11 January 2012

Christians in Vancouver Embrace Yoga

We stand on the edge of a new day. Let me tell you how we’re stepping across the threshold here in Vancouver.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul paraphrases Isaiah 52:7 saying “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

It’s a wonderful summary for the vision behind this yoga ministry that blends together the art of Christian storytelling and reflection (the “good news”) with the beauty and wisdom of the body (from the head all the way down to the feet).

Practicing yoga in this ministry context helps both introverts and extroverts become centered and grounded, to grow in awareness of their own bodies and thoughts and emotions. Yoga helps people to listen. So when a story or reflection is offered and then you’re invited to breathe and move with the spirit of that story flowing through you – the message then isn’t just heard, it’s embodied. You soak the good news even into you bones. The word literally becomes flesh and lives among us.

A good story, as Jesus demonstrated, can be told anywhere: on mountains, in boats, in the desert, in homes or gardens or even in tombs. The same goes for yoga. It can be happen anywhere your feet can take you. You could practice in your home, your church, an office, outside by the beach, or in the grass. All you need is a bit of level ground. This yoga ministry is thus sustainable and it’s available for everyone – no matter your age, physical abilities, or background – if you can breathe you can do yoga.

In Sanskrit the word yoga literally means “yoke” – so yoga is about yoking together the mind and body, yoking together one person to another, yoking together one’s soul with God. I believe people are yearning for forms of ministry that take into account this kind of yoking together of things that are often separated – so ministries that can yoke rich tradition with modern sensibilities, ministries that can yoke the physical with the spiritual, ministries that can yoke the personal (going inward) with the communal (looking outward).

So, this is just one of the ways that we are physically and spiritually stepping across the threshold here in Vancouver to create ministries that can meet people right where they are.

I hope to see you on the mat.

Namaste~

Bethel Lee

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