I was a serious yoga practicionner for several years, and I know what the Christian stance is on yoga. I also know that without ashtanga, I would never have allowed the thoughts of God, Jesus, salvation enter into my heart. I was blind, brainwashed and tortured, that without the lessons that ashtanga taught me, I wouldn’t be on my journey with the Lord today. At first, my yoga practice was purely ego based, looking good in the mirror, being the best in the class. But life always has a way to teach you things. Work started to take over my whole life, so that I had no time to practice or if I did find a small window, my body was so exhausted that I would simply sleep through the class, right there on the floor in the middle of the room, surrounded by beautiful young woman who were now much, much more advanced than I. Oh , how my ego was bruised.
Then I left for India for one month. I remember being so stressed about leaving the business for a month, but I had to, I knew I was on the wrong path, a path that would lead me to my destruction. The next year , I did the same, but I was in an even worse place, my boyfriend had left both me and the business for several months. I did not sleep nor eat for that whole summer, I was running on adrenaline. Skinny and crazy-eyed. Then I crashed, and believe me, it was ugly. My whole body stopped functioning, I couldn’t get out of bed, my adrenals were simply depleted, I literally could not get my body out of my bed. I developed skin rashes, and digestive problems. I was a mess. Again I left to India for a month, for yoga and ayurveda. I recall one evening in Kovalam, sitting in a garden, drinking a juice, and surrounded by single women, just like me. Overworked, sick, broken hearted, sad, and alone. I thought is this it? Will I do this forever, work like a maniac, everyday, every minute, for 11 months of the year, no time to sleep, eat, see my family, no energy, fighting to keep everything together, getting sicker every year, and then attempt to heal everything in one month halfway across the world. It made no sense. There was no way I could keep going on like this. Until when ? Until cancer comes along. Until when?
Long story short, it took me years to undo all the mess that I was in, the business, the relationship, the beliefs, all the damage I created.
But yoga was a big part of that healing.
I believe that God is allowing yoga to spread over the world, because so many people are exactly like I was, lost and blind, and to go directly to Jesus is almost impossible. Of course, I wish I would have found the truth sooner, it would have saved me alot of time, and money. But it’s too much to ask from someone that was so broken. There was too much pain. And where I am from, you can turn to anything for help: medication, alcohol, drugs, yoga, prayanama, Buddha, Ganesh, Reiki, Cacao, Singing Bowls, Chanting,etc… But the one thing they never ever tell you about is Jesus. To try Jesus.
8 years ago, when it all started, if someone had told me to turn to Jesus, I would not have even heard them. But going to a yoga class , that was doable. So yes, it’s not the answer, and it’s a reflection on how lost we are as a society. However yoga, if done correctly, also teaches about living righteously. I loved Ashtanga so much, that I had to start to go to bed early, and eat correctly, to start thinking differently. To become a serious practionner, I had to eliminate alot of toxic elements of my life.
The first 18 months of Ashtanga, all I did was cry. God blesss my teacher, Patrick, whevever you are, I haven’t met another yoga teacher that would have put up with two years of my tears, and you always had a box of tissues ready. I was in so much emotional pain, which reflected itself in my body, that I pulled my hamstring attachments. I couldn’t even sit down for more than 30 seconds at a time. I would also suffocate on my own breath. Even at home, after class, I had so much trouble breathing. So many emotions were coming up, that I was in a constant state of panic attacks. Everyone in my life told me to stop practicing, I mean I could not sit down in a chair like a normal person. But I kept showing up on my mat, 6 days a week, even though I knew what excruciating pain was waiting for me. It seemed impossible. I truly believed that I would not make it through.
But with time, I learned to breathe again. My body started to heal.
I think every Ashtangi has this moment, when the teacher is putting all their weight on you, and you can’t go anywhere, your thoughts are coming in at 100 000 miles a second. All of it hurts, your body is aching, your mind is suffering, you soul is broken. And then that moment arrives, where you can choose, you can either keep on panicking, and stay in this agony. Or you can choose otherwise.
You can choose to breathe. You can choose to surrender. You can choose to trust. To trust that where you are at that moment, no matter how struggling, how painful, how scary, trust that it is exactly where you are meant to be.
Knowing that discomfort is only temporary, and that it can’t control you without your compliance.
And you will see that the struggle, the pain and the fear dissipates once you surrender to it. Leaving room for compassion, love, freedom… and one day, for God.
It takes a dedicated practice to open that space.
It takes time to open that space.
If people are seeking for the truth, Jesus will come to them. And He will use the elements of this world to guide us to Him.