What is Scripture Yoga™?
Scripture Yoga is a form of Christian yoga where Bible verses are recited during the yoga postures. On the other hand, secular yoga may not be separated from eastern religion and philosophy. Therefore, the student could be unintentionally exposed to a non-Christian environment. Scripture Yoga provides a Christ-centered alternative to secular yoga. Most importantly, it offers an opportunity for participants to hear and respond to God’s Word.
Scripture Yoga brings Christian yoga to a whole new level! Imagine meditating on God’s Word as it is recited 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 for God to show her how to bring Christian beliefs into the yoga classes, yet the whole time God had been waiting for 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 Holy Spirit 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 topics. There were dozens of themes! After this, Scripture Yoga classes were taught based on Biblical themes. Also, during the retreat, God instructed Susan to expand Scripture Yoga by developing DVDs. In 2006, God’s Mighty Angels DVD were produced and in 2008, What the Bible Says About Prayer DVD was completed.
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.
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 for her, to learn Scripture, so His words could be recited during the class to make Scripture Yoga!
Feedback from my students has been outstanding. One of my clients wrote, “Scripture-based yoga has been an extremely productive use of time. Physically, I am stretching and strengthening muscles, some of which I never knew I had. Mentally, it’s restful as I am simply focusing on Scripture, which is full of God’s will for living a full, meaningful life. After every class, I feel spiritually nourished, well centered, and better aligned with God’s will. The special breathing integrated throughout the class is extremely cleansing and refreshing. I feel like my entire body is more efficiently oxygenated and relaxed. Although I have enjoyed other yoga classes, the Scripture-based yoga seems all-around more effective in improving my physical, spiritual, and mental health than any other yoga class I have attended.”
A student told Susan that during a medical procedure she quoted Bible verses that she learned from Scripture Yoga classes. 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.
After a new student’s first Scripture Yoga class said she felt extremely relaxed and energized but at the same time connected to God and full of HIM. It was an excellent experience.