About the Secret Place

The Christian Yoga Misconception

Should Christians Fear Yoga?

There are many misconceptions surrounding the relationship between religious faith and yoga practice, and these misconceptions are deeply entrenched in many Christian communities. Because pop culture often mixes yoga with new age, Hindu, or pagan spirituality, many people believe that it can be harmful to other religious practices.

For much of human history—and especially in the religions that we consider Eastern’—many elements of yoga, including yoga poses, meditation, and mindfulness, were used as physical tools to worship or to achieve spiritual enlightenment.

Though Hinduism and Buddhism both utilize the physical movements of yoga in their own religious traditions, practicing yoga is not innately religious! You do not have to follow Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other specific faith to practice yoga. Yoga is a tool, and it is completely up to you how you wish to use it to further your own mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Buddhism and Hinduism often feature yoga heavily, but yoga is not an invention of either religion; they co-opted it, just as many Christians have co-opted it, as a way of making their minds and bodies fitter and healthier. You do not have to follow any aspects of Buddhism or Hinduism in order to practice yoga.

Yoga, which has been around for thousands of years, is a physical and mental exercise that can serve as an excellent tool for deepening one’s faith—no matter what that faith is. Christian yoga is not an oxymoron. Yogic practice is not in any way un-Christian—in fact, for many people, it is a powerful practice that helps them grow and nourish their faith.

One of the most important elements of meditation (Christian or otherwise) is to set your intentions. Before you step into the art of yoga, pause to ask yourself why you are interested in adopting this practice. Because yoga is not an innately religious practice, the way you do it is crucial—what ideas do you plan on bringing into your meditation practice? What intentions are in your heart and your mind when you enter a quiet space and begin warming up for a yoga session?

If you fill your meditation sessions with Scripture, the Word of God, and contemplation of your own relationship with Him, you are practicing Christian meditation. In that way, yoga is just another form of prayer. Most people do not pray in exactly the same way as their friends, family, or their neighbors, but we still recognize their practice as valid and useful. If you bring Christ into your yogic practice, then you are practicing Christian yoga!

Yoga is one of the best ways to solve a problem that plagues many in the Christian community: the issue of bringing faith into everyday life. Because we have busy lives (and because most of our society is set up in a secular way), we do not have daily worship built into our schedules—many of us attend church on Sunday, and then forget to think about Jesus until the following Sunday. Adopting a daily Christian yoga practice is a way that you can set aside thirty or fifteen or even ten minutes every single day just for you and Christ.

When you engage in yoga while focusing on the Word of God, you have turned your own home into a place of worship. The physical postures and breathing exercises clear your mind and relax your body, which helps to clear away all of the usual distractions that keep us from deep focus on our own faith. For some, it can be overwhelming and uncomfortable at first—many of us are not used to self-directed worship; at church, we passively sit back and let the preacher’s words wash over us. When we engage in Christian yoga by ourselves at home, it is up to us do direct our own hearts and minds. This is a way to deepen and broaden our own spiritual fitness.

Christian yoga enables us to achieve the physical, mental, and emotional discipline necessary to not only understand the Word of God, but to live it every day of our lives. And, because we can practice yoga more regularly than we attend church, we can give ourselves daily reminders that allow us to stop, clear the slate, and refocus on faith.

In the long term, Christian yoga can make us better Christians by improving our health. A healthy mind living in a healthy body has a much greater capacity to accept the Light of the Lord than a weary mind living in a sick, tired, or sore body. Yoga teaches us to look after ourselves—after all, we are some of God’s greatest creations. In doing so, we engage with our faith more fully, and we are better able to live in a way that is guided by His Love.

The Christian Yoga Misconception

Benefits of Christian Yoga

yoga

Benefits of Christian Yoga

Yoga has its origins way back in time, yet it continues to be embraced by many people from different walks of life. Much more recently, the concept of Christian yoga has come up forming yet another platform upon which yoga is practiced. The original Yoga is a practice whose roots stem from Hinduism and which is practiced by most Eastern cultures. So what exactly is Christian Yoga? Much controversy has surrounded this concept right from the validity of its name. Despite all that, the approach to Christian yoga is one that aims to allow those practicing it to profit from the benefits of yoga while maintaining Christian principles and paradigms.

