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What is Scripture Yoga?
Scripture Yoga is a form of Christian yoga where yoga is practiced in a Christian environment. On the other hand, secular yoga may not be separated from eastern religion and philosophy. Therefore, the participant could be unintentionally exposed to a non-Christian environment. Scripture Yoga provides a Christ-centered alternative to secular yoga. Most importantly, it provides an opportunity for participants to hear and respond to God's Word.
Scripture Yoga brings Christian yoga to a whole new level! Imagine reciting and meditating on God’s Word during the yoga postures. Scripture Yoga classes are based on themes like Peace, Angels, and Prayer. The purpose of Scripture Yoga is to exercise the mind and body while meditating on God's Word, providing an opportunity for God to penetrate one’s heart and transform it. This experience allows God to be honored and glorified in a personal and powerful way.
"God's gracious word can make you into what He wants you to be and give you everything you could possible need." Acts 20:32 (The Message).
How Scripture Yoga Began
In 1998, Susan Neal, a yoga instructor, thought about teaching Christian yoga, but she was not sure how. Developing Scripture Yoga was a challenge because at that time the practice of Christian yoga was not widely known and there was no standard method by which yoga was taught in a Christian environment.
In 2003, Susan began to memorize Scripture because she was challenged to do so by Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. For five years, Susan had been waiting on God to show her how to bring Christian beliefs into the yoga classes, yet the whole time God had been waiting on her to learn Scripture. For how could a Christian yoga class be taught without knowing God’s Word? Upon God's revelation of this to Susan, she began to recite Scripture verses during yoga classes. In God’s perfect timing, two months later, leaders at Susan's church asked her to teach an exercise class and in 2004 Scripture Yoga classes began.
During the first year of Scripture Yoga classes, Susan spoke Bible verses as the Lord led. By the end of that year, more than 150 verses had been put to memory and written on index cards. In 2005, while attending an intense spiritual retreat, called Emma's Walk, the Lord directed Susan to sort the verses by theme. There were dozens of themes! After this, Scripture Yoga classes were taught based upon Biblical themes. Also, during the retreat God instructed Susan to expand Scripture Yoga by developing DVD's. In 2006, God’s Mighty Angels was produced and in 2008, What the Bible Says About Prayer was completed.
All those years Susan had been waiting for God to show her how to create a form of Christian yoga. But in fact, God had been waiting on her, to learn Scripture, so His words could be recited during the class to make Scripture Yoga!
Jesus said, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” John 21:17. Jesus wants His sheep (that's us) fed on the bread of life, the Word of God. His sheep are fed during Scripture Yoga classes by hearing and receiving God’s Word, providing a way for the Word of God to be stored in one’s heart.
A student told Susan that during a medical procedure she quoted Scripture verses she learned from Scripture Yoga class. These verses helped calm her down during the procedure. The nurse even noticed a difference in her behavior before and after she quoted the Scripture.
Another student, after her first Scripture Yoga class, said she felt extremely relaxed and energized but at the same time connected to God and completely full of HIM. It was an awesome experience.