When I mention to people that I attend yoga, they wonder if I’m dabbling in some mystical religion. Since my yoga instructor uses yoga poses minus the theology, I’ve used this exercise to increase my faith and scripture memory. Here are a few examples:
Focused Breathing: Breathing centers my thoughts on Jesus. I set aside the stress and busyness of life and prepare for prayer.
The “Son” Salutation: This opening stretch is my opportunity to testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. (1John 4:9) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
The Warrior poses: Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. (Eph 6:11) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. (2Cor 10:3)
The downward dog posed a challenge in my first few sessions. The few verses about canines in scripture are hardly edifying. (2 Sam 9:8; Judges 7:5) Instead I began to focus on the body being shaped like a mountain. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. (Psalm 36:6) Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. (Luke 3:5)
Try your own scripture and prayer when you exercise. It even works with WiiFit!
My yoga instructor closes her session with the standard greeting, Namaste, which literally means “I bow reverently to you.” I used to shy away from this foreign idea until I realized that it was the perfect closing to my time with my Lord.
Namaste, Jesus Christ, my Savior. I bow to You, and You alone.