Do you struggle to fit in yoga into your busy schedule, especially in the morning? Whether your children are entering kindergarten or college, the back to school time of year is stressful. Getting them out the door and at school on time begins with a fast-paced morning. From the time you wake up until you go to bed at night, you are pulled in many different directions. This causes stress, which is a factor in all of our lives. How does stress affect you physically? You may experience tense, aching muscles; find yourself becoming tired and irritable; or become anxious and worried. Many people, subsequently, exercise less and eat poorly. It is time to start taking care of yourself!
How? Read on!
All summer long you gave yourself to the kids, now it is time to make YOU A PRIORITY. When you invest in yourself you are a better parent, partner, and friend. So start each morning with 30 minutes of Scripture Yoga to unify your body, mind, and spirit.
When performing yoga, you focus on breathing and quiet the mind, allowing worries to drift away. As the muscles stretch, tension is released which improves flexibility and decreases joint and muscle stiffness. Scripture Yoga is a form of Christian yoga where theme based Bible verses are recited when you hold the yoga poses. Meditating on Scripture calms the spirit and mind.
Listed below are eleven yoga postures along with corresponding Bible verses for the Scripture Yoga theme “How to Receive God’s Peace.” It is time to pamper you!
Scripture Yoga: 12 Yoga Poses
While sitting on your mat, cross your legs in front of you at the shins. Place the back of your hands onto your knees, straighten your spine, and close your eyes.
Everyone needs to learn how to give God their anxiety and fears and replace it with his peace, a peace the world cannot give us.
2. Chin to Chest
Take a deep breath and lower your chin down to your chest. Focus on your breath while stretching the back of your neck all the way down to your shoulder blades. Hold for 3-4 breaths. Recite a Scripture verse.
Psalms 23:1-3 (LB)
Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need! He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. He gives me new strength. He helps me do what honors him the most.
3. Chin Up
With your neck in alignment with your spine take a deep breath, lift your chin up to the ceiling, keep your teeth together, relax your shoulders, and breathe. Hold for 2-3 breaths.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
If something is worrying me, I pray about it every time the thought enters my mind. This will give you God’s perfect peace.
4. Son (Sun) Breath
Let us do the Son Breath to get the energy flowing within us. Take a deep breath as you raise both arms up to the ceiling. Exhale as you lower both arms by your side. Repeat several times.
Get down onto your hands and knees. Place your hands underneath your shoulders with arms straight, and knees under hips. Keep your neck in alignment with the spine.
1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
In this verse, cast means to hurl or throw, like you would cast a fishing line.
6. Cat and Dog Stretch
Kneel in Table Position. Inhale, arch your back toward the ceiling like a cat, with head and tailbone down. Exhale, curve your back down toward the ground, with head and tailbone up. Using your breath to transition from cat to dog several times.
In the New Living Translation of the Bible the same verse 1 Peter 5:7 reads:
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
7. Yoga Mudra
In a kneeling position, sit on your heels. Bring your hands behind you and clasp them together. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, lower your upper torso toward the floor while raising your arms toward the ceiling. Place the crown of your head onto the floor. Hold for 3-4 breaths.
*You have to choose to give God your burdens. You can keep them or cast them to the Lord.
Place feet mat width apart and turn toes outward. Bend your knees, sink your tailbone down until it is lower than your knees. Wedge your elbows between the inside of your knees, palms together in a prayer position. Neck is straight and in alignment with the spine. Breathe deeply and hold for 3-4 breaths. Recite a Scripture verse.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
We need to give our fears and insecurities to God too.
Feet are hip width apart, thighs and abdomen are tight. Take a deep breath, lift your arms toward the ceiling, palms flat facing each other, neck in alignment with the spine. Exhale, draw navel in toward spine. Hold for 4-5 breaths. Recite a Scripture verse.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
10. Half Moon Side Bend
Reach both arms over your head, palms together in a steeple position (hands clasped with index fingers up). Lift up with your waist, but relax your shoulders. Inhale, elongate your spine; exhale, bend to the right, left arm over left ear. Hold for 4 breaths. Recite a Scripture verse. Repeat on the opposite side. Come back to center, tighten your bottom to protect your lower back, and bend backward.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
I have put this important verse into a mathematical equation:
Don’t Worry + Pray + Thank God + Abide in Christ = God’s Peace
Take a large step to the side with your right foot. Pivot the right foot so toes are pointed to the right. Hips forward, arms out in a T. Inhale, reach with your right arm to the side as far as it can go. Exhale, bring right hand toward the right leg. Move your left arm toward the ceiling. Look at the hand over your head. Keep right shoulder forward and left shoulder back. Hold for 4 breaths. Recite a Scripture verse. Repeat on the opposite side.
Psalm 46:1 (GW)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.
When I have a serious situation going on in my life, I repeat this verse over and over again.
Balance on your right foot so your nose, navel, and knee are in alignment. Lift your left foot to your ankle, calf, or inner thigh. Bring your hands together in a prayer position. Inhale, raise your arms over your head. Focus on a spot, this is the secret to the balance. Hold for 4 breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.
Matthew 11:28–30 (NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Here Jesus is talking about casting our burdens on him.
Susan Neal RN, MBA, MHS
Susan is a certified yoga instructor with over 30 years’ experience in practicing and teaching yoga. As a pursuer of ultimate health, Susan merged her practice of yoga with her spiritual practice of Christianity. Founder of Scripture Yoga, Susan recites theme-based Scripture verses during her yoga classes. She published Scripture Yoga: 21 Bible Lessons for Christian Yoga Classes, and Yoga for Beginners: 60 Basic Yoga Poses for Flexibility, Stress Relief, and Inner Peace and two sets of Scripture Yoga Decks, “How to Receive God’s Peace” and “Fruit of the Spirit.”
She produced two Christian yoga DVDs, God’s Mighty Angels and What the Bible Says About Prayer. You can find out more at http://christianyoga.com/
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