Be sure to read all about the fast and challenge here! 2018 ‘s Daniel Fast is upon us! We begin the Be Still Challenge on 1/1 -1/31 and the Daniel Fast runs January 7-28th. Don’t miss this life altering, 21 days of seeking the Lord and hearing from Him!
Welcome to the Be Still Challenge! Thank you for sharing this journey with us. We believe you won’t regret it. We encourage you to prepare and expect to hear from God.
It’s simple to join.
- Simply view and do the posture and meditation of the day. [PLEASE JOIN THE FACEBOOK EVENT BY RSVP THAT YOU ARE GOING, WE CAN THEN ADD YOU TO THE PRIVATE GROUP PAGE]
- Share the photo and meditation or one of your own. Remember to share! share! share! the great news of getting still! Share-ers of their journey receive a few gifts as tokens to remember this January. [This portion is optional]
- * If doing step 2, use these #’s. #bestillchallenge #danielfast #yogafaith # #bestill
January 2018, when you set aside time to seek and pray, God showed up and parted the Red Sea for you and your family!
*Hashtags keep all of our information and this time together CONNECTED. Not to be consumed by connection or plugging in, simply to stay connected to one another and hear what God is doing during the vital times of stillness. Do take time to unplug as much as you can. Seek Him! We can only see these if your instagram/facebook accounts are public
1st winner receives a beautiful prayer and essential oil lava bead mala, YF Tote Bag, YF Leadership Bracelet and shirt: Be Still tank or Jersey Long Sleeves-your choice
2nd winner receives Be Still tank, YF Tote Bag, YF Leadership Bracelet, custom prayer mala bracelet by Unique Peace and Young Living Custom Be Still Blend Oil from YogaFaith Trainer Paige Williams of Yoga + Praise
3rd winner receives Jody Thomae’s CD Song of the Beloved and Her [amazing] book God’s Creative Gift , along with Postures of Prayer Card Deck from Getting Studios
4th winner receives YF Tote Bag, YogaFaith Leadership Bracelet and a Young Living Lavender Essential Oil from YogaFaith Trainer Whitney Kitchens!
WEEK 1 – DAY / MEDITATION / POSTURE
Michelle Thielen, YogaFaith
Meditation: Be Still and Know that I am God and the subject of Meditation, our 31 day journey.
Posture: Perfect Pose (Siddhasana)
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10 (NLT)
The definition of meditation is continued or extended thought, reflection, contemplation, devout religious contemplation, or spiritual introspection. Encyclopedia Britannica describes meditation as a private religious devotion or mental exercise in which techniques of concentration and contemplation are used to reach a heightened level of spiritual awareness. The purpose of meditation is to ponder, create inner peace, calmness, and to connect with Christ.
As followers of Christ, we know meditation is found throughout the Bible and is just as important as praying, fasting, tithing, or any other act of worship to Him. The enemy has [even] attempted to turn the word meditation into something dark. But scripture repeatedly tells us to meditate, or deeply ponder, the things of God.
Meditation can be difficult to begin, but it is important and transformational. A devil roams and seeks our soul and I can tell you He never wants to you find time and space for your Savior. Knowing scriptures and the profound truth of meditation, will draw you closer to the heart of God and change you from the inside-out.
To start: Begin to find quiet time to focus. Perhaps simply focus on your breath at first. Close your eyes, then begin to come into meditation, dwelling, deeply contemplating, setting your heart and intention on the Lord.
In whatever we do, it is all about our intention. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. Psalm 104:34
If our mind is stayed on Him and we have the peace that passes all understanding, then we will be free from worries and able to experience true happiness. However, if we don’t spend time with God and our minds are not peaceful, it is difficult to live a happy or abundant life as He wants us to do.
This is what the Be Still Challenge is all about. It’s not just another “challenge.” It is defined as challenge because it is difficult to be still and find time with our Maker. This is the most important thing you can do as a Christian…hear from God. He speaks in a still small voice, He always has and I believe always will. Will you create time to hear this still small voice? Not just in the next 31 days, but forever.