Are There Any Yoga Alternatives for Christians?           

Looking at the origin, the practice itself and the spiritual connotations linked to Yoga, the Christian is left wondering where to fit in. Fortunately, alternatives exist such as the Holy Fit Christian alternative to Yoga. The fundamental difference between this practice and that of Hindu Yoga is in the spiritual aspects of the two. While the latter draws its structure from Hinduism, Christian Yoga is basically a way of keeping fit physically, mentally and spiritually based on Christian values. This is according to scripture from the Bible whereby every Christian believer is called to honor God with their body and also pursue ‘spiritual fitness’ more than ‘bodily fitness’.

Spiritual Benefits of Christian Yoga

A typical Christian Yoga experience will leave a person spiritually refreshed which in essence is vital for the building up of the inner man. These benefits include the following:-

  • Fosters renewal of the mind through the meditation of different scriptures
  • Promotes inner calmness and builds up the inner man
  • Leads to a better relationship with God by ensuring a growing sense of connectivity with him
  • Helps to develop a sense of fulfillment
  • Fosters an attitude of positivity and gratitude

Christian Yoga for the believer enhances their relationship with God since it is a deliberate and conscious effort to meditate and get in tune with one’s spirit. By facilitating renewal of the mind through the Word of God, there is progressive positive change in the believer’s outlook of life and their thought process to reflect that which pleases God.

Enhancing Health and Physical Fitness

There are myriad physical benefits of Christian Yoga, some of which have been scientifically proven to be true while some have been documented over time as per the experiences of thousands of Yoga practitioners. Here are some of the most beneficial;-

  • Improves posture, body balance and muscle tone
  • Improves respiration by emphasizing on fuller and deeper breathing
  • Decreases levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body
  • Promotes cardiac and vascular health therefore helpful in improving symptoms of hypertension and heart disease
  • Improves sleep and enhances alertness
  • Relieves discomforts associated with menstruation, pregnancy and menopause

Christian Yoga for Better Mental Health

Not only does it promote mental soundness but also promotes emotional stability in the following ways:-

  • Enhances clarity of the mind
  • Ameliorates learning efficiency
  • Nurtures positive emotions while decreasing negative emotions
  • Improves the unpleasant symptoms of some neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Fosters a sense of well-being and builds up a stronger inner willpower and self-control.

To learn more watch this 30 Film, The Science Behind Yoga,” and “How Yoga Helps Anxiety, Depression, and Addiction. 

Rhonda conducting Holy Fit class at Be Still Retreat 2012.
Holy Fit in the Oak Park, Fall 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian yoga, christian yoga alternative, Christian alternative to yoga

 

 

 

The Christian Yoga Misconception

Seven Reasons to Start a Yoga Practice

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Seven Reasons You Should You Start a Regular Yoga Practice?

Here are 7- great reasons why!

Heard a lot about yoga but not sure of all the benefits. See below:

1.  Stress Relief.
A gentle yoga practice at the end of a stressful day is the ideal way to unwind and relieve tension from your body. This has to be the most popular reason why you start yoga. You’re life is busy and full of conflicting demands. The constant hustle and bustle of modern day life means you have trouble switching off and relaxing. The essence of yoga is to encourage you to relax, take time out of your busy schedule and be present and focus on your breath. This instantly calms your mind and relaxes your body.

2.  Back Pain Relief
Have you ever suffered back pain or experienced sore, tense muscles? Yoga exercises are designed to gently stretch your muscles, increase the range of flexibility in your joints and bring suppleness to your spine. For example, yoga poses, such as the cobra, the locust or seated forward bend, all help to soothe your aching back.

3.  Inner Peace and Calm
If you are going through an emotional crisis or recovering from a severe illness, chances are you feel unhappy and unsettled about your situation. When you feel unhappy or down, your mind is agitated and it takes longer for the body to heal. Yoga breathing exercises and meditation practices help to promote a sense of ease and calm within the body and mind.

4. Weight Loss
Yoga is the ideal exercise to encourage you to lose weight and develop positive eating habits. Yoga philosophy promotes a vegetarian diet based on natural, unprocessed foods.

