Saturday, October 31, 2015

Windy afternoons

I watched gymnastics all morning (including the crazy 4-way tie for first on the bars) and took yoga and went grocery shopping at noontime. Then I made a batch of pumpkin chili and some cornbread muffins. And now I'm binge watching Netflix and waiting for trick or treaters. 

Dear Pastor John (Everything)

This summer, John Piper answered a reader/listener question about yoga and the Christian life. I was appalled at not only his judgmental and ignorant response, but also those of his followers. I was offended at being told that I was pursuing minimal holiness by practicing yoga, and wanted desperately to sit down with him and tell him my story. I spent this whole month intentionally tracking my yoga practice and my Christian faith, and I have written Pastor John a letter. It is a direct response to his Ask Pastor John Podcast "Is Yoga Sinful?"

I thought it would be appropriate to share the letter as my last write 31 days post this year. I am so grateful to have been able to share my heart, my practice, and my faith over this month, and I hope you enjoy the letter.

Dear Pastor John,

First off, I would like to thank you for your dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for your preaching, writing, speaking, and online ministry. You have been behind the production of invaluable resources for the modern church and have helped countless individuals, churches, and ministries grow in their faith and Christian maturity.

That being said, in an “Ask Pastor John” podcast this summer, you answered a question as to whether or not yoga is sinful. As a nearly life long Christian who has been practicing yoga daily for just about ten months now, I was offended by the under-researched and judgmental response you gave. You, by your own admission, know little about yoga and have done little research, and based on the podcast, I can only assume you have never actually done yoga, much less dedicated yourself to a consistent practice. On the other hand, I wrestled with the issue for several years before finally taking a class in January of this year. I continued to study the Bible and seek the Lord in prayer before landing where I am today: Yoga is extraordinary beneficial to my pursuit of knowledge of and relationship with Jesus Christ my Savior.

I would like to answer the questions you provided as they relate to my practice of yoga and my faith in the God of the Bible. In your podcast, you challenged Christians not to ask, “What is wrong with it?, but rather:

“Will it make me more Christ like?” Compassionate. Self-Sacrificing. Others-centered. Loving. Peaceful. Forgiving. Dependent on God the Father. When I think of what it means to be like Jesus, these are just a few of the things that come to mind. I take a yoga class every day, if not more. I quiet my busy mind down, and I move my body into the poses most people think of when they think of yoga.  Sitting, stretching, moving and breathing, helps me ground myself down. Often, I set an intention, or as you put it in your podcast, a “mantra”. It is almost always a verse or an attribute of God. Sometimes it is one of the words or phrases I listed above, or a reflection thereof. Christian meditation is a respected spiritual discipline; why can’t it be a moving meditation? Why can’t I do Humble Warrior and remember the One who “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8)? Why is it a minimalist pursuit of holiness for me to rest in child’s pose and feel my stress and anxiety melt away, as Christ taught in Luke 12? And why is it so wrong for me to find comfort in deep hip openers and lean into the God who “leads me beside still waters” and “restores my soul” (Psalm 23). I finish class in savasana, corpse pose, the final resting posture and remember the God who rested, following the command, “Whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:19).

“Will it make me more devoted to Jesus?” The short answer is of course, yes. Yoga makes me so thankful for my salvation, for my life, for every breath. It shows me who I am, and when I see who I am, poor and needy, I see the tremendous gift I have in Jesus that much more clearly. Paul preached in Athens, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:24-25). I fully believe that when a Christian knows what he has received in the gospel, he is empowered by the Holy Spirit to serve the God who saved him with a beautiful, profound zeal. I often leave class singing the hymn, “My Jesus I Love Thee”, because my practice helps me to love Jesus more today than I did the day before.

“Will I be more powerful and full of the Holy Spirit?” To be honest, I am not entirely clear as to what this question means. If you are in Christ, you have full and unfettered access to God by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you. I don’t understand how it can be any more or any less than that. The Holy Spirit bears witness to Jesus (John 15:26), and anything that guides me into the presence of God is evidence, to me, of His work in my heart. And yes, yoga does that for me.

