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  • Christian Meditation — Christians Practicing Yoga
    our contemporary inclination for simple clear how to instructions Get started by meditating each morning and evening for twenty to thirty minutes THE ESSENTIAL TEACHING Seek a quiet place Sit in a comfortable upright position relaxed but alert with your eyes lightly closed Remain as still as possible Silently interiorly begin to say a single word or short phrase e g Jesus Abba or Maranatha Say it with faith and love Some people find it helpful to say the word in equally stressed syllables in conjunction with their calm and regular breathing e g Je sus Ab ba or Ma ra na tha Do not think or imagine anything spiritual or otherwise When thoughts and images come and your attention strays gently return to your word commentary SEEK A QUIET PLACE Choose a quiet corner of your room A space which you use only for meditation and which is free from other associations is ideal Decorate it with an icon a candle or an open Bible If there is no quiet place in your home look for one along the way of your daily route e g a church Sit in a comfortable upright position Find a posture in which you can be settled still and alert Be comfortable so that for the duration of the meditation period the mind will not need to tend to the body A quiet body inclines a quiet mind An erect but not rigid spine facilitates easeful breathing and alert wakefulness Examples sitting in a straight backed chair sitting with one s seat on a prayer bench and one s knees on the floor sitting cross legged on the floor with the buttocks slightly elevated by a cushion silently repeat your prayer word Take a word from the context of faith it will serve as a pointer for the mind For example Maranatha is Aramaic Jesus own language and means Come Lord It is probably the most ancient Christian prayer St Paul ends his first letter to the Corinthians with it and St John ends the Book of Revelation with it Because it is a foreign word people generally do not have a lot of thoughts and images attached to it which is an advantage since meditation is a way of prayer that goes beyond thoughts and images Another four syllable mantra that easily accords with the breath is Jesus Abba Praying the holy name of Jesus has a long and rich tradition and Abba evokes his own intimate communication with God The breath on which the mantra rides is the Spirit the bond of love uniting Jesus and Abba Other prayer words or phrases are possible and the tradition has many of them Whatever your sacred word by saying it with faith and with love you generate the flow of faith and love in your own heart Prayer s first effect is in us Once you have chosen your prayer word stay with it and do not change it so that it becomes

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christian-meditation (2016-04-26)
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  • Is yoga right for me? — Christians Practicing Yoga
    it s likely that you already know there is no shortage of writers cautioning Christians about the practice of yoga It s true that when we evaluate a spiritual practice there s a need for discrimination discernment and sometimes rejection Guided by our faith traditions we are called to discern what is edifying and beneficial to our relationship with Christ family and the community We are Christians of all walks of life who have found profound benefit in going to God the way God came to us in and through the body As practitioners who have come to terms with the controversy we know that there is a lot to think about here and we offer practical advice as you consider this practice We are now living in a global village and people from other cultures and religions are our neighbors There are two very different approaches available to us adversarial or mutual enrichment In the adversarial approach the focus is on where we re different and the differences are often used to construct fences between us In the mutual enrichment approach the differences are not denied or ignored but the focus is on the gifts we can offer to one another and the things we can learn from one another for the enhancement of our lives Which approach do you choose As you consider beginning or continuing a practice of yoga and or mediation we offer a few questions to help you discern whether these practices are right for you at this time what is your intention in trying this practice What makes a particular practice Christian is not its source but its intent If one s intent in assuming a particular practice is to deepen awareness in Christ then it is Christian If this is not one s intent then even the reading of the New Testament loses its authenticity Intentionality working in tandem with discerning intelligence and freedom is key to the place a practice like yoga might find in one s life and to the contribution it can make are you COOPERATing WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT As Christians we believe only the Holy Spirit can move our hearts and make us free to love as we are called Transformation both inner and outer is the work of God s healing love and grace All we can do is cooperate Are you looking for a magic answer a surefire path to transformation or simply a means to open yourself to Grace What needs to be understood is that it is incumbent on Christians engaging with practices like yoga or zen or tai chi to work with these disciplines in a way that is coherent with Christian faith and to apply to their practice a Christian understanding One of the primary understandings that distinguishes the Christian approach to a spiritual practice or method is that whatever beneficial effects accrue are not due simply to the method or to my persevering effort They are only means Transformation both inner

