Faith

Yogi, or Not Yogi? That is the question…  

Ugh, being convicted can be so, SO hard…especially when it involves something that you love!

You might recall that I have had some issues with my back over this past year.  (In case you missed it, you can find it here and here)

2016 was a tough one physically, for me.  Once so strong and hardcore athletic, I found myself floundering in my new injury and all of the limitations it carried with it.  I went to physical therapy a couple times, a chiropractor a couples times (multiplied by 10!), and a back specialist, but nothing seemed to help me…

Then yoga resurfaced into my life…

I’d done it over the years here and there, but starting this past Fall, I picked it up again and really became attached to it.  I was astounded by the way my back began to heal and I felt…I mean, I really and truly felt, that God had led me here to help me heal and grow strong again.

…but then it happened…

…My oldest and I were doing a Bible devotional the other night, and the topic was:  “Is it wrong for a Christian to do yoga?”

In my head, I immediately knew the answer…“Of course not!”  Now, I knew already that yoga was rooted in a religion that I did not align myself with, but I felt with all of my heart that, if I kept my head out of that end of things and just did the poses for my back, I was totally fine…

…but then, yes, the video...

It was only two minutes long, but it stuck in my head like an unwanted thorn in my side.

I couldn’t believe this guy was telling me 
that yoga was not okay for a Christian to do.  
How could something so beneficial for me 
not be something God was in agreement with?  

I tried to write the guy off, proclaiming this was a “gray area” and that if you do the poses with the right intentions in your heart for God that it was just fine….Needless to say, the devotional time with my son was a complete wash.
I’m not sure he got much out of all the confusion that ensued on my part,

 
but I’m starting to see now that 
the devotional was never meant for him. 
It was meant for me.

To backtrack, a couple of weeks prior to this devotional incident, I was starting to feel a pull from God when I was doing yoga.  It wasn’t anything huge…just a little-by-little thing.  I was doing yoga videos off of an app on my phone, but something just wasn’t right with some of the things they were saying and I could feel it.  Foolishly, I pushed on through, because I was nearly done with my session (#makingupexcuses).

Back to the video though, that thing got into my head and it just wouldn’t go.  I mean, I actually started to feel a little mad at the guy for what he’d said.

He was altering my whole plan for my back 
and, to be honest, 
I just plain love yoga!  

I always feel so great and peaceful afterwards, and it always relieves my back.

I prayed about all of this a lot, and I also went to the internet…

First I went to my trusted source…(I love Got Questions?)…
They didn’t support my cause either.

Next, I outright Googled it.  That obviously was no help.  I mean, let’s be honest, you can find support for any side of any conflict that there ever could be on Google.

Despite two strikes against me with the devotional and my trusted source, I was back to square one, still hunting for someone with Christian roots to give me that “green light” I was wanting!

Fast forward to my women’s group:  I tell my group leader the situation, complete with how it heals my back (I mean, that has to give me a pass…right?!), and asked for her input.  As it turns out, she too was very into yoga for a time but then felt convicted and quit the practice all together!

Great.

Still searching for my godly influences to throw me a bone here, I went to one final person who also agreed that any postures created to worship pagan gods were no postures for a Christian at all.

Ugh…like I said…conviction, right?  
God wasn’t letting me get away from this!

That night, I dreamed that I was searching for the answer, and I woke up this morning with my quest still fresh in my mind.

Surely Christian yoga could be my answer, right?

Wrong.
Everything just goes back to the root of the matter.  
These yoga postures were created for worship of other gods.  
There’s no way around it.  

I was being convicted…and more and more deeply by the second.

I realized that I was holding onto yoga and was shaping my perception in such a way that would allow me to keep it…
…but the kicker was this…

What if, when I got to Heaven, Jesus asked me:  
“…but why…why if you love me as much as you say you do, 
did you choose to be a part of a practice 
that does not honor or worship me at all?”  

And then I thought of my daughter…
…my sidekick both in the house and on the yoga mat.

So maybe I might not be misled amid the roots of yoga, but what about her?

What if I became the reason she pressed on with yoga even after God called her away from it…
What if I was her “green light” that told her this was the way to go?

Even if I did not follow the beliefs behind yoga, 
what if she did?  
What if I lost her to this, 
and it was because of the example I set?
 

Even the idea of this is enough to bring me to my knees.

I’ve realized, quitting yoga isn’t harmful, but sticking with it actually could be…

I don’t want to get to Heaven and have Jesus ask me 
why I had led my children down the wrong path…

I mean seriously, why would I be willing to jeopardize their faith by putting questions in their heart about what faith and loyalty to God really looks like?

How do I explain to my kids 
that sometimes it’s okay 
to intertwine themselves with things rooted in darkness?  
I mean, is that really the lesson I’m looking to give?  

How dangerous and slippery a road is that when they then take these same lessons and apply it to their own lives and their own situations!

No.  Thank.  You.

It’s not worth it.  None of it is worth it.

I have everything to gain 
by quitting yoga 
and everything to lose 
by sticking with it.

I no longer believe that God has healed my back through yoga. 
I believe that He healed my back despite it. 

I know that, in my obedience to Him, He will not leave me stranded.
He will not leave my back to suffer, but even if it does ail once more, my heart and my soul are free, and I know that I am able to be the teacher to my kids that I long to be.

They will be able to look one day at a situation they are in and hopefully apply the lessons of my choice here to whatever circumstance they find themselves to be in.  Oh yes, they might still make the wrong choice, but because of my choice here today, in regards to yoga, hopefully, just hopefully, that will anchor them in and make all the difference in the steps they take thereafter.

So now to the heart of the matter:

Yogi, or not Yogi?  
That was my question.
and NOT yogi 
has finally become my answer.

It may have seemed harmless to me on the surface, but I realize now that I had far far too much to lose by staying.

Lord Jesus, take me deeper now than I have ever been before with You.  Thank You for clearing my path and for helping me to establish the paths for my children.  Thank You for Your gentle yet powerful insistence, Holy Spirit.  Thank You for Your patience.  And thank You, Father, for loving me so much that You never leave me alone.  You surround me with Your presence in Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Thank You for Your forgiveness…for the reward I have felt since making this choice for You.  I will praise You and rejoice in Your Holy Name forever.  

In Christ’s Name, Amen.
*Featured image by Aaron Neifer

Kay Kathleen

I write about my life's core: Jesus & my faith, my family, and the struggles I have met along the way. I figure...I hope...that if exposing my life and it's lessons learned can encourage even one person, this blog and all the hours I have spent behind this computer will have been more than worth it.

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