“Will I be more effective in prayer because of it?” Sometimes, when it is time for class, I am tired and I’m not sure I feel like practicing that day. But I have never regretted going to my mat. I always come away feel more alive, more full, and more grateful. This has encouraged my prayer life in ways I never expected. Although I love prayer, believe in its power, and practice it regularly, I am human. It is not always my first response, and is not always what I feel like doing in the moment. But I know for a fact that God honors obedience. He delights to hear from us. And I have found that my prayer life is strengthened as I pursue the Lord with a clear heart and sound mind, something I gain from yoga.

“Will it make me more bold in witness or weaken me?” I believe it is now appropriate to say that I live in Seattle. Seattle is one of the most unchurched cities in North America. The pastor of my local church once listed a number of statistics that help demonstrate how Seattle is not unlike Nineveh as he preached what it means to bring the gospel to the city. My church has encouraged and empowered me to meet my city with deep love, compassion, and the glory of the gospel. In order to love my city, I have to actually be part of it. In order to be a witness for Jesus, I have to go where Christ is not known. Why can’t that be a yoga studio? My pastor often says that each of us have people in our lives that we can witness to that he can’t reach. Jesus met me when I was not at all worthy of Him. There are millions of ways to bring that gift to others, and one of them might just be through the community that forms at a yoga studio, where people watch each other struggle and rejoice and learn new things every day.

“Will it help me be spiritually discerning of the ways of Satan in the world and will it help me lay up treasures in heaven?” Anything that shows you who God is will also show you who God is not. By seeing Jesus clearly, you also see Satan clearly. My next response will delve into more detail as to how yoga helps reveal God to me, but suffice it for now to say that a biblical worldview is honed with practice. There are times when an instructor might say something that directly conflicts with Scripture. But the more I meet the Jesus who loved the world, the forces organized against Him, that He died to redeem them, the more I want to live in this world, pointing to Him. I immerse myself in the joys of memorizing the Word of God and I am able to meditate on them as I move and breath and live the beautiful life I have in Jesus, free forever from the prince of this world.

“Will it help me find joy in God and all that he is for me in Jesus?” I have tears in my eyes as I read this question; because I know how precious my Jesus is to me, and how that preciousness has only been strengthened through my practice of yoga. I recently completed an online blog challenge called Write 31 Days, where writers make the commitment to write on a topic of their choice for 31 days. I wrote on how I pursue God in my practice of yoga. The following is an excerpt from that series, demonstrating how God chose to heal me of my eating disorder once and for all by meeting me on a yoga mat.

“For whatever reason, as I sat in my fourth class of the day, I remembered back to a few months ago, when I realized that when I was in class, on my mat, all my eating disorder thoughts just stopped. I was finally able to be still and meditate on God's faithfulness, His truth, His trustworthiness, His grace, His light, His greatness, His satisfaction. That's the whole reason I started taking class more than once a day - because Jesus met me on my mat, and it was there He chose to loose my chains and set this captive free. It's now been just over two months since I've had an ED thought or behavior. I am finally starting to believe that I can be free of him FOREVER. And that's the most precious thing in the world to me, to know that when the Son of man sets me free, I am free indeed (John 8:38). And although I pray that ED and I are done for good, I also pray that I never forget what it was like to be enslaved. Because remembering my deep captivity reminds me of the even greater Savior who rescued me.”

If you have not had an eating disorder, you simply do not know what it is like. You don’t have time to love your neighbor when you are working out five or six times a day on an apple and a dozen cups of coffee. Your prayer life is not strong when all you can hear are the lies of the enemy, deep, dark and relentless. When you spend hours in any given day deliberating how many bites of a cupcake you might be able to take and how long you will have to run to make up for it or how hard it might be to throw it up, you don’t have a lot of time to follow John Owen’s advice to “Think greatly of the greatness of God” (The Glory of Christ). God used yoga to show me Himself as the Creator of my body, the sustainer of my life, the fullness of my joy, the light of my world, the bread and water to my hungry and thirsty soul, and has shown me that I was made for more than disordered eating and compulsive exercise. I was made in His image, to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. I am forever His, and nothing can separate me from His love in Christ Jesus.

