Reflections on my Holy Yoga Re-retreat….
Leaving the Corner of the Pasture
I am one blessed woman!
I’m still feeling the warm glow of a joyous weekend in the company of my Holy Yoga family. We gathered at a retreat center in rural Minnesota for lots of Holy Yoga, Bible study and fellowship and it was just what I needed.
For new readers of A Vintage Farmwife who are wondering what Holy Yoga is and how could yoga be holy, here is a quick explanation taken directly from the official Holy Yoga Facebook page….
Holy Yoga is an experiential worship created to deepen people’s connection to Christ. Our sole purpose is to facilitate a Christ honoring experience that offers an opportunity for believers and non-believers alike to authentically connect to God through His Word, worship and wellness.
A room full of people moving in sequence as they pray and worship is a BEAUTIFUL SIGHT to behold. And so much fun to be a part of! Teaching Holy Yoga in our little community has been such a privilege and I have even had the opportunity to lead many women in the surrounding area in this beautiful practice.
However, I have missed being a participant in a class that I had no responsibility in preparing or leading, so I was OVERDUE for an inoculation of love and freedom and acceptance from my tribe of fierce “elephant princesses”.
Did you know that when an elephant gives birth, the females of the herd surround her, providing protection during this vulnerable time? I’m just crazy about this photo by David Yarrow .
Young elephants, teen age elephants, middle age elephants and older elephants are all included. This reminds and reassures me that women of all ages NEED one another, just like the Bible says. We need to be included and to include others in our communities.
As believers, the Holy Spirit is constantly “birthing” new things in us …. more love, more joy, more peace, more patience, more self control, more kindness, more gentleness, more faithfulness. The Spirit produces the fruit, but we have a role in it too, and often times the harvest comes with birthing pains. We need people to surround us and encourage us and stand guard while the hard work is taking place.
And CELEBRATE with us when we are on the other side!
God has used Holy Yoga to illustrate a super-supportive community to me. It’s a community I desire to replicate for ALL women who may never have experienced being truly welcomed and celebrated and included without reservation.
I can be a slow learner though, so I need to RETURN to experience it for myself every whipstitch.
Holy Yoga instructors NEED a chance to come together for a weekend just for themselves to be loved on and poured into. Thank you, re-retreat planning team!
Sealing in the goodness happens for me through words, so I’m going to share with you a bit of what I learned….
I LOVE Psalm 23 and the whole idea that we are being gently and carefully tended to by the BEST SHEPHERD ever. Sometimes, however, my “pasture” gets very small and I put myself in a pen in the corner. Re-retreat reminded me that I am FREE to wander and enjoy wherever Father leads me. I need to move bravely and joyfully, partaking of ALL of HIS GOODNESS for me. I don’t think I have to travel to do it either; I need to LOOK UP and SEE the people and places right before me. (But if HE wants to show me everywhere, I’m game!)
My immediate reaction to the first “RE” word of the weekend was a bit negative (I want to keep moving forward, after all, no need to keep excavating junk I’ve already dealt with. What fun is that? Ouch.) until Amanda shared this definition…”to give back to the owner.” Now, that is a definition that resonated with me.
For the first time, I took the summer off from teaching Holy Yoga, which was kind of scary for me. What if no one comes back to my classes? Amanda’s teaching confirmed that I needed a break to return to my own yoga mat to let Holy Spirit love on me without thinking about how I was going to teach others. God will take care of my classes!
Amy led us in a beautiful practice of remembering things that bring us joy. She encouraged us to determine what we need each day physically, emotionally, and spiritually in order to be healthy and joyful. For me, I MUST spend time in the word, go for a walk or practice Holy Yoga, and do something creative. I am very intentional about my quiet time, and generally do something physical, but I’ve only allowed myself time to play and develop my creative self as an after thought. My routines are about to change! Amy said I could.
Oh my, this one stepped on my toes. Alignment is a HUGE component of Holy Yoga. In order to optimally do the poses, the body must be in alignment, but it is easy to get lackadaisical and just hang out in the postures.
Do you see the parallel to our Christian life? Laura shared with us 4 ways we get out of alignment spiritually, but I’m only sharing one: “Busy” ness, defined as “lively but meaningless activity”. Goodness.
Do you know anyone who isn’t constantly complaining/bragging about how “busy” they are? I could do an entire blogpost giving myself a talking to about that one. My constant question….Am I willing to realize when I am not aligned with God, or am I determined to keep doing things my way, veering a little off course as time passes until I wake up and find myself in left field somewhere?
Replenish and Recharge.
Kathi, my joyful hippy friend, urged us to take care of our hearts, to keep our energy and vibration high by being constantly connected to the source of LIGHT, Jesus. In the tumultuous world we live in with an eclipse, earthquake, fires, droughts, and 2 hurricanes in just the last few weeks, staying upbeat and unflustered has to be a choice. We need to keep coming to the well to receive our supply of Living Water so we can splash our excess on a hurting world.
As believers, we are to pray without ceasing….that will keep us connected, right? I’d love for this simple prayer Kathi shared with us to be constantly going on behind the scenes of my day to day life:
Conventional Wisdom spouts off about the failings of the millennial generation, but to that, I say, “Phooey!” The young women in Holy Yoga are rocking it and SOLD OUT for Jesus. I’m blown away by their prayers, savvy social media skills, and teaching ability. Amy Chapoton led us in guided meditations each morning and it was amazing. She produces a new podcast meditation each week, and you can sign up to receive them, Cultivate Connection. I dare you to do it!
Our time wasn’t only quiet and zen and reflective!
Trust me, there was also lots of laughter, hugs, sharing of stories, crafting, napping, new-friend making, and good food. My intention was to have a conversation with each person there, learning how God was moving in her life. I’m trying to be more cognizant and thankful for God’s divine timing, for my highest good and for everyone I meet.
Oh my, people, God is on the MOVE. Many states and even Canada were represented at re-retreat and it was INSPIRING to hear what my sisters are up to all over the place. It was an honor to listen!
I’m all fired up to start teaching my classes again and to see what the Lord has for us this year. He died on the cross and rose again so that we could live an ABUNDANT LIFE. Let’s do it!
You can read more about my Holy Yoga Journey:
Friends, now it is YOUR turn! What are you doing to retreat, return, remember, realign, reflect and replenish ? Please share in the comments!
Thank you to the sweet friends who let me use their photos in this post especially Amy Chapoton.