On any given Monday evening when I arrive to my favorite yoga class, I’m a harried mess. I’m usually coming off a busy afternoon of kids, activities, and dinner prep. In my anxious effort to arrive on time, I’m not sure that I’ve taken a breath in the last 20 minutes.
I was probably a little short-tempered with my kids, and I didn’t greet my husband with a happy heart. So now I’m battling self-condemnation, guilt, and I’m just plain drained.
Today is one of those days when I need a little extra grace. I need peace. I need to sweat it out and feel strong again.
When I step into the studio, my tension instantly begins to melt. My soul knows this is a peaceful place where I feel strong and capable. Everything is about to get better.
My instructor, Maureen Beville, asks the class, “So how is everyone today?” All I can do is let out a long, exhausted sigh, and she responds with gentle eyes and a warm smile as if to say “I know. I’ve been there, and I understand.”
Soft worship music begins, and I finally breathe. I make a conscious effort to turn off my busy mind and bring my awareness to God. My heart prays, “Lord, please meet me here on the mat. Restore my soul. Renew my mind. Refresh my spirit, and strengthen my body.”
And, our yoga practice begins. This isn’t an ordinary yoga class though. The physical postures are the same, the breath work is the same, but the intention…the Meditation…is different. This is Holy Yoga.
Maureen Beville, who established Frisco Holy Yoga in 2016, explains the difference this way:
Holy Yoga embraces the essential elements of yoga which are: breath work, meditation, and physical postures. But in a Holy Yoga class, Christ is the focus of our intention. It’s experiential worship.
There’s a verse in the Bible which says, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:30) Holy Yoga is an opportunity to do just that – it’s a moving, breathing worship using your entire being.”
Practically speaking, when we rise up into mountain pose, we raise our arms high in praise to our Creator. When we rest in savasana, we meditate on God’s love. There is scripture weaved throughout practice, and intentions are centered on the Christ.
As with all forms of yoga, your practice is your practice. You take your heart, mind, and body wherever it needs to go on that particular day. Maybe you have tight hamstrings today and that downward facing dog is going to require more than a micro-bend in the knees. Maybe anxiety disrupted your sleep last night, and balance evades you today.
Child’s pose may be your safe haven. Always full of grace, Maureen often says, “Make the practice your own. Take what serves you and leave what doesn’t.”
It was about four years ago that Maureen herself was first introduced to Holy Yoga.
I had never heard of Holy Yoga before, but I saw a poster for a yoga weekend called Jesus at the Core. What I experienced that weekend rocked my world and changed my yoga practice forever. I loved how our intention was centered on Christ and how I was encouraged to connect with Him with each breath. And I especially enjoyed how the instructor read God’s Word over us in Savasana and then left us time and space to meditate on it. I was hooked.”
As she further explored the background of Holy Yoga, and began to incorporate it into her practice, she felt a nudge in her heart to pursue the 225-hour certification. First, though, she would have to face a little fear and self-doubt, as well as other obstacles like managing a work-from home corporate wellness career with small children in the mix.
She tried to ignore the nudge – but it didn’t go away. This was something God was asking her to do, and furthermore, equipping her to do.
I’ve been teaching now for 2 years. Every class I teach is different – the postures, the intention, the Scripture. Almost every week, someone new comes to my class, and I love seeing their faces at the end when they rise up from Savasana. I can see the same expression on their faces that I felt after my first class. It’s not me that has refreshed them – it’s spending time with the Lord in a fresh new way. I am humbled that God is using me to deliver His Word through the practice of yoga, and that I get to lead my students through this beautiful worship of body, mind and spirit.”
As for me, it was about a year ago that I stepped into my first class with Frisco Holy Yoga. I was a beginner, and I was awkward. My postures were weird, my limbs were shaky.
I went left when Maureen said right. (Warrior, what??) And yet, I left feeling stronger. Not only on the outside, but on the inside. The class grabbed my heart in a way that no other form of exercise has before.
Whether you approach life through a lens of Christian faith or not, you’re welcome at Frisco Holy Yoga. You’ll find a peaceful space, excellent instruction, and challenging yoga classes. No judgment, no competition… just grace. You’ll likely make new friends who share your desire for physical and spiritual health and well-being.
Classes are taught in downtown Frisco at Sacred Space, a boutique-style studio offering unique yoga classes for every kind of yogi. They regularly host Restorative Yoga, Beginner’s Yoga, some Vinyasa style classes among them, but also offer specialty series like Yoga for Teens with Special Needs, Yoga for Off Season Teen Athletes, and Essentrics. Sacred Space is the only studio in the area to offer Holy Yoga. Yogis are encouraged to reserve their spot in advance as class sizes are very limited.
Frisco Holy Yoga invites you to “Come and connect with Christ on your mat.” Visit the website, and friend FHY on Facebook for updates, blog entries and new class offerings.