I have seen yoga only enhance my pursuit of personal holiness and add vibrancy, depth and maturity to my relationship with Jesus. I have always held my practice with open hands, grateful for the gift that it is, and constantly checking myself to see if it is something that is distracting me from authentic, biblical spirituality and needs to be surrendered. Today, I praise Jesus for His rescue of my soul, and for drawing me deeper into His presence through the practice of yoga. I understand that yoga may not be for every Christian, but for me, it is as much of a spiritual practice as singing worship songs on my guitar or writing my reflections on my daily Bible reading. It shows me beautiful things about my Jesus and myself and helps me lean on Him and grow in my faith every day. I have no idea how any of this demonstrates a minimalist approach to holiness, and I hope that this letter broadens your perspective as to how the Lord can work in the life of the believer.

Grace to you,
Kate Finman

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bad jokes

My roommate Jordan got fired from our workplace. So I went as her for Halloweeen...depending on who asked, I just said I was a runner 

Too soon? 

Life, Breath, Breath

10/29 7:45pm power w/Josh

Life. Tonight, encouraged by Thang's help in dancer/candy cane, and Whitney's bikram class today, I put more trust in my body and my postures. I let myself look back more, kick a little harder, move a little closer. In crescent moon, I cactused my arms and actually let my head drop back. I saw the back wall and then my back foot. It felt insane, and a little disorienting. But I breathe into it and realized how freeing it can be to let life happen around me as I hold still. In that bend, I wasn't worried about where I was going or what might be coming next; I just trusted that right now held all I needed to be. Beloved, did you know that right now, God loves you? Did you know that He is bringing a good work to completion in you? (Philippians 1:6). Did you know that He has had all your days written from the foundations of the earth? (Psalm 139:16). What then do you have left to worry about? What is there to fear? Jesus upholds the entire universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). Will He not also uphold your very life? 

10/30 6am power w/ Josh 

Breath. Focusing on breath really does make a difference in my practice. I would feel myself wandering, but when I remembered "breath", I came right back. Breath and life are so linked - without breath there would be no life. We can manipulate our breath but if we stopped altogether, we couldn't live. Breath is also one of God's first, most intimate connections to mankind; He breathed Adam out of the dust. At our very core, we are made from the breath of God. And through the Bible, His very word, He continues to breathe life into us every day we live in Him. 

Thus says the Lord God to these bones: behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 
Ezekiel 37:5-6 

10/30 noon series 48 w/Whitney at District 

Breath. I'll say it again: my mind is blown by what happens through bikram postures and sequencing. I'm exploring new movements in my body and constantly being surprised by myself and those around me. In bikram, there are two really weird breathing exercises but beyond that there's no focus on the breath. It's so different from vinyasa in that way. But as I said above, if you don't breathe, you don't have life. So as I sat in the hot room, in uncomfortable  places, I breathed into the space and remembered the Giver of that breath. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ready for bed head

Sometimes you shower and your hair is all wet and you're ready for bed and you remember you haven't don't a handstand yet. I was really tempted to take it in just my underwear and topless because putting on appropriate attire seemed too hard but since I'm sharing them online I figured I could put an ounce of clothing on. You're welcome. 

Concentration, Lay It Down, Life

10/28 7:45pm power w/Thang

Concentration. There was a moment in class today when we took a pause, and Thang commented on the strength of the toom's concentration. I hadn't even realized it, but I really hadn't been thinking of anything besides what we were doing. That type of flow doesn't often happen for me, not for any extended time, but it's welcome. There are so many things that want our attention. What will we give them to? 

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Proverbs 4:25 

10/28 9pm yin w/Devyn 

Lay it down. Now yin is a lot of laying down anyway, but tonight I probably spent a third of the class in savasana - belly down or on my back. I skipped poses and changed others. I honestly just wanted to lay down, so I did. This is the invitation we always have in Christ 

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone O Lord make me to dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 

10/2910am Bikram 60 w/Whitney at District 

Life. For these last days of the challenge, each day will have an intention directly from the series. Today is life. Today was my first more traditional Bikram class - with the full dialogue and whatnot. It surprised me how hard it was. Backbends with your head back are weird and uncomfortable. Actually that pretty much describes all of bikram for me at this point. It almost goes without saying that our lives are not always comfortable, expected, or what we would plan for ourselves. Sometimes it's all we can really do to struggle, to breathe, to fight for and find joy in the Lord. 