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/new-page-4 (2016-04-26)
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  • Announcing the 8th Oak Ridge Teachers’ Retreat, July 2016 — Christians Practicing Yoga
    Are Yamas and Niyamas the same as the Commandments Is Pranayama compatible with Christianity What is the Christian Perspective on the Energy Body What is Christian Meditation What does chanting OM mean Additional Reading Discern Why Discern Is yoga right for me Can yoga help a Christian pray Chanting Kundalini Energy Reincarnation Practice Finding a yoga class Home Practice Christian Meditation Lectio Divina Find a Teacher Teacher Trainings Retreats and Workshops Personal Stories Saying yes Why I Teach and Practice Yoga and Jesus Body and Bread Yoga Deepened my Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact November 23 2015 Christians Practicing Yoga Announcing the 8th Oak Ridge Teachers Retreat July 2016 Christians Practicing Yoga November 23 2015 Announcing the 8th Oak Ridge Teachers Retreat July 2016 Christians Practicing Yoga November 23 2015 Plans are underway for our eighth biennial retreat for yoga teachers The Oak Ridge retreat is for anyone already engaged in teaching from a Christian perspective as well as for teachers interested in exploring the link between yoga and Christianity for you and your students Retreat participants will meet practice and share with other teachers of similar interests Oak Ridge gatherings are a rejuvenating experience spiritually physically intellectually and relationally This is an ecumenical gathering of Christians who teach yoga share ideas and encourage one another in teaching and faith For many the energy of the Holy Spirit has been so intensely present at these gatherings that the experience has been like a little Pentecost Read about previous retreats to decide if this year s retreat may

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2015/11/18/announcing-the-8th-oak-ridge-teachers-retreat-july-2016 (2016-04-26)
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  • Alice Latham — Christians Practicing Yoga
    Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact Christians Practicing Yoga Learn Overview Our Perspective History of Yoga and Christianity Can Yoga Help Me Pray Is Yoga a Religion The Eight Limbs of Yoga Are Yamas and Niyamas the same as the Commandments Is Pranayama compatible with Christianity What is the Christian Perspective on the Energy Body What is Christian Meditation What does chanting OM mean Additional Reading Discern Why Discern Is yoga right for me Can yoga help a Christian pray Chanting Kundalini Energy Reincarnation Practice Finding a yoga class Home Practice Christian Meditation Lectio Divina Find a Teacher Teacher Trainings Retreats and Workshops Personal Stories Saying yes Why I Teach and Practice Yoga and Jesus Body and Bread Yoga Deepened my Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/alice-latham (2016-04-26)
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  • Cindy Senarighi — Christians Practicing Yoga
    Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact Christians Practicing Yoga Learn Overview Our Perspective History of Yoga and Christianity Can Yoga Help Me Pray Is Yoga a Religion The Eight Limbs of Yoga Are Yamas and Niyamas the same as the Commandments Is Pranayama compatible with Christianity What is the Christian Perspective on the Energy Body What is Christian Meditation What does chanting OM mean Additional Reading Discern Why Discern Is yoga right for me Can yoga help a Christian pray Chanting Kundalini Energy Reincarnation Practice Finding a yoga class Home Practice Christian Meditation Lectio Divina Find a Teacher Teacher Trainings Retreats and Workshops Personal Stories Saying yes Why I Teach and Practice Yoga and Jesus Body and Bread Yoga Deepened my Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact Contributors Kevin Flynn Dayna Gelinas Alice Latham Dana Moore Amy Russell Tom Ryan Cindy Senarighi Renee Prymus Photography Pastor Cindy Senarighi RN I began my journey with faith based yoga when I was still an RN working on an acute adult psychiatric unit At the time also taught fitness and a friend encouraged me to take a yoga training so that when I got old I could still be physical Needless to say that training was far more than studying the asanas and the breathing it was the first time I was able to be quiet calm and truly attentive to the Spirit within I was overwhelmed by an experience of God s Presence and love I desperately wanted to

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/cindy-senarighi (2016-04-26)
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  • The Practice of Yoga and the Practice of Lent: I — Christians Practicing Yoga
    nor have I ever taught yoga I teach the Yoga Sutras as a brilliant intellectual system and the Sutras themselves are not a manual of how to do yoga Any practitioner who knows the Sutras will agree I think Patanjali clarifies what yoga is for and about and synthesizes much older wisdom but for the practice even in ancient times one might go to other texts But Patanjali in his Sutras gives much wisdom on what counts as yogic practice what the practice is for and how the whole of a yogic practice fits together My suggestion is that this will help us who are Christian and thinking not simply about what we do to observe Lent but also why we do what we do Even observing Church and community practices such as fast on Ash Wednesday or some acts of piety or self denial in Lent merit some thinking o k I am doing this why The first three sutras small verses of YS II as cited above get us off to a clear start The yoga of action involves austerity study of one s appropriate and assigned texts and turning to the master the lord Vyasa and other early commentators do not give here a list of ascetical practices but do point out that austerity tapas is a matter of intensifying inner heat and this is different from doing more and more exotic and painful things to one s body and mind Indeed they stress that they must as it were follow a middle path hard enough to make a difference but not so hard as to upset the delicate balance of the body and mind Study Vyasa says might be a simple practice of reciting sacred texts assigned for this purpose perhaps a mantra or the reading of texts that lead to lasting freedom Turning to the master most often taken to mean a turning to God one s chosen deity is mentioned here and in Book I as a salutary practice that can change one s life It does not mean that Patanjali s yoga is theistic much less Christian but it does mean that he recognizes this turning to the lord as beneficial Why do this It is here that Patanjali starts to get more technical and we begin to exercise our minds in thinking about whether yoga works for a Christian in Lent The second sutra gives two reasons the purpose of cultivating absorption and for the purpose of diminishing the afflictions Absorption samadhi is in the first book of the Sutras conceived of as an ultimate utterly simple state of consciousness in which all the fluctuations of the mind and brain come to a halt so that there is no more observing and knowing the world around us no more errors and fancies about that world and not even any more of those images that float in our minds in sleep or even in memory See the beginning of Book One of the