In addition, yoga encourages you to be conscious of how you eat. Prior to eating, you bless your food and Give Thanks to the hands and souls who worked to grow your food and deliver it to your local supermarket. This sense of reverence and respect for what you eat and how you eat means you take time to select foods which nurture and nourish your body. Instead of mindlessly eating foods, on -the-go, or in front of the TV, from a yogic perspective, you consciously chew each morsel, the more you chew and take time to enjoy and digest your food, and the deeper is your sense of fulfillment from eating.

5.  Personal Development
Underpinning the physical aspects of yoga is a philosophy and way of living your life which guides you towards enlightenment. The ultimate goal of yoga is to unite with the divine and live a life of harmony and inner calm. The Yoga Sutras offers you a broad range of ethical and practical guidelines to living a healthy harmonious life. Many students gain inner strength, clarity and awareness of themselves through studying The Yoga Sutras

6. Energy
Have you ever felt tired and zapped of energy? Yoga exercises can be used to stimulate and energise your mind and body. Blocked energy is released through the chakras, which correspond to key nerve centres or plexuses in the body. As the blocked energy is released you feel energised and revitalised.

7. Health
Yoga offers you a truly holistic way of living your life. The physical postures promote a strong and healthy body, the philosophical guidelines offer you a simple natural way to experience life, meditation practices and breathing exercises all promote vitality and ease and comfort within your body.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you may consider practicing yoga. All reasons are valid. If you are thinking of starting yoga, take your time to find a qualified yoga teacher and enjoy your yoga journey.

Ntathu Allen, Yoga Teacher supports and encourages you to feel more relaxed and live a healthier, happier and stress-free life. And now she would like to invite you to claim your Free daily ezine copy of “Ntathu’s Yoga Tips For Better Health, Less Stress And More Relaxation” when you visit http://www.yogainspires.co.uk

(c) Copyright Ntathu Allen – All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ntathu_Allen

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2263671

secret place lifestyle center christian retreats

Does Your Group Need an Urban Retreat or Spiritual Tune-up?

Burnt out, Tired, Need Some Me Time?

If Your Group or Ministry Needs an Urban Retreat, Time-out, Spiritual Tune-up or Boot-camp? You’ve come to the right place.

secret place lifestyle center christian retreats

 

You’ve been ministering to others, now it’s time to allow us to minister to you…

At the Secret Place Lifestyle Center we can provide your group or ministry with a variety of themed based workshops and urban retreats that provide relaxation, a deeper connection to God, spiritual time-out, health and wellness, and spiritual growth.

Workshops and retreats take place at the Secret Place Lifestyle Center and can range from 3.5 hours to a full day. We can also host a workshop or presentation at your own church, conference, seminar or retreat (prices may vary).

All workshops at the center include Christian or Hatha Yoga, Meditation (Christian, passage, mantra, or centering prayer), and a practical activity or instruction for fun, relaxation, enrichment, or spiritual growth (depending upon your theme). Have a specific theme in mind, let us know and we can design workshop specifically for you.

 

Choose From the Following Themes:

 

  • Quiet Please: Creating a Daily Power Hour
    • Turn your daily devotions into a power hour that reconnects you with God and renews, refreshes, and empowers you throughout the day.

 

  • Art, Drink, and Meditation
    • While sipping healthy non-alcoholic cocktail and with soft music playing in the background, let your creative juices flow into creating your own work of art for fun and relaxation.  Add additional $10 for art supplies. No art experience necessary.

 

  • Christian Meditation & Awaking Your Inner Spirit
    • Learn what is Christian meditation and how it can deepen your relationship with God.

 

  • Christian Meditation & Stress Relief
    • Did you know that meditation is now prescribed by doctors to relieve stress and reduce the symptoms of all disease? Learn Christian meditation techniques you can incorporate daily.

 

  • Christian Yoga Basics
    • New to yoga and want to learn basic poses and breathing techniques? This class with familiarize you with the most common poses and their modifications.

 

  • Fun with Juicing and Blending
    • We’re hearing a lot about juicing and green smoothies these days. Learn juicing and blending basics as we prepare a variety of tasty, healthy, beverages. Add $10.00.

 

  • Vision Power
    • The Bibles says without a vision the people perish. You’ll create a vision for one or more areas in your life and then nurture your vision by getting rid of the mental and emotional blocks standing in the way.

