We all need something to believe in, may it be a dictum, a set of beliefs, a deity or a God, and that faith we have in them will be something that we can use as basis for how we live our lives.
For example, in the most extreme interpretation of ‘Thou shall not kill,’ in a certain religion, all living things have life and therefore killing them for consumption or food is against what they believe in.
In the Eastern traditions, worshipping animals are part of their belief system and this would mean celebrating their presence in their lives as a living example of how this animal give them protection and blessings.
On the other hand, Christianity is one of the oldest living faith system. It believes in God, Son and Holy Spirit; and how humanity was saved by the son of God, Jesus. The Christian faith have taken on many forms and groups; and there are Baptists, Protestants, Presbyterians, Catholics, Born Again and many more, ranging from the most conservative to the most liberal.
Christianity teaches that God is the maker and saviour of all men and to worship God is to do so in prayer and in celebration with Him. The bible is also the most revered book for the Christian faith and one that they follow as a way of life. Yoga on the other hand belongs to the eastern tradition and does not really believe in a God, but of the union of the mind, body and spirit to attain peace and happiness. It is therefore a curious thing that there is a relatively new faith-based group known as Christian yoga.
Everything you need to know about Christian yoga
Christian yoga was borne out of the message of the Holy Spirit to its founder Michelle Thielen who is aptly called the yoga pastor. She have had extensive training in yoga and also lived as a yogi and have used her yoga practice to help people achieve healing from trauma, abuse, and other difficult circumstances.
She had been teaching dance and somatic therapy to many victims of abuse and trafficking over the years. As a devout Christian, she also believes that living a life that is in accordance with the God’s teachings and the Bible is the best way to serve the Lord. Thus, in her annual fasts, the Holy Spirit came to her and led her to the message of combining her Christian faith with yoga, as yoga is the best vehicle in which to praise and worship God and to be able to communicate deeply with God in prayer.
With this revelation, the founder begun working on a set of principles to guide this new endeavour in the hope of bringing more people to know God and be able to provide them with the most effective means of worshipping God and praying to Him. Since she had been a practising yogi, it was not difficult for her to see that yoga is an effective means of bringing people closer to God, since it does not go against the Christian faith, rather it complements it well.
Yoga believes in the union of the energy of the mind and body, which results to the enlightenment of the soul or spirit and the Christian faith also believes that the mind is merely a vessel of the spirit and in this level, one can commune with God.
In order to bring this idea to the public, Christian Yoga needed teachers who will be able to provide students with an experience of the Christian way in their practice of yoga. Yoga is fairly popular as a fitness and relaxation activity and many are regularly going into yoga classes at least twice a week. Christian yoga sees this as an opportunity to spread the word of God, by teaching them the Christian Yoga way, they are also serving the Lord.
Want to learn Christian yoga?
If you want to learn more about Christian yoga, the best way to do that is to find a Christian yoga class near you and enrol to the class, and experience it for yourself. You can go in as a student at first, and learn everything you can, and you might not expect to find that being a Christian and practising yoga actually makes sense.
At the very least, Christian yoga wants to teach you how to worship God through your body and mind, and to be able to build a personal relationship with God, as well as learn more about the Christian way of life through the Bible.
Also, you get to do yoga which might very well help you relax, meditate and focus on your mind and body, and hopefully touch your soul. If as a student you come to embrace the Christian yoga way and wants to contribute to the attainment of its mission and goals, then you need to become a Christian yoga teacher.
Be a Christian yoga teacher
Christian yoga offers a number of trainings that you can enrol in to teach you how to become an instructor. You can choose from the beginners’ classes which is either a 100 or 200 hours class, and you can do it in the comfort of your home wherever in the world you may be. The 200-hour class has an in-person training component to it, so you need to train under a certified teacher in your locality.
Then, if you want to improve your skills, there are masters’ classes that you can choose from, the 300 and 500 hours training class. You can only enrol in these classes if you have completed at least 200 hours of basic training. The masters’ class are both done online and in-person and there are special classes in both which you can choose from such as drug abuse, trauma, mental health and many more.
Even with the basic training, you can become certified and start to accept students. It can become your life’s work and more, so it will give you purpose and direction. There is no better career to take than to be able to serve God and bring people closer to Him. In any way, Christian Yoga will change your life, and you will be happy you did.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.