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 16:1-11 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Come, Towards

10/28 6am power w/ Teddy

Come. I was super tired today. I was also really feeling last night's adult gym - so many presses. But Teddy's class always makes me feel so good on Wednesday mornings. Every posture, every movement became a a little easier and more natural as class went on. I felt like a returning to myself, to wholeness, to freedom. Jesus invites each one of us to come and find all this - our whole self in Him.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 

Come everyone who thirsts, come to the waters and he who has no money, come buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1 

10/28 noon power w/Elvis

Towards. I spent my morning before work reading Jefferson Bethke's It's Not What You Think.  It really breathed life inside my soul. It's such a beautiful book. It talks about how all of human history is moving toward redemption - we're going forward to future grace, but it's all really a return to created order, the way the world is supposed to be. Jesus is always coming toward us and leading us to where He's already been .

God is forever taking one more step toward us, and every time he reveals himself, it's in a less guarded way. He wants to make himself known, and to do that he makes himself vulnerable. The other gods seem high and mighty and untouchable. They leave us to move first, to initiate, to appease them. But his God, Jesus, says, 'No. I'll go first. I'll lean in. I'll risk being hurt. I'll come down to you.'"

The Lord is stepping toward us, and constantly inviting us to come back toward Him. Moving forward isn't scary because it's a return to who we were always meant to be

All of creation God spoke into existence but with us it says we were formed. God got particular and creative with us human creatures. He rolled up his sleeves when he made us and declared us to be imago dei. Image of God. He did not call us broken, sinner or failure. Which means our primal identity (the one most at the depths of who we are - in our very bones) is one given by the Creator himself. We are his" 

This is what I brought to my mat today: A moving forward and a stepping back. A remembering of the Jesus who is always moving toward me, and that we are in a world always running toward redemption.

Ninja turtle

Borrowed Jordan's ninja turtle costume because she's in Tibet and left it behind for some reason 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In its time, Listen, He who grows

10/26 7:45pm power w/Elvis

In its time. Elvis again shared, and it was even more beautiful knowing it was coming. There are quite a few people there, and savasana was interrupted by clapping and cheers. The community was so strong, the timing right - that kind of thing doesn't happen at 6am. God has made everything beautful in its time. What's good now was made for now.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

10/26 9pm yin w/Devyn

Listen. I may have used listen before, but I'm using it again. I've also mentioned that doing my own thing in class freaks me out a little - I like following directions! I also have a tendency to overthink when I'm told to get creative. But tonight, I just started listening to what I was feeling in my body. And it said wonderful things.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's wom. I praise you, for I am fearfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14 

10/27 6am power w/Morgan J

God who grows. This verse always reminds me that even as I practice, as I pursue the righteousness of God and ministry and personal holiness, it is the Lord who makes everything happen.

neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 1 Corinthians 3:7 

I know I'm prone to want credit, control and some sort of prize or recognition. BUt what do I have that wasn't given by God? And what can I do that isn't by His hand?

Ballerina stand

I remembered just in time that I'm supposed to dress up for work today! Here's my passé handstand for you 

Monday, October 26, 2015

A poem

I am tired 
It is late 
So here's my butt 
You're welcome, Kate

I don't mind, Story, Forward

10/25 8pm vinyasa w/Josh @District Yoga and Fitness

I don't mind. I napped through my regular Sunday evening class, and since I knew I wouldn't be getting an early bedtime, I decided to check out another studio. It was a little weird for, and the carpet (a Bikram thing) was different, but I'm glad I went. The class itself was on the easy side, but it doesn't necessarily bother me. And it's really good for me to have to do things that make me even a little uncomfortable (see two classes down for even more discomfort) and this was a good step. Plus, it was one of my favorite playlists :)

I really like this song. It reminds me how Jesus takes all our mess and claims it as His own. It also makes me think of marriage two becoming one, for better or for worse

Sorry for the mess
Say, I don't mind 

10/26 6am power w/Elvis 

Story. Today in class Elvis shared some of his personal journey from falling in love with yoga to teaching it, to now, a studio owner. I'm going to be sharing even more of my story later this week, but it made me so grateful to hear how a life unfolds, and to think of my own, unfolding to the glory of God. As my pastor has preached Genesis, he has been sure to remind us that all of human history is really His Story, the story of the God who made the world good, had it broken by His own creation, made a promise to fix it, sent His Son to die for it and will ultimately restore all things to the praise of His glorious name. 

