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  • Contributors — Christians Practicing Yoga
    Our network is a diverse group of Christians and yoga teachers called to share our experiences with the hope they ll draw others to deepen their faith through contemplative practices

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/contributors-2/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Contact — Christians Practicing Yoga
    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 Contact About Us Who We Are Mission History Get Involved Contributors Contact FIND US ON FACEBOOK TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF Please let us know

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/contact-us/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Lessons from Lent — Christians Practicing Yoga
    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 April 13 2016 Christians Practicing Yoga Lessons from Lent Christians Practicing Yoga April 13 2016 Lessons from Lent Christians Practicing Yoga April 13 2016 DeAnna Smothers co founder of Yahweh Yoga Hello Friends As promised I am writing to share what I learned from my Lenten Vows which were basically to give up something I love that I know probably isn t the best for me and to start something new that I would love that I know will be very good for me While I was not perfect I have to say God has blessed my truly genuine efforts As I challenged myself to accent the positive and eliminate the negative things just started coming together The result has been that I am enjoying my life and all the people in it more and more I am inspired by them and I love them on a deeper level My work to help develop Intimacy with God through the practice of yoga it is thrilling to my soul I have never felt or looked healthier Lessons learned during Lent I wanted to do something to honor our Father Son Holy Spirit for our salvation I wanted to grow in intimacy with God mission accomplished With God s help I wanted to tweak some things in my life that I knew were not serving me and add some things that would serve me better I made some great health changes which have and continue to improve my strength and energy levels I had to go to God for his help with conviction and purpose in attaining these things so I spent more intimate time with God and that s always full of delight and meaning I learned how to eat for performance and create more muscle making a new DVD soon Yesterday I was at LifeTime fitness and I asked one of the personal trainers if he assisted women like myself in their seventies and he said There aren t any other women like you in their seventies at this facility That made me feel good on a lot of levels but mainly that I m absolutely shining for God to the best of my ability Here s a link to a blog post that has been motivational to me exercising in my seventies To top things off in that very facility I was walking out to my car and a 5 year old pushing his sibling in a stroller came running behind me only to knock me into the air to land right on the marble tile It was an exceptionally

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/4/12/lessons-from-lent (2016-04-26)
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  • Why We Need More Bubbles — Christians Practicing Yoga
    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 April 7 2016 Renee Why We Need More Bubbles Renee April 7 2016 Why We Need More Bubbles Renee April 7 2016 Renee Prymus Every day now that spring is springing my two year old daughter asks to blow bubbles outside So we gather our shoes and bubble juice and go out into the thawing soggy backyard Our white cat follows collapsing into the lawn to eat grass My daughter takes a wand I take a wand and we blow bubbles Usually we both blow bubbles Today it is mostly just me blowing bubbles The wind and bubble juice consistency combine to make the perfect scene of a backyard filled with floating bubbles Bubble She shrieks and runs across the yard chasing a bubble with her wand It wafts up over the fence I blow twenty more into the air Bubble She runs back toward me scaring the cat Coco Run after the cat Bubble Chase the bubble And so on I sit and blow bubbles She runs Perfect combo It occurs to me that I have things to do I m a working mom with three part time mostly freelance jobs that I fit in around the margins of my life I m less than two months away from having my second baby girl My inner resources are limited It also occurs to me that I don t care that I have things to do She is shrieking with delight over tiny balls of soap and a cat Our world will not always be this simple Today will not always be this

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/3/16/why-we-need-more-bubbles (2016-04-26)
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  • Yoga and Easter — 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 March 30 2016 Renee Yoga and Easter Renee March 30 2016 Yoga and Easter Renee March 30 2016 Renee Prymus Managing Editor Photo Credit Easter Sunday 1 by Kimber Shaw 2010 cc license Christ is Risen Happy Easter As I ve been editing and posting Father Clooney s reflections on Lent and the Yoga Sutras for the past few weeks I ve been struck again by how much the practice of yoga prepares the body for prayer and meditation for being still before God Over Lent Father Clooney worked his way through the Eight Limbs of Yoga which start with guidelines for how we treat others and ourselves yamas and niyamas move to poses specifically the posture of sitting asana move to breathing and withdrawing the senses pranayama and pratyahara move to holding a focal point in one s mind and meditating on it dharana and dhyana end with a unitive state a calm enlightened state samadhi In these eight limbs we are prepared both mentally and physically to meditate on one thing and during Lent that one thing is Jesus path to the cross Meditation during Lent can be somber as we wait for Easter But EASTER People wear brightly colored dresses to church flowers pop out of the ground the tomb is empty death is defeated and new life is everywhere This year weather in Pennsylvania was sunny almost too warm for March beautiful The energy in the air was contagious and hope filled The day after Easter Sunday I went to work like I do every Monday A cold rainy front had come through the night before and the week