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/2/9/the-practice-of-yoga-and-the-practice-of-lent-i (2016-04-26)
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  • Lent: What It Means to Me — Christians Practicing Yoga
    Yoga Deepened my Relationship with God Breathing in the Neshamah Yoga and Meditation as a College Course Why I Fell in Love with Yoga How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact February 10 2016 Christians Practicing Yoga Lent What It Means to Me Christians Practicing Yoga February 10 2016 Lent What It Means to Me Christians Practicing Yoga February 10 2016 Guest Post by DeAnna Smothers Co Founder of Yahweh Yoga DeAnna right and her daughter Courtney left co founders of Yahweh Yoga I wonder sometimes just how strong and dedicated I really am in my faith and as a person This year Lent will help me answer my own question Sweet as I am I can be a selfish self centered spoiled rotten princess I want what I want I m more than willing to work hard for what I want but sacrificing something the little princess LOVES for over a month that s asking A LOT of myself Many religious denominations celebrate Lent I have vowed to earnestly participate in this tradition for the first time this year Lent starts on Ash Wednesday February 10 and ends on Holy Thursday March 24 I have a couple of habits in my life that really need to go or good ones I should start okay maybe more than a couple if I m to better enjoy my life and live a life more pleasing and honoring to God I m an intelligent woman with divine goals which I know cannot be reached unless I stop doing certain bad habits and begin making new ones that will help me actualize my lovely goals God has made these goals quite clear to me but I haven t yet let go of the obstacles I know are in the way no bueno Why am I doing this you may ask The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer penance forgiveness self examination and self denial This is done to understand and imitate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ s 40 day fast in the wilderness Matthew 4 1 2 During these 40 days he was hungry thirsty tired and tempted by the devil mentally and physically spiritually pushed to the max He showed us how to do something exceedingly difficult which sooner or later each of us will likely have to do I m doing this because I want to honor the sacrifices Jesus has made for me to show him more love from me He has done so much for me He healed me He gave me the purpose of Yahweh Yoga He s given me a wonderful family and wonderful friends most importantly He gave me my salvation and paid the ultimate price for it I want to show my love and gratitude Just like everything with God s ways all things will work together for good

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/2/9/lent-what-it-means-to-me (2016-04-26)
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  • Experiencing Beauty and Joy in 2016 — Christians Practicing Yoga
    How We Started our Christian Yoga Practice Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective Blog About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact January 4 2016 Christians Practicing Yoga Experiencing Beauty and Joy in 2016 Christians Practicing Yoga January 4 2016 Experiencing Beauty and Joy in 2016 Christians Practicing Yoga January 4 2016 Guest Writer Katrina Woodworth I don t want a new and better life in 2016 I want new eyes to see that my life is already beautiful Kelly Cooke This is my favorite New Year s Facebook post posted by a friend For many the idea of setting New Year resolutions is a depressing thought one that causes many of us to focus on what we don t like about ourselves or our lives in effort to change or improve our quality of life As I can be the glass is half empty kind of gal for me New Years becomes a time of critical examination of all my bad habits that I want to change As I get older I m noticing that each year I m still struggling with many of the same bad habits as the last New Years All these resolutions aren t so effective and haven t led to lasting changes anyway This year I m stealing my friend s resolution It s actually more of a prayer and hope than a resolution I m asking God to give me new eyes eyes filled with grace to see beauty in my life even in the painful and difficult aspects of my life Studies show that those who are optimistic and can see the positive in their lives tend to be healthier Some of the benefits increased life span lower rates of depression lower levels of distress greater resistance to the common cold better psychological and physical well being reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and better coping skills during hardships and times of stress Now as I said earlier I m not a naturally optimistic person just ask my husband As the holidays approach my anxiety increases As the holidays wind down and the winter drags on I tend to struggle with depression So then this prayer is a challenge for someone like me who is not naturally optimistic My daily practices of yoga and meditation are the keys to finding beauty every day I d like to share three simple ideas to help me look for beauty one day at a time First rather than viewing this as a resolution it is a prayer and intention As a prayer I m acknowledging my own weakness and seeking grace from God on a daily basis As an intention I m seeking to consciously look for beauty Just as in a yoga class in daily living I sometimes lose sight of my intention When I realize that my thoughts have become critical I only need to gently draw my attention back to my intention to look for beauty

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/1/4/experiencing-joy-in-2016 (2016-04-26)
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