”
“Christian’s can do yoga?” “No way, you mean that pose doesn’t secretly mean I’m worshiping a different God?
These are a few of the common questions I am asked along my way as a yoga instructor. As popular as yoga has become there is still much to learn as pertains to the average user and the practice. It’s not for necessarily due to lack of available information; I suggest it’s due to fear of what people will think — or that the crazy things they heard might turn out to be true.
Let’s clear the air. “Yes, Christians can do yoga and not go to hell.” Holy Yoga is simply having Jesus on your mat. It’s taking a yoga practice of poses and setting the intention on the word of God. This is done by music, scripture readings, or however God leads.
Founded by Brooke Boon, Holy Yoga has been around for over ten years. For those curious about teaching, there are many levels of training offered through Holy Yoga. Please check out Holy Yoga’s site as there’s plenty of great information.
I obtained my 95 Holy Yoga certification shortly after completing my 200 hour training through Yoga Alliance. The main difference between a Holy Yoga class and the yoga classes I teach at the local studio or YMCA is that it’s Jesus first, then the yoga. Call it church on your mat if you will. It’s a time where you will work your spirit and mind, then linking it to the body. Physically working out is great, and being able to do a hand stand is fun, but working out the spirit is something that will change your life and those around you.
Holy Yoga classes won’t all look the same. If you come to the local studio Yoga Strong, you’ll be sure to get a structured one-hour class with the beautiful atmosphere of a studio. And, if you come to the local church I attend (RiverTree), class will be between 90 and 120 minutes in a church class room where you might hear singing and share in a great time for prayer after. Although the two differ, they’re still Jesus first and poses second.
The only requirement to Holy Yoga is come as you are. You don’t have to be a christian to attend Holy Yoga. Show up and see what you learn! Great things happen when you get out of your head and look in your heart.
Now, there will be some who argue that there isn’t such a thing as “Christian” yoga. Moreover, there may be people who say yoga is opening the door to evil spirits. I’m not here to judge them, but I don’t agree with that. I know from personal experience that God shows up anywhere – even on a yoga mat.
Life is about your intention and what you are seeking; it doesn’t just apply to a yoga class.