"the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne - everything - to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life! You see, the best thing about this story is - it's true. There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big story. The story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them" Sally Lloyd Jones, Jesus Storybook Bible 

10/26 noon Series 48 (Original 26 Bikram postures, 22 more, 2 breathing exercises) w/Whitney @District Yoga 

Forward. Today, I went to a Bikram style class. It was pretty clear I was the only Bikram novice, but Whitney was really great as an instructor. And there were people to follow when I wasn't sure what was going on (It happened more than once). And when all else fails, you just smile and keep moving forward. Practice makes progress, right? 

Here's what Josh and I did after class - 

By his own admission, I was holding him up on this one. It actually is really hard to do on both sides. We laughed a lot and fell some and then eventually found a little balance and a lot of strength. Never be afraid to look forward. 

forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13b-14 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Cleaning and naps

I was going to take a nap after church today. Then church ended early so I went to yoga instead and then I got home and started cleaning EVERYTHING. And then I went to get some units in which to put my books. And then I finally took a nap for 12 minutes. So here I am in the living room. My stuff and everything I knew where it went is cleaned up. The mess on the table...I don't know what it's deal is. 

La la la whatever 

Lift, Steady, Power

10/24 5:15pm power w/Debbie

Lift. I love Debbie's focus on extension and height and length. It was a practice where you just keep lifting out of yourself until you feel as though you're about to float away.

I lift my eyes to the hills 
From where does my help come? 
My help comes from the Lord 
who made heaven and earth. 

He will not let your foot be moved; 
he who keeps you will not slumber. 
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep. 

The Lord is your keeper; 
the Lord is your shade on your right hand. 
The sun shall not strike you by day, 
nor the moon by night. 

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life. 
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in 
from this time forth and forevermore. 

Psalm 121

10/25 8am power w/Devyn

Steady. There's been a theme I've picked up over the last month or so: slowness. Emily Freeman-Simply Tuesday - A Million Little WAys - deep roots - strong ties - slowness.

To me slow does not mean boring; rather it's a depth. A security. A steadiness. A strength. It's balanced. Sure. This, to me, is God. Yes, His Spirit comes as a mighty rushing wind, but also a still small voice. In the day to day, He is faithful. Steadfast.

We have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. Hebrews 6:19 

10/25 noon power with Morgan Zion

Power. I mostly do power, so there's a lot of power in my life. Some classes feel stronger than others, and this was one of those.

There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain 

There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb 

Then in a nobler sweeter song, I'll sing Thy power to save

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Me, my booties and my Greenlake

Energize, Resist

10/23 noon power w/Elvis

Energize. Today was a perfect day for excuses: tired. Worn. Sore. Gymnastics to watch. Meh. But I showed up. Sometimes getting to the mat can be the hardest part. I felt myself gaining energy as the practice went on. I'm reminded of John Piper's book, When I Don't Desire God,  (in about a week you will all see intense irony in my quoting of Piper right now). It's about the fight for joy, and finding security and delight in Christ when we don't "feel" like pursuing Him

God does not mean for us to be passive. He means for us to fight the fight of faith - the fight for joy. 

We have to actively pursue our deepest joy, and in that we find life.

10/24 Noon power w/Thang

Resist. I finally got the chance to take the infamous resistance bands class. I wrote a really cheesy reflection in my journal and I don't have to share it with you. Ha! Take that #write31days

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fun days

We don't have a meet tomorrow, so we had a fun day playing around. 

Revive, Light, Settle

10/22 noon power w/Devyn

Revive. Class today was a thousand kinds of fun. There were just a few of us, all mostly inversion and arm balance junkies. Devyn taught a fun flow and stoked the energy in the room. There were laughs and so many smiles. A class like this is like reading or reciting a favorite Psalm. It restores my whole soul.

Psalm 23English Standard Version (ESV)

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

  23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

10/22 7:45pm power w/Josh 

Light. Tonight was so fun too! I was all jazzed from a great pow wow with Dani, a strong effort from our kids, and my partner in JO Level 2 crime, Emma, came. The seahawks were playing, so there were few attendees, and the mood was just light. I held a super long handstand and played with Josh in headstand variations...until I fell :) But I laughed it off. Nothing really spiritual about tonight and that's ok. It's a different kind of selah, to laugh, to play. 

