I have never been a “bendy” person.
I am a firm believer in Proverbs 28:1 which says “the wicked run when no one is chasing them”.
With a pile of health and chronic pain issues, fitness was something that probably should have been in my life – but was also something that simply terrified me. I feared the physical pain. I feared people seeing me at a vulnerable place. I feared failure.
The honest truth . . . there was an empty space in me – and I was avoiding it at all cost.
I was helping my writer friend, Susan, with her website a couple of years ago and stumbled upon this thing she was doing called Holy Yoga. As I read more about this on her blog I couldn’t help but be curious. My doctors had told me for years to try yoga but I just couldn’t get into it. So I never tried.
After learning about Holy Yoga I was really curious if this was something I could get into. I searched for instructors in our area so I could go try a class but unfortunately the closest class was over an hour away.
Susan encouraged me to look into the instructor training program for Holy Yoga and I promptly informed her that I was not a “yoga-body”. I had no desire to be a yoga teacher. I had no desire to add another activity to my already over-packed calendar. I simply wanted to go to a class and have someone teach me how to do this yoga thing. And the added bonus of having some “Jesus time” was just what I needed. Susan just kept telling me, “Jen, it isn’t about the yoga. It’s about Jesus.” I knew what she was saying but . . . it is kind of about the yoga right?
Holy Yoga embraces the essential elements of yoga: breath work, meditation and physical postures. In all of these elements, Christ is the focus of intention and worship. Holy Yoga practitioners believe that in a broken and hurting world, everyone deserves a place to belong.
For almost two years I tried to convince all my “bendy” and fit friends to become Holy Yoga instructors so I could take their classes. Surely they would be a better candidate than I. No one took the bait.
Finally, one day my sweet husband looked at me and with the wisest of smiles asked me if I had considered this yoga thing wasn’t going away because, just maybe, it was a path God wanted me to journey down.
I began to pray and seek God. Nothing about becoming a yoga instructor made sense in my life. I already felt overwhelmed with kids and health struggles, surely God wasn’t putting something else on my plate right?
After prayer and lots of conversations with my friend and my husband I took a huge leap and signed up for the training. In the months that followed it became so clear that this was exactly where God wanted me to be. The first part of the training was live classes online and it felt like I was discovering God in a whole new and much deeper way. Scripture came alive to me in a way it had not done before.
For the first time in my life I found stillness.
In short moments in my week I was becoming still enough to not just read the Bible, but to really meditate on it – to be still enough, and quiet enough to actually wait and listen for what Jesus wanted to show me in that Scripture.
It’s hard. To be still.
As women and as moms we rarely make the time. And even when we do, our to-do lists and worries pile up and run rampant through our minds. For the first time, I was connecting with God in an amazing way and with that came all the physical and mental benefits that yoga brings.
After months of being taught online, it was time to complete the second half of my training and certification – and the part that simply terrified me!
A week-long retreat with 200 men and women that were way more “bendy” than me. You can read more about that retreat over here.
The interesting thing about this calling is that I know without doubt that God has called me to it. And in the same breath I have zero idea what in the world He wants to do with it! I am in such a busy season of life and struggling to keep my priorities of being a mom and wife in order. It seems almost comical to add something like this to the mix. And yet, Holy Yoga is bringing such peace and calm to my soul. It is connecting me to Christ in such a deep and intimate way.
For all the reasons I know it’s the wrong timing, I also know it is absolutely the perfect timing. His timing is always perfect.
As I am just starting in the world of being a yoga teacher, my plan is to teach a few classes a week both in person and via Zoom so that everyone can be a part no matter where you are located. As the last few months have come and gone I am starting to see bits and pieces of God’s plan for this in my life long term. I am starting to dream about the possibilities and the impact this can and will have.
And that is so exciting!
Want to join in? Find out more about Holy Yoga with Jen click here and see how you can join a class soon!