Be Still Challenge
This challenge is designed to help your intention at the start of the year and to get into a routine each day by spending time in prayer and on your mat.
Each day of the month will have a NEW meditation and we invite you to participate each day starting on January 1st.
WEEK 4 – DAY / MEDITATION / POSTURE
Day 22 / Isaiah 54 / Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Spread Out! Think Big!
54 1-6 “Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby.
Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth!
You’re ending up with far more children
than all those childbearing women.” God says so!
“Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room
for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations.
you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed.
Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.
You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth,
and the indignity of being a widow will fade from memory.
For your Maker is your bridegroom,
his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel,
known as God of the whole earth.
You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief,
and God welcomed you back,
Like a woman married young
and then left,” says your God.
7-8 Your Redeemer God says:
“I left you, but only for a moment.
Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back.
In an outburst of anger, I turned my back on you—
but only for a moment.
It’s with lasting love
that I’m tenderly caring for you.
9-10 “This exile is just like the days of Noah for me:
I promised then that the waters of Noah
would never again flood the earth.
I’m promising now no more anger,
no more dressing you down.
For even if the mountains walk away
and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won’t walk away from you,
my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.”
The God who has compassion on you says so.
11-17 “Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied:
I’m about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
Lay your foundations with sapphires,
construct your towers with rubies,
Your gates with jewels,
and all your walls with precious stones.
All your children will have God for their teacher—
What a mentor for your children!
You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness,
far from any trouble—nothing to fear!
far from terror—it won’t even come close!
If anyone attacks you,
don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them,
And if any should attack,
nothing will come of it.
I create the blacksmith
who fires up his forge
and makes a weapon designed to kill.
I also create the destroyer—
but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged.
Any accuser who takes you to court
will be dismissed as a liar.
This is what God’s servants can expect.
I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.”
Remember Modifications: Lessen the Hinge, Use a block or a chair
Day 23 / Son B Revisited, Flow in His Grace Once Again (Surya Namaskar B)
Trust & Provision
His grace is like a waterfall and allows our hearts to be glad and our bodies to live with hope.
He fills us with joy by His presence. Align yourself with Him; position yourself under His waterfall of grace.
|Acts 2:24-28 NIV| But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
David said about him, “I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
You have made known to me that paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. Heavenly Father, whatever it looks like, whatever may come, I am yours.
Jesus, crash over me, take me where you want me to be.
Stretch me and mold me.
Place me under the waterfall of your grace.
Let me be beautifully in over my head in your love.
Day 24 / Romans 12:2 / Reclining Hero (Supta Virasana)
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Day 25, Simplicity of Stillness and Rest
Day 26 / God is Source / A Posture of Reverence
God Is Source
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. Genesis 1:1-5, NASB
We at YogaFaith believe the full Bible. We do not add or subtract from it, we believe it in its entirety. We believe God created everything, above, below and everything in between the heavens and earth as stated in Genesis.
We believe He left His Holy Spirit to dwell within us to be our helper, guide and source. We believe that the postures of prayer written throughout ancient biblical scriptures [before any other literature existed] are just as powerful and relevant to our prayers and pleas today as they were all those thousands of years ago. We know that Christ created our bodies; also called the temple of the Holy Spirit in scripture, and His Holy Spirit breathed into our nostrils and gave us breath, or spirit. We believe one of the many reasons He created us, as well as all creation, is to praise and glorify Him. We use all of these techniques found throughout scriptures to worship Him, to pray, meditate, sing, magnify and honor Him, our Creator.
These creations of God that were originally created by Him and for Him, to worship Him, have been used by others to worship their carved idols, false gods or simply as a method of movement and times of stillness, silence or self-enlightenment. This is not what YogaFaith practices. We use the methods written in the Bible and center these on Christ and yoking with Him as well as uniting or yoking our breath and movement together. The word yoga itself is defined as yoke, union or unity. The practice of yoga is not a religion. However, yoga has been used by many religious and non-religious organizations for their own purposes, that is not for us to judge. No one can judge how others worship or connect to their source. YogaFaith is the way thousands of people interpret the Word of God; to worship, pray, meditate and love the Lord with all of our heart, all of our might, all of our breath and all of our souls (see Acts 17:28, Mark 12:30, Matt. 22:37, Luke 10:27, Deut. 6:5, Deut.13:3, Deut.10:12, Col.3:23).