 

  • Let Love In
    • Single and looking for love? Learn how you might be sabotaging your love life and participate in several activities and meditations on love to let it in.

 

  • Spiritual Journaling
    • A spiritual journal is a wonderful tool to record your inspirations, fears, and encounters with God. Learn how to create a spiritual journal and activities to heal your life.

 

  • Winning the Battle for your  Mind
    • Do you need to banish your inner critic? Negative thinking and emotions are prelevant everywhere, even in the church. Learn how to identify toxic thoughts, emotions, and limiting beliefs, and eliminate them from your life.

 

  • Pulling Down Strongholds
    • The Bibles says that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual to the pulling down of strongholds. Learn the weapons of the enemy and how to fight him with the right weapons.

 

  • God’s Original Eating Plan
    • What does the Bible have to say about the foods we eat? Learn how eating in alignment with scripture can restore your health.

 

  • Take Charge of Your Health
    • Learn tips to take charge of your health and feel better: mental, spiritual, and physically.

 

  • Total Mess to Total Rest
    • Learn tips that help you to remove the chaos from you life and walk in God’s divine balance and peace.

 

  • Girlfriend Getaway Pajama Party
    • Come to an evening of Christian or Hatha yoga, meditation, and fun and games to nurture your inner child (not board games).

 

Workshop pricing: (based on 3.5 hour workshop)

 

Participants: (base rate)

10 or less – $35 per person

11-15 – $30.00 per person

16-20 – $25.00 per person

(5 person minimum)

 

Add-ons:

Snack Pack (Green smoothie, raw nuts, and crunchy snap peas) $7.00

Catered Vegan Meal- $15.00 per person

 

Boot camps incorporate a variety of workshops over several days or week period.

 

Workshops at the Secret Place Lifestyle Center are generally held on Friday evenings or weekends.

 

For workshops longer than 3.5 hours, please add an additional $10.00 per hour to the base rate. If you are interested in hosting a weekend retreat in your area, please contact me.

 

Be sure and check out our easy fundraiser by hosting a Gentle Journey or Christian Yoga 4-Week Series at your church.

 

 

 

 

Host a Class or Workshop

Why Host a Holy Fit, Christian Yoga, or Hatha Yoga Class Series?

  • Promote health and wellness
  • Can be a great fundraiser.
  • We do all the work, you just promote.
  • Experienced and certified instructor.

 

 Six

Bring a 6 – Week Class Series at your church, organization, or business!

It’s  So Easy!

You Will:

  • Provide 1 ½ hour classroom space per week for six-week session.
  • Promote the classes to your clients or church congregation and get at least 10 people to sign up.
  • Receive a commission or flat amount of class fees.

We Will:

  • Provide an awesome workout that promotes strength, flexibility, balance, and peace of mind.
  • Collect class fees ($48 per person). Students can pay online or first day of class.
  • Provide workout materials (Attendees should bring their own yoga mats)

 Choose Between a Holy Fit, Christian Yoga, or Hatha Yoga Class.

You can choose from a Holy Fit, Gentle Journey Christian Yoga, or Hatha Yoga class.

What’s the difference?

Holy fit

Some churches and Christian believe that Christians should not practice yoga but want an alternative.  Holy Fit Classes provide that alternative with minimal references to yoga at all.  Most believers are surprised to find that a Holy Fit or Christian Yoga class just incorporates a lot of stretching, movement, and relaxation. It also allows them to just “be” and enjoy the presence of God.  Each workout begins and ends with scripture, prayer, or inspirational text.

Gentle Journey Christian Yoga

Gentle Journey Christian Yoga Classes are similar to Holy Fit except there are a few more reference to yoga. For example, we may name the yoga poses (i.e. downward facing dog or triangle pose, etc) This is helpful so that students can move into the poses without lots of verbal instructions or cues. Each workout begins and ends with scripture, prayer, or inspirational text.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is a fitness-based yoga without any religious overtones. It is the type of yoga usually practiced in gyms.   If you are a health-related business that does not cater only to Christians, this might be the best choice for you.  These classes may contain some spiritual references or inspirational text, but do not favor one religion over another.

To sign up or  learn more please contact me at 916-529-9854 or email me via the contact form.