I love yoga.
As a Christian, I’ve historically had a difficult relationship with whether or not the practice is actually “okay” for a Christian. Is it evil? Demonic?
The catalyst for me was discovering some form of Christian yoga – I don’t remember what it was. I just remember that it touted an alternative to yoga, minus the demons, that Christians could practice without fear. I bought in, paid for it, and happily got started.
Only to be disappointed.
I had done a bit of “secular” yoga and that’s all this was. Instead of calling dandasana dandasana, it was called something like “Moses’s staff.” I think worship music may have been playing in the background. The instructor gave very little instruction, instead reading off unrelated scriptures while she moved.
I asked for my money back and went to YouTube instead. There, I carried on with my first yoga love, Yoga with Adriene. What I really appreciated (and still appreciate!) about Adriene is her encouragement to take what works and leave the rest. So, if on occasion she says something that doesn’t line up with my personal beliefs, I just tuck that away somewhere to reflect on later (I think being aware of why you believe what you believe versus what someone else believes is so important) and move along. For the most part, she’s just funny and cheerful and encouraging. And a wonderful teacher. Once I became pretty familiar with most standard poses and could move from one to the next without staring at the video, I started venturing out a bit to other YouTube yoga teachers. Adriene is, in my opinion, unique in her awesomeness, but I was able to stumble upon a few Christian yoga instructors who seem to better merge what they’re doing with their beliefs. Offering scripture meditations along the lines of lectio divina, introducing examen into night routines, reading a passage to reflect on or use as a mantra throughout a practice – all of these things, combined with use of actual yoga terms and actual yoga instruction served to make this exploration of Christian yoga much more fruitful.
And so, a few years into regular practice, I’m still working to make it a routine. My goal is always to do at least a little bit of yoga before I go to work each day, plus more later in the day. If I’ve done some other exercise that day (read: I walked), I make it a quick stretch before bed. If I haven’t, I may do a more intense practice in the afternoon after work. But, at the very least, I try to get in 5-10 minutes in the morning. It makes a world of difference! My body is less tight, my breathing comes easier and I feel more present and prepared for a day of unpredictability. Infusing my morning with scripture and movement has proven to be the catalyst for my good days versus my bad days.
But teachers are busy! We have to get to work so early! We don’t have time for morning yoga! I totally get it. I’m perpetually late, a natural night owl, and a chronic snooze button pusher. I get it, really. So, I devised a playlist of videos just for mornings and I’ve included enough variety to hit everything from the super super fast to the weekend and from easy and gentle to a bit more blood pumping. I’ve also divided them into Christian videos and “regular” videos – because I know sometimes I need an explicit Word and sometimes I just need to get moving. You can see the collection of those videos below!
Enjoy the breakdown and hop on your mat! You’ll feel better for it!
Gentle, 10 Minutes or Less | Christian Yoga
Upbeat, 10 Minutes or Less | Christian Yoga
Gentle, 10 Minutes or Less | Regular Yoga
Upbeat, 10 Minutes or Less | Regular Yoga
Gentle, 15-20 Minute | Christian Yoga
Upbeat, 15-20 Minute | Christian Yoga
Gentle, 15-20 Minute | Regular Yoga
Upbeat, 15-20 Minute | Regular Yoga
Gentle, 20+ Minutes | Christian Yoga
Upbeat, 20+ Minutes | Christian Yoga
Gentle, 20+ Minutes | Regular Yoga
Upbeat, 20+ Minutes | Regular Yoga
- just a note: this one (Yoga for the Spine – YWA) is my favorite practice EVER!