It all started when...
Like so many people I have always believed in God. I was raised in a Christian home, I went to church, and I prayed. I even gave my life to him on Good Friday in 2004, but what I had not realized until moving to Arizona in 2008 and joining the Church at Sun Valley is that I did not have a personal Relationship with God. I was not planting any seeds in His name, therefore my harvest was scanty.
For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a huge Football fan and I am passionate about Yoga. Well, it was a Saturday in August 2008 and I was watching the Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony on TV when it struck me that almost every one of the men that stepped to the podium to accept their award thanked God publicly for all he had done in their lives, and each one insisted that their years in football, and the excellence they had achieved did not define them. It was their love for God and their service to Him that defined them. As I listened to each one, my heart began to throb as I marveled at their boldness. By the end of the ceremony I was convinced that I wanted what they had. I wanted to be able to stand boldly and profess my love for Jesus and tell everyone that He defined me. That Sunday after Church I went up to Ray (our pastor) and I simply said to him, I am ready. The next day I rededicated my life to God, and I started the Discipleship program with Ray.
It was that October at our very first Women’s dinner that the speaker shared her testimony with us, and she told us that she had prayed to God to use her. I began to feel the same familiar throbbing in my heart that I had felt that Saturday in August. That night as I lay in bed I prayed to God to use me. I tried to be bold in my heart, but I was scared. What if he called me to do something I could not do? What if I failed? Even though my mind had doubts, my heart just kept praying, “Use Me Lord, Use Me.”
At this time, I had been practicing yoga on and off for about 3 years. My dream was to become a yoga instructor, but I never thought I was good enough, nor did I think I could afford the time or the money to go away to school to be trained. So, I resolved to practice when I could, and to read the yoga journal as much as I could, but truthfully, I was not committed and I was not doing either very well.
It was January 17th 2009 to be exact, and I did not meet with Ray that Monday for my discipleship class so I sat on my back patio reading my bible, praying and reading the next chapter in Discipleship Mentoring 101. At the end of my study I took up the first Yoga Journal magazine I had reached for in months and started flipping through the pages. I noticed a section on teacher training, and Arizona was the first state listed in the directory. That familiar throbbing began in my heart again. As I looked at the names of the schools listed in Arizona a caption jumped out at me. It read, “Do you love Jesus? Do you love yoga?” I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had NEVER heard of Christian Yoga before so I ran inside and I dialed the number. I spoke to a wonderful woman who was to become my instructor, and I told her my story. She assured me that even if I had never done a yoga posture in my life she would train me, and the difference between Christ-centered yoga and secular yoga is that our intention as we practice is to worship Christ. He would always be at the center of our practice.
The tears rolled down my face as I realized that God had heard my prayer that night in October, He knew my heart, and He was going to Use me. He was going to allow me to plant seeds in His garden. He was going to entrust me with His ministry – a ministry named Yoga for the Soul.
I completed my training at Yahweh Yoga in Chandler Arizona, and I began teaching Christ- centered Yoga in my neighborhood on May 5, 2009. The scripture that guides me and guides Yoga for the Soul is Psalm 37 verse 5
“Commit everything you do to the Lord, Trust Him and He will help you”.
If you ever have the opportunity to speak with anyone who has ever taken a Yoga for the Soul class, they will attest that when we meet it is a time to Praise, Pray and Practice. Yoga for the Soul provides women and men with a place and a time to lay on their mats and surrender their hearts to Jesus. I will share a few of their comments which have allowed me to see the fruit this ministry continues to harvest:
“I felt like I was on a spiritual high with only Jesus and me.”
“The mat and I had a glorious time with God.”
“I felt as if it was just the Lord and I, such as in my personal bible study time with him”
“It gives me the opportunity to let go of all the stress in my life and replace it with a feeling of being uplifted and renewed. It gives me another opportunity to be spiritually closer with Christ.”
These are just a few of the comments that members have written on the web site or shared with me personally; And each time I hear another praise report I am in awe of God and I thank him for using this non traditional form of worship, to glorify His name.
Friends, I am humbled as I realize that I am sharing my story with you publicly. I am humbled as I realize God has given me the same boldness I witnessed that August day when those football inductees stood up and said He defined them, not football. As I grow in my faith and I continue my spiritual journey I am learning how God defines me. He can use every one of us to plant seeds in His garden regardless of our talent. We just have to Ask Him and we just have to Trust him. He has taught me that when I Commit every thing to him and Trust him, He will bless me to be a part of His fruitful harvest.