My prayer is that the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God as you dig into this study. Yes, study, chew and eat the Word, cross reference and cross reference some more. Let the Truth of God permeate every fiber of your spirit and soul. The Word is alive, living and so is God’s Spirit within you! Only the Holy Spirit can lead, guide and illuminate God’s Word to, and for you, I pray He will do just that as you spend time in His Word and all the wonderful ways that He created for us to connect to Him and one another. Let thy word be a lamp unto your feet, and a light unto your path (Psalm 119:105). Read full blog and get a free 11 page PDF
Day 27 / Christ and the 8 Limbs (over the next few days) / YogaFaith's Tree of Life
YogaFaith’s Tree of Life
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called ashtanga, which means “eight limbs”. These eight steps act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. Just as the ten commandments for a Christian act as guidelines, these eight limbs serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline. They direct attention toward one’s health, the world around us, others, as well as help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.
THE FIRST LIMB
The first limb is known as yama. It brakes into another five characteristics that we will briefly touch on. Yama is associated with how we relate to the external world and others. It is to to prepare us to be ethical and kind.
Ahimsa is the first characteristic focus of the first limb. It is defined as being non-violent, inflicting no injury or harm to others or even to one’s own self. It also describes that there is to be an absence of non-violence in thought, word and deed. It is about us doing everything we do toward any living being with thoughtful consideration. It is a concept that all living beings have the spark of the divine in them. This is the yoga world attempting to describe what the Bible already told us before there was the practice of yoga. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has [already] set eternity in our hearts. Yes, we have the Divine in us! It is the power of the Holy Spirit residing on the inside of each one of us. We are one with Christ.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us,
carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:14
Jesus said these words; Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-30
Ahimsa is also thought to be the most important branch as it relates to every part of our internal and external worlds. It is the essentials: how we treat all other beings, how we treat our own bodies and minds, how we think and what we think about, how we talk, what we talk about, how we eat and what we eat.
Satya is the second characteristic of the first limb. It is associated with truth in words and thoughts. It is about honesty and healthy relationships. Satya is defined as speaking the truth. We want to act and speak honestly, but we do not want to hurt others. Knowing when to be quiet and reserve the truth is just as important. Everything should be done in a way that we help others in some way. Ask yourself before making a decision; am I stealing from someone? Will my actions improve or benefit those around me? Does this thought, word, or deed harm or take away from others?
Read Hebrews 13.
…And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
It is not the truth that sets us free, it is the truth that we know that will set us free. There is a very big difference! This is why it is so important to spend time with God. To seek Him and what He wants to say to you, because this is always truth. Do you need truth or clarity? Read His word. This is His truth, love letter, and promises to His kids! That is you and I friend!
“I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me John 14:6
This is one of the most important scriptures today. There is much spiritual advice that tells us that all paths lead to the same god. If you believe the Word of God, which I think you do, we can refute what the world and media tries to pour into our spirits. My Bible says there is only one way to the One True God. It is through His son Jesus. The only way that we will spend eternity in Heaven is that we accept Jesus as our personal Savior.
Day 28 / Christ and the 8 Limbs Continued / YogaFaith's Tree of Life
Christ and the 8 Limbs Continued
YogaFaith’s Tree of Life
Brahmacharya is the fourth characteristic referring to abstinence, particularly in the case of sexual activity. It implies celibacy but it asks that we use our sexual energy towards a connection to our spiritual side, using this energy positively and productively in other words. Also, responsible behavior with respect in moving toward the highest truth in ourselves and all of our relationships. What abstinence creates is the highest truth. Nothing is muddied or confused by sexual behaviors. Before a thought progresses to an action ask if the action is betraying any of your relationships, values, principles, promises, or commitments?”
And in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control,
perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness….2 Peter 1:6
Instead, we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. Acts 15:20
There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us lonelier than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. 1 Cor 6:16-20 The Message
The fifth characteristic is known as Aparigraha. It relates to freeing ourselves of possessions, hoarding stuff, or having an excess of things we do not need or no longer use. It also relates to things we have or keep that we received dishonestly or those things that we have thought non trusting or wrong methods. To sum it up: take only what is necessary, do not exploit others, and don’t hang on to things you no longer need. It implies living simply. We live in an all-consuming culture. We have pressures daily to “get” and gather more.
Characteristics of a yogi and a Christian is to live minimalistic and simply, there is nothing wrong with “stuff”, just don’t let “stuff” control you. To help with the process of becoming simpler, ask yourself if an item is truly necessary in your life. This world is in great need of what we take for granted every day. Beyond the basic necessities like water, food, and shelter, we have closets full of clothes and garages full of junk we don’t use. Do we need all those winter coats when others are cold on the streets? And why are we packing all of our stuff that we no longer use from garage to garage?
Aparigraha is trusting God to provide for you each and every day.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matt. 6:26
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Col. 3:5