If you haven’t tried yoga because the thought of chanting praises to an unfamiliar deity after Sunday morning mass makes you cringe, fear not. Christian Yoga is making its way across the country and throughout the world as an alternative yoga practice for those who would rather say Amen than Namaste.
Even though yoga is not a religion, many Americans may still be reluctant to try yoga for the first time due to their strong devotion to the Christian faith. DeAnna Smothers and Courtney Chalfant, a mother and daughter team from Chandler, Arizona founded Yahweh Yoga in 2005 for that very reason.
Yahweh Yoga is a Christ-centered practice and is designed to give people the opportunity to feel comfortable deepening their relationship with God, while gaining all of the other health benefits of yoga.
As a worldwide leader in the Christian Yoga movement, Yahweh Yoga has certified hundreds of yoga teachers. Their yoga school is registered with Yoga Alliance, a governing body of yoga teacher training programs, and graduates of the program can be found all over the world.
Yahweh Yoga does recognize and respect that the origins of yoga are not Christian and that yoga is a methodology, not a theology. They choose to embrace the objective physical components of yoga and compliment it with devotion to the Christian faith. For example, they understand that the act of praying (or in this case, practicing the yoga poses) crosses all religions, yet the prayer (the intention behind the prayer or practice) may vary. They fully embrace the roots of yoga for the health benefits while practicing high standards of Christian theology in their classes.
Some of the benefits of Christian Yoga include:
- Improved physical and emotional health
- Greater self-acceptance
- Increased connection with Christ
- Peace of mind
- Enhanced connections in the Christian community
Yahweh Yoga offers classes such as Faithful Flow, Prayerful Power and Christian Meditation. They even have Hot Yoga on the schedule for those who want to sweat their prayers.
Classes are offered all over the United States, Canada, Italy and Singapore. If there is not one in your neighborhood, Yahweh Yoga has two DVDs: Gentle Journey and Faithful Flow, both available on their website.