10/23 6ish am power w/Josh 

Settle. Josh was late today, and it was weird being on this side of that. I've done things like that before - and it can really rattle you. When the unexpected happens, it's important to take a step back, breathe and relax. As a teacher, if you're frazzled, you're not going to be an effective leader. Ground down. Be still. 

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 

Thursday, October 22, 2015


The new team director is totally amazing. She has taken on a mentoring roll for myself and the other compulsory coaches and I feel so privileged to be part of it all. 

And so, I was inspired to get upside down on a little coffee break 

Humor, Selah, Home

I usually don't write until after the noon power, but my schedule is a little different today, so here I am ready to write now. I'll write about the noon tomorrow when I write about the other classes I take this evening.

10/21 7:45pm power w/Thang

Humor. My j127 cohort Eddie could often be found reflecting, "God is so funny", and sputtering off into laughter. It's true: God can do anything in anyway He sees fit, and He often chooses to do the one thing we never expected. And sometimes, it's really funny. Thang is usually fairly serious, so when he makes jokes, I notice them more. Tonight, he made several, and it caused me to step back and just enjoy what was happening.

10/21 9pm yin w/Devyn

Selah. Although I have since switched to the ESV Bible, I was for a long time completely enamored with the Amplified. My copy as the ripped pages, loose binding, taped cover, and highlights in every color to prove it. It is in the Amplified that I learned to appreciate Selah, a pause -

All the earth shall bow down to You and sing [praises] to You; they shall praise Your name in song! Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Psalm 66:4 

This is just one example of the 74 selahs throughout Scripture, primarily in the Psalms. If ever there was a time to selah, it is in a yin class. Often, when we try to slow down, we meet ourselves with resistance. We fidget or makes lists or judge ourselves. But what if, when we got uncomfortable, we were able to take a selah - a pause, to check in with what we're really feeling and experiencing?

Here's to Selah!

10/22 6am power w/Morgan

Home. On my way to class this morning, I was listening to a favorite tune of mine - Come as You Are, by Crowder. In it, besides one of the greatest lyrics of all time (earth has no sorrow that heaven can't heal) it invites the wanderer to come home. Home, here, is not a physical place but rather a state of comfort, security and peace with your Creator, Father and Savior. You will never be more at home than when your soul is at rest in the arms of Jesus. This practice for me was about that kind of coming home, a coming into myself in Christ. I left it singing, Come Thou Fount, a song about our our hearts finding their forever home in singing praise to the One who made us, saved us and carries us all our lives long.

VERSE 1Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the name! I’m fixed upon it
Name of Thy redeeming love

VERSE 2Hitherto Thy love has blessed me
Thou hast brought me to this place
And I know Thy hand will bring me
Safely home by Thy good grace
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

VERSE 3Oh to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

VERSE 4Oh that day when freed from sinning
I shall see Thy lovely face
Full arrayed in blood-washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry
Bring Thy promises to pass
For I know Thy pow’r will keep me
Till I’m home with Thee at last

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hands and guitar

Baby beam

Totally did this yesterday but my app didn't publish the post. Sorry yo 

Abundance, Ease

10/21 6am power w/Teddy

Abundance. I almost drove to Teddy's class this morning. But I got up and walked because it always makes me feel good. It's a good time to settle myself before class. It helps me savor everything I've been  given in Jesus. It reminds me why He came:

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 

That's what my practice is about - living and living abundantly. When you live abundantly, you glorify the God who made it possible for you to do so.

10/21 noon power w/Elvis

Ease. Elvis announced at the beginning og class that we were going to be balancing today. Balancing postures require strength, focus, and trust. So I set my intention as 'ease'. Sometimes, when things are going to be hard, we have the instinct to struggle with it, to live the hard. I think there's a time to push and work hard, but there's also a time to relax. Yes. Instead of pushing against, we push in. Lean in. Let the struggle just happen. You might even find ease.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest uponme. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Is this hard? Stillness, I know Him, Open

10/19 7:45pm power w/Elvis

Am I allowed to say I don't feel like writing about this class? #write31das. That's why it's called a challenge. People said this class was really hard. I didn't think it was anything stand-out. I don't think I have a good perception of hard. Usually when it's hard, I just think it's more fun. Here's a quote form my (Eastern European) coworker:

