How Yoga Changed My Faith

photo of women stretching together

From the time I was able to understand who Jesus was and what He represented I knew I wanted Him to live in my heart. I remember being a child and having audible conversations with Him as though He was there, sitting down for a tea party at the little plastic table at my grandmother’s house. I grew up going to church every Sunday, church camps every summer, and youth groups Wednesday evenings. Once I left home to attend college, I no longer had my parents to go to church with and my habits quickly shifted. I began to “fake” my relationships with family, friends, and even Jesus. I found my way back to church, Jesus, and honest relationships after hitting rock bottom and returning home. I turned to Christ in a time of need and felt like my life was “right” again.

I got by living a “normal” life, attending church with my family, and doing the day-to-day tasks that kept me mentally well. Over time all these habits began to feel monotonous, so I continued to go through the motions like a robot. It wasn’t until my miscarriage that I felt the shaking of God’s word in my life. He tells us to put ALL our faith in Him. That means doing more than just going through the motions and attending church on Sundays because it is what we are supposed to do.

My wake-up call happened in the parking lot of our downtown apartment. I had just gotten home after leaving work due to a devastating phone call from my OB telling me the numbers from my blood work showed the twins in my belly were no longer living. My husband was on his way home from work to comfort me. Knowing he would be upset as well I decided to stay in my car and grieve alone for a few moments. I screamed out “WHY GOD!? Why me? Why my babies? You KNEW I wanted to be a mother and now you are taking these babies away from me…WHY!?” I was comforted by the song Oceans, Where Feet May Fail. I had listened to it on the way to work every day since finding out I was (unexpectedly) pregnant. The concept of going somewhere unknown, somewhere beyond the waters, somewhere without borders, scared me but I knew it was part of God’s plan for my life.

It became clear to me I needed a change of pace in our lives. I was already stressed at work before finding the news of this unexpected (but much wanted) pregnancy. I knew I needed to be in a different work environment. A friend reached out to comfort me during the loss. She mentioned that if I was interested in a new job there was an opening at the yoga studio where she worked. I thought to myself “working in a yoga studio sounds like the perfect thing for someone looking to lower their stress levels and get healthy.” The job was a breeze; handing out sweat towels, making cold lavender towels, and checking in happy students before class. I loved everything about the environment. The minimal stress levels at work and the accountability to practice yoga and live a healthy lifestyle was so comforting. I knew this was where God wanted me.

I ended up falling in love with the yoga lifestyle and was offered a chance to attend yoga teacher training school for free. During that training, I felt purpose. During one of my practice teachings, I felt so physically connected to Christ. I could hear Him say “Sara, this is why I put you on earth. It is your duty to take these tools and use them to further My Kingdom.” So I did! I began teaching four times a week. It felt so natural and brought such joy in my life. I began leading Christian yoga workshops on the weekends and helping people to find more peace in their lives and understand they can grow in their relationship with Christ while practicing yoga!

Since becoming a yoga teacher I have learned new things about myself. I can be calm- a concept foreign to me. I can be patient. I can be confident. All these new positive attributes I had never felt…I came back to that relationship I had as a young child. I felt truly connected to Christ for the first time in years. Many times I find myself in savasana feeling as though Jesus is laying on the mat next to me telling me about His goals, plans for my ministry, desires for my family, and motivation for my business. There are other times I find myself in a physical posture like tree pose with my arms lifted to Him and tears streaming down my face…I feel so grateful for this practice for this ability to praise my King from the mat. This has become a time for me to worship, learn, and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.

As a yoga student I am reminded to humble myself before Him; to stay in a state of curiosity and hunger for His word. As a teacher, I can spread love, peace, positivity, and awareness of the accepting love of Christ. When I teach secular classes I ask Jesus to remain the focus in my heart and mind. When I teach Christ-centered yoga I ask Him to speak through me and help educate others on how He is present inside and outside the yoga studio and how we should constantly turn to Him.

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