Welcome to the My Bodyoga on the Move Christian Yoga Classes for Mind, Body, and Spirit. My hope is that you will find peace in God's Word and truely take the opportunity to be Still in your Mind, Body and Spirit. Let the Spirit Move you.
Reserve a Weekly or Monthly Christian Yoga Practice in your Church or Home.
Call for details 703.494.(9642) YOGA
"Be Still and know that I AM God" Psalm 46:10
Yoga is a spiritual discipline and not a religion, as many have misunderstood this ancient practice to be. Yoga has the capacity to enhance our personal beliefs and faith. With our focus on Christ, your yoga practice coupled with encouragement and truth from the scriptures will lift your spirits. A desire to take care of your Mind, Body, and Spirit will deepen your Christian faith as you grow in a healthier relationship with God and the body he created, which is YOU.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,"
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Lay your burdens down and know that God is there to carry them and carry YOU! It is wonderful to become yoked with God. When we practice Christian yoga, we celebrate the act of letting go, dying to self, through the subjection of our minds, bodies, and spirits to the authority of Jesus Christ.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.
MONIQUE SCUDERI HAD ALWAYS thought of yoga as an off-limits activity. "The natural expression of my faith is to use Christ as my center in anything I do," says the 28-year-old massage therapist. No hosannas? No asanas.
But a few weeks ago, she found herself attempting the triangle pose for the first time as teacher Alice Sevivas exhorted her students to think about the Holy Trinity.
To Sevivas, owner of My Body Yoga Spa (309 Mill St., Occoquan; 703-494-YOGA; mybodyogaspa.com), the connection between yoga and her Christian faith are obvious. "There's so much scripture that talks about honoring your body," she explains.
Although Sevivas uses traditional yoga moves in the monthly Mbodyoga class, she weaves in religious imagery. Doing reverse table top? You're seated at a table eating "soul food" with the Lord. Unable to let go of work worries?
Sevivas reminds everyone that "Psalms 46:10 teaches us to find that quiet space so we can communicate and listen." Payment is by donation, with the proceeds going to charitable causes (last month, it was breast cancer research).
Sevivas is part of the booming Christian yoga movement, which has spawned DVDs, books and even the trademarked program "Christ Centered Yoga," which has been approved by the American Council on Exercise. Still, it can be tough for religious yoga devotees to prove their practice is compatible with Christian beliefs.
Melissa Darby had gone to Catholic schools her whole life, but no lesson had ever touched her the way a power yoga class she sampled in 2003 did. "It brought my religion to a more real place," she says. So, she became a registered instructor with the Yoga Alliance and started her quest to bring yoga to the Catholic community of D.C.
It took eight months for Darby to convince the U.S. Conference of Bishops to let her teach at its D.C. headquarters. Unlike Sevivas, she avoids using Christian-specific imagery, preferring to evoke universal sentiments. "It scares the extremely religious because it's something different and unfamiliar," she says. But once they take her class, she says, the spiritual and physical benefits become clear.
Those twin perks are what inspired Janine Turner (of "Northern Exposure" fame) to co-produce, write and star in "Christoga," a chapter in a new DVD series called "Faith in Fitness." "It's two rewards in one," she says. "It helps deepen [viewers'] faith because people who won't take an hour to pray could take an hour to exercise."
It was key to Turner and her co-creator, fitness expert Mary Cunningham, that they make their practice accessible to Christians who might otherwise be hesitant. "Christians were feeling left out," Turner explains. "They couldn't do it. I think because of the Eastern religious influence, people felt that they were worshipping a different god."
Although the "Christoga" moves may look familiar, the names — angel's breath, holy rollers — will certainly be new. "We thought [renaming the poses] might be a little radical, but we decided we should just be Christian all the way," Turner says.
Sevivas customizes her teaching in a different way. At class' end, as everyone is lying on their backs with palms up, she places a stone in each person's hand and tells them to remember that God is their rock. "Sometimes you need something tangible, and God is our foundation," Sevivas says.
It was a favorite moment for Scuderi, who plans to return to Mbodyoga and incorporate its lessons into her daily life. "I think I will start holding a rock when I pray," she says.
» LET THE SPIRIT MOVE YOU
» The Mbodyoga class is held the first Friday of each month at
4 p.m. at My Body Yoga Spa.
» To work with Melissa Darby, who also teaches at Catholic University, contact her through her Web site, yogaveritas.com.
» "Christoga" ($15, Westlake) is available widely, including at amazon.com. The company has plans for future releases, including more yoga titles and Christian Pilates.
» For more information on the Christian yoga movement, go to
christianspracticingyoga.com to get suggestions for books, CDs and DVDs, as well as a listing of upcoming events.
Photo courtesy Marge Ely/Express;