Even though I share so much of myself with the world the topic of yoga & its impact in growing my relationship with God is one I often avoid. I grew up in the church & my mother was a minister. However, for many years, and even to this day honestly, I had a negative association with the institution of religion. I grew up seeing what happens behind the veil, & a lot of it was not pretty. I grew up seeing “people of God” use the Bible to tear down & belittle others. By the time I was a senior in high school I had seen enough & wanted very little to do with church as a whole.
When I ventured off to college & participated in faith based groups on campus the same theme re-entered my life. Leaders of the group had an idea of what they thought Christianity should look like & if you didn’t fit into that bubble of their reality you were wrong. Needless to say I didn’t continue with those groups for long. By the time I was graduating from college I had completely lost faith in religious communities as a whole, & though I don’t say it often that was very disheartening for me. As someone who grew up in the church, & was pulled towards ministry from a young age, losing hope in something that had been a major aspect of my life was devastating.
However, I want to take a moment here to clarify one BIG component of this story. Even though I had lost faith in “church folks” I never lost faith in God. My belief in His power, grace, favor & guidance in my life has always been a constant force of motivation for me… And that is how yoga became my vessel to strengthen the relationship I have with God.
As many of you know when yoga came into my life I was severely depressed, suicidal, & overall lost in life. Since beginning my yogic journey, & traveling down the path to become an instructor, I’ve learned the art of conversing with God. Learning to clear my mind through meditation has given me the ability to listen & hear God clearly. It’s allowed me to trust my intuition & know when the Holy Spirit is actually guiding me on my journey. I know many Christians are hesitant to explore yoga, because they feel it focuses on other religions. The reality is the moving meditation yoga provides can be incorporated with any religion.
At my lowest moments after college when I literally felt there was no reason for me to continue living... God met me on my yoga mat & told me there was still more for me to do in the world & my work on Earth wasn’t done. So, when I say yoga saved my life I mean it. When I say yoga has helped me elevate my relationship with God I mean it. Yoga is more than just cool postures & focused breathing. Yoga is a powerful tool we can all use to find, maintain, & build our relationship with God.
If you’ve been hesitant to try yoga because you think it’s “worshiping” another god, I am here to tell you it might be the very thing that strengthens your relationship with God. I encourage everyone to create their own yoga practice regiment & use that moving meditation to focus on an intention. Then use that focused energy to create stillness in your mind & listen to the blueprint God has for your life.