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/3/29/yoga-and-easter (2016-04-26)
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  • Yoga and Lent VIII: The Samadhi of Jesus — Christians Practicing Yoga
    License Cambridge MA This is the last of my Lenten reflections on the second Chapter of the Yoga Sutras the Yoga of Action yoga in action You can find links to the preceding entries here We have in the past several weeks been looking at the last part of the chapter the eight limbs integral but subordinate parts of yoga and most recently the sixth and seventh limbs holding dharana one s attention on a chosen object and meditating dhyana wherein one abides for increasingly longer periods of time in attentive presence to and with some object of meditation I suggested that this was a perfectly fine practice for Holy Week The last of the limbs is samadhi a state of concentration enstasy a turning within rather the opposite dynamic to the also familiar religious state of ecstasy or as I prefer at the moment indrawing or indrawal Even if in the first chapter of the Sutras Patanjali carefully traces a gradual quieting of the mind the several ever simpler modes of intellectual work that take place here he speaks rather concisely of this state When meditation shines forth simply as the object as if empty of proper form that is indrawal Yoga Sutras III 3 The meditating person is given over entirely to the object as if the object alone radiant and present were the entirety of the contemplation If one is open to the connections and not worried about keeping yoga away from the deepest reaches of Christian prayer then this is perhaps something of what St Paul meant in saying in words perfect for Holy Week I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but it is Christ who lives in me And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me Galatians 2 19b 20 That is it seems one no longer stands apart from that upon which one meditates but simply gives way entirely before its luminous presence becoming as it were that upon which one looks This is perhaps a kind of farthest reach of the Biblical exhortation Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46 10 In this state where holding and meditating have become a serene indrawing that gives itself over to that upon which one meditates there is Patanjali adds the shining forth of wisdom III 5 This last moment in yogic practice as meditation though Patanjali has much to say in rest of the third chapter on the fruits of specific focused meditations the post Easter topic for another year is not necessarily a permanent state since as with the movements of the body in yoga and the quieting of breathing one must learn to extend this long moment holding it in place before returning to our ordinary more fragmentary consciousness But luckily one can keep practicing without any urgent deadline to meet For the sake

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/2/16/yoga-and-lent-viii-the-samadhi-of-jesus (2016-04-26)
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  • Yoga and Lent VII: The Contemplative Gaze — Christians Practicing Yoga
    given place for a long time This turn to meditation perhaps contemplation is the better term follows upon the entirety of the second book of the Sutras such as I have covered in past weeks the philosophical reflection on action and its implications the problem of the mind s entanglement in things the moral foundations of indifference and freedom and the triple practices of sitting breathing and letting go which we considered last time It is only with all of that in place that Patanjali turns to the interior holding of the mind in some place what is in that place matters less and resting in that holding for a long time For how long The great commentator Vijnana Bhiksu indicates that the holding takes up the time of twelve practices of mindful breathing inhalation holding exhalation and that one meditation is comprised of twelve instances of holding We cannot fail to note that here too Patanjali leaves it up to the person meditating to decide on what she or he should hold the mind He does not say but the first commentator Vyasa suggests that it is best to stay local the navel the tip of the tongue or of the nose the lotus in the heart or the light shimmering in the center of the brain Patanjali does not insist that meditation be theistic or devotional neither does he say a word against this possibility His insistence though is that whatever the focus it come after a mindfulness that is first of all moral and bodily The place where one holds one s attention could therefore be entirely neutral with respect to our relationship to God or Christ or it could be a simple long gaze upon what is local for the Christian in Lent in Holy Week the Christ with whom we sit at Table or with whom we pray in the Garden or at whose Cross we stand None of us reads or writes neutrally and it should not be surprising to anyone that my reading of Patanjali one of the very many available many of which are more expert than mine here is deeply influenced by the Spiritual Exercises The Exercises are not the same as yoga of course but the comparisons can be endless and not merely of notional value Attention to yoga in the end as holding meditating as discussed here can help us to open up the contemplative depths of the Exercises Ignatius the yogi here I must defer to the experts on Ignatian spirituality but I have found most helpful in this regard the insights of W H Longridge a monk in the Anglican Society of S John the Evangelist in his book The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola translated from the Spanish with a commentary and a translation of the Directorium in Exercitia A R Mowbray 1919 a volume hard to find though this morning I did detect three copies available at abebooks com In an additional note near

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/2/16/yoga-and-lent-vii-the-contemplative-gaze (2016-04-26)
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  • Yoga and Lent VI: Sit, Breathe, Let Go — Christians Practicing Yoga
    handle the middle three posture the control of breath and the in drawal of the senses As a yogic Lenten practice sit at ease Most people asked about yoga will immediate think of those very impressive and seemingly impossible positions that extraordinarily agile practitioners mostly young undertake Yet it is striking how little Patanjali says about posture asana the third limb of yoga Posture should be steady and with satisfaction achieved by the relaxation of exertion and by a state of balance without end 46 47 That is sit comfortably in a manner you find pleasing one that does not require great effort and can be maintained for a long time without end Lent I have suggested might be seen in this same light as a time to lighten up loosen one s burden let things go thus reaching a quieter and steady state that one can maintain over time The immediate fruits are two first after this there are no assaults by the opposites 48 that is it seems one reaches a certain physical and mental steadiness undisturbed by oppositions such as heat and cold the pleasant and painful wealth and poverty etc It may seem like a great deal to think that sitting with ease can accomplish this balance but there is surely more to be said for just sitting quietly than we realize We might consider that an excellent Lenten practice even for its last weeks would be to sit and breathe and let that breathing dispel illusions about what and who we are The second fruit of easy posture is that one can attend with a certain care and calm to one of those things that we will continue to do breathing and this is the fourth limb of yoga First we can notice how we actually breathe rather than thinking about how we should breathe Breath s movement is external internal or stopped closely measured according to time place and number long or subtle 50 With this attention noticing our breathing patterns we learn simply to sit and breathe After one s posture is settled control of breath is cutting back on the motions of in breath and outbreath 49 The result is quite important since by this breathing the covering of light is destroyed and the mind becomes fit for acts of concentration 52 53 We might consider that an excellent Lenten practice even for its last weeks would be to sit and breathe and let that breathing dispel illusions about what and who we are This removal of the coverings over the light is the removal of bushel basket Jesus warns us again in the Sermon N o one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket but on the lampstand and it gives light to all in the house Matthew 5 17 To sit at ease and attend to our breathing hiding no longer will prepare us for the quieter vulnerable meditations asked of us in Holy Week As always

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/christianity-and-yoga-blog/2016/2/16/yoga-and-lent-vi-sit-breathe-let-go (2016-04-26)
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