The problem with Americans is they just want to have fun. Me? I think hard work is fun

10/19 9pm yin w/Devyn

Stillness. Today, I reflected on this quote

On the journey from belief to experience, it takes more effort to be still than to run. Most of us live such a frenetic lifestyle that we are afraid of stillness, silence and solitude. A certain existential panic can overtake us when we first face the stillness, but if we can find the courage to embrace it, we enter into the peace that is beyond all understanding. Brenan Manning

He's talking about the difference between believing in Jesus Christ and actually experiencing the joy, peace and security of the Christian life. We get so busy trying to do more and be more and impress others that never sit down and live the promise we have in Christ. What would happen if you sat completely still for ten minutes? What might you hear? And how could you tune out everything but Jesus? What would He have for you? Maybe, just maybe, you would hear, 

It is finished. 

10/20 6am power w/Morgan 

I know Him whom I have believed. This intention was inspired by 2 Timothy 1:12. Morgan's class felt so grounding today, a return to my roots. It always brings me back: what is true? What do I believe? Who is Jesus? Where is He? I know Him. God is not far off; He is ever-present, my refuge and my hope. I know Him, and He knows me. Today, lets this be enough. 

10/20 noon power w/Elvis 

Open. I came home from class today to find my roommate, who asked how I was. I said awesome and she asked why. I told her we did a back bending class. I love backbends. They make me feel so opened up, like anything is possible. They're just crazy enough to feel awesome, but not so crazy that they're out of reach. This, too, is the risk and reward of the Christian life. The gospel if you look at it, is a little insane. God becomes man and dies and lives? We get His life because He took our death? But it's the most freeing insanity in the world. Open up, let the glory of God be seen in your world, your life.

ps. 51 classes this month

Monday, October 19, 2015


A spooky handstand for you 

Take care, Taste and see

10/19 6am power w/Elvis 

I got plenty of sleep last night, and yet I was exhausted and creaky the entire class. I felt like I was sleep walking. I went slowly and didn't do anything too fancy or extra hard like I often do. I noticed my body felt tired so I let it be tired. I went home and went back to bed; I slept for three hours! Do I have things I could have been doing? Sure. But I recognized that if I don't take care of myself, I can't give my best self to anyone - to my coworkers, my kids, my roommates, my friends and even my Jesus. I'm not honoring Him when I trudge through life half-present. I can't be others centered when I'm completely drained. Sometimes it's about watching yourself so that you can truly watch out for others. 

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timorhy 4:16 

10/19 noon power w/Devyn 

Taste and see. Today was a refreshing practice, especially after my weird morning. In order to experience something - yoga, a relationship with Jesus, you have to actually put yourself in a position to experience it. You don't grow in your relationship with the Lord by looking at your Bible anymore than rolling out a yoga mat deepens your practice. 

You have to do something. 

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34;8 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Go with the flow, Good enough, Receive

10/18 7:50am home practice

Go with the flow. I got to the studio this morning and was informed that the 8am class canceled. While mildly disappointed, I wasn't devastted. I drove home and without thinking about it, created an intentional home practice environment. I moved furniture and rolled out my mat. I dropped in on myself and cultivated breath. And then I started moving. Basics first, because I love a strong foundation. And then, I just listened to myself. I wasn't thinking about what I should be doing or look like, I just let myself go and went with whatever seemed to be happening next. I'm really thankful this morning for my hymns and T-swift flow. Setting the tone can be important in our other practices - how many times have you been frustrated about your lack of depth in your relationship with Jesus? How do you try to meet Him? I sit in the chair in my room or the kitchen table with my journal, Bible and cup of tea. There aren't any distractions and it signals my heart that it's time to be quiet. Create your flow, and go with it.

10/18 noon power w/Morgan Zion

Good enough. First off, let me say that I love Morgan's class. It's fun and playful and bold and adventurous. The first time I ever took her class, it was at 6am, and she encouraged us to set our intention as "kick ass". So she's an obvious hoot. Today, though, her theme deeply conflicted with the biblical worldview I have come to own. She wanted us to know that we'r good enough, perfect the way we are. I had come right from church where Pastor Andrew preached the fall. The whole point of the gospel is that you and I aren't good enough. We're sick, and more than that, we're dead. When Eve chose to eat the fruit, she didn't even know what she was getting herself into. No one had died yet; she couldn't have known what death even meant. And it turns out, the worst death is more than physical, it's spiritual: separation from your Maker forever. And if it were up to us, that's where we'd stay.

