Christian Spiritual Disciplines and Yoga
“God does not make all the moves for us. He provides the means to discipline. Will discipline, then, save us? No, it is Christ who saves us. We need to be very clear about this. From the earliest days of Christianity people have fallen into the error of thinking of discipline as the means to salvation. Salvation is a gift, purely a gift, forever a gift. It is grace and nothing else that obtains it for us. Discipline is not my claim on Christ, but the evidence of His claim on me.” Elisabeth Elliot
To my fellow artists, dancers, dreamers, pilgrims, seekers, & yogis...
I am super exited to teach my first Holy Yoga Slow Flow series as we dive into the topic of spiritual disciplines. The desire to teach this series has been on my heart for quite some time and I thought I’d share with you the why behind the what.
For those who may not know me, I am the youngest of four kids and grew up in Frisco as a pastor’s kid, including a Christian private school education. I grew up in a Gospel-centered home, but at a young age I began defining my walk with Christ as a list of rules. This turned into judgmental patterns of self-righteousness and shameful feelings of defeat because I couldn’t match up to the “perfect Christian”. Though a believer in Jesus, I was confused and couldn’t quite comprehend how we respond to His gracious love as new creations, saved by grace. When I was seventeen, Jesus Christ opened my eyes to the fullness of His grace. Since, I have been on a sanctifying journey with Him as He continues redeeming what I thought was Christianity. Part of this journey includes the Holy Spirit transforming the way I approach spiritual disciplines.
About one year ago I was finishing up 500 hours of instructor training. For my final project, the Holy Spirit sparked something in my soul interweaving creative expression, spiritual disciplines, and yoga poses.
“Really Lord? spiritual disciplines? Isn’t that something that I struggle with day in and day out? Don’t You know that I view disciplines as legalistic? Don’t You know that spiritual disciplines fill my heart with fear because of the dark days when I lived life with a Pharisee-like heart? Don’t You know how my stomach churns when I think back to how I lived life not quite understanding Your gracious love?”
As I questioned the Lord in doubt, He brought peace to my soul. Just like in Holy Yoga, Jesus redeems the negative connotations of yoga, the Lord is redeeming my misunderstanding of spiritual disciplines.
In all honesty, many days I still feel like a broken little girl, lost in a world of voices. I am sometimes teary- eyed, confused, and insecure. Nevertheless, praise God that I also I come before you as a new creation, with a heart that is being pieced back together day by day by the Lover of our souls. Today, I view spiritual disciplines as tools, resources, and weapons with which the Holy Spirit uses on my daily road of sanctification. As you partake in this series, I pray you are inspired, challenged, and ultimately enlightened even more so regarding the freedom the Lord gives to us. Remember, Jesus Christ has freed you from all condemnation (Romans 8:1). Life as a follower of Jesus overflows in intimacy with the author and perfecter of our faith who is rich in both grace and truth. And I pray the Holy Spirit reveals more of Himself to you, redeeming the places where the wounds cut deep... “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the
riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19
Hugs, Naomi Rose