Andrew paraphrased John 3:16 in a really helpful way today - God so loved all that was organized against Him so much that He sent His Son to redeem it. The world is a system of forces working against the God of the universe, and if you love the world you are at enmity with Him. But praise God because while we were still dead in our sin, Christ died for us. He was good enough to stand in our place and drink the cup of wrath we deserved. And so today, I stand in full knowledge that I am not nor will I ever be, good enough. But because God is merciful and gracious, the one who is good enough will represent me before the throne above.


10/18 5:15pm power w/Debbie

Receive. This was one of Debbie's favorite words for class tonight. I don't have much to say, so I'm just going to leave this here:

For form his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16 

No picture, one video, two handstands

I hope this counts for handstand a day. I got to the studio this morning and class was randomly canceled. So I came home and did my own flow. There were a lot of handstands, but only two captured in this video.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Stand Tall

10/17 8am power w/Carly

Stand tall. I dare you to ask my kids how many times I say this in their three hour practice. but.It's important. It engages your core. It changes your whole shape from your very frame, all the way through. It keeps you stable. It's why the Bible tells us to stand firm. When you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything.

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the vil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13

Today, I also went ice skating for the third time in my life. I was invited to a little girl's birthday party, and we had an absolute blast. I laughed so hard and smiled so wide. For some reason, all the littles wanted me as their grown up assistant so I ended up helping a seven year old into her own, a five year old teeter around, and fully supporting a stubborn three year old through some gliding (she was a wet noodle and not incredibly helpful in this endeavor). I did get some time to skate with a few people who knew what they were doing and found myself gaining confidence the more I did it. I got going pretty fast at one point :) It was a good experience in learning to trust myself and go for it.

Judge Kate

Friday, October 16, 2015

Laundry day

I didn't go to noon power today. I didn't really feel like it and I wanted to recharge and catch up. I had a little girl birthday present to pick out, massive amounts of laundry to do, a kitchen to clean, and then I decided to bake brownies. Because baking is the best. 

Here's my laundry doing handstand 

Inspiration, Woohoo, Think Greatly

10/15 7:45pm power w/Josh

Inspiration. Class tonight should have been hard, if not impossible. I told myself I was going to take it easy. I did the exact opposite. My kids did a kick butt job tonight, and my coworkers led an amazing clinic, and my mom shared how her own (new!) yoga practice helped her through a really difficult pain management treatment. I poured all of this into my practice. It's like counting God's gifts: look at your world, give thank, and watch your prayer life, your whole life with God take flight.

10/15 9pm power w/Carly

Woohoo. By this point I really should have had nothing left. And I definitely started feeling it in the shoulders some, but mostly I was still able to let go and just have fun. Remember this is just yoga. You're supposed to either like what you're doing or do something else. It makes me think of child-like faith: obvious, simple, pure.

10/16 6am power w/Josh 

"Think greatly of the greatness of God". This is one of my favorite John Owen quotes, and I brought it with me to my mat this morning. Have you ever sat quietly and meditated on the vastness, the wonder, the glory of the Lord Almight? I've been growing ever more appreciative of God's hand in crafting the human body. Breath. Lungs. Heartbeat. Vision. Tastebuds. Smell. Tension. Release. Bones. Joints. Muscles. Skin. Nails. Teeth. Blood. He made it all. He upholds the universe by the word of His power. How great is our God! 

Here's a hymn: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty 

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,
  the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy
  health and salvation!
    All ye who hear,
Now to His temple draw near;
Sing now in glad adoration!

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all
  things so wondrously reigneth,
Who, as on wings of an eagle,
  uplifteth, sustaineth.
    Hast thou not seen
How thy desires all have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully,
  wondrously, made thee!
Health hath vouchsafed and, when
  heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
    What need or grief
Ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper
  thy work and defend thee,
Who from the heavens the streams of
  His mercy doth send thee.
    Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do,
Who with His love doth befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all that
  is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come
  now with praises before Him!
    Let the Amen
Sound from His people again;
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

Thursday, October 15, 2015