Let’s create a habit that surpasses just this month. You, your family, home, community and world around you will thank you for doing this! The more you meditate, the closer you become to God. The closer you are to Him, the more you get to know Him, which translates in knowing His promises and His plans for your life. You will have more peace and joy just by being in His presence, which will flow into every other area of your life. This does not mean that you will have an absence of chaos, but you will know the One who can get you through the chaos.
When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation. Proverbs 10:25
Notice it says “when,” not “if.” It’s important to spend time with God so He can equip us to handle the storms when they come. Getting alone with Him and meditating on His Word will help you do this. In simplest terms, meditation is contemplation. I encourage you to set aside time every day to contemplate with Christ, and watch your world begin to change!
Kathleen Kolze, YogaFaith Trainer, IL
Posture: Supported Reclining Bound Angle (Lotus Legs Shown) (Supta Baddha Konasana)
I ask you to breathe and relax. To focus on Christ. He is the Light of the World. He is the light in you. To prepare yourself, settle into a place where you feel lightness in your body. May I suggest laying down on your back in a heart opening position; maybe put a blanket or other prop beneath your spine to open your heart as you lay on the ground or on your yoga mat. Settle in. Breathe calmly as you consider Christ. You might know the song with the words ‘In Him there is no darkness at all’. This is a model for all of us.
Now gently place your hands down on the ground or mat with the palms down. As you breathe in this position, release all those thoughts of darkness inside of you. Breathe as you release out the worries in your life; the sins that haunt you; the anxiety you carry. I will pause for a few moments as you clear your mind of these dark thoughts. (pause)
Now, gently turn over your hands so that your palms are up. This is an open position. Open to Christ, the Light of the world. Breathe in the Light of Christ, His strength, His forgiveness. Replace all that was in you with His Light. Again I will pause briefly. (pause)
Jesus is the Light of the World, you are His beloved child. Replace the darkness with His Light. Before I leave you to meditate on His Light in you, I want to read from Luke 11:35-36. “See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”
Consider Christ’s light in you all the time. In Him there is no darkness at all. Breathe in Him, the Light of the world.
Day 3 – Be Still Challenge
Andrea Larson, YogaFaith Trainer
Meditation: “We love Him because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
Posture: Standing Backbend (Anuvittasana)
Being still in the beauty of His unwavering love can be a challenge for those who do not know or comprehend His heart for us, His children. Life experiences has tainted many people’s view of who He is and His intentions. But when one’s eyes and heart are open to His love, one can not help but to respond and love Him in return. His love for you is beyond compare, and no earthly mortal would dare come close. We can’t earn His love, even though some try with vain attempts through works. We don’t deserve His love. We can only receive His love.
When creation was formed, man was His masterpiece. He gave man life by breathing His spirit into his being. This breath is our life force (pranayama). He gave man free will in order that he may choose to love in return. Man fell in the garden by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Death was the punishment (Gen 2:17), but He made a way by providing the first sacrifice (Gen 3:21). Centuries would pass before the sacrifice that would end all sacrifice enter into the world in the form of a seed conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a young girl. This child, Jesus, Emmanuel (God with us) was born that He may die. His purpose was to restore right relationship between creation and The Creator. Humbling Himself on the cursed tree, He took the weight of all mankind’s sin (past, present and future) upon His shoulders.
The Father had to forsake Jesus and turn His back towards Him so that He may turn His face towards us. That was the only moment in time where you read about Jesus crying out. He didn’t want to leave the Father’s presence, but He saw the joy before Him and endured the separation (Heb 12:2), the agony, and the pain. That “joy” was you and me.
Wherever you are at in your relationship with Jesus, know that He loves you more than His own life. If you have been trying to somehow earn His acceptance and love, I pray that the veil is removed from your eyes. He accepts you and loves you right where you are at, no matter how flawed you perceive yourself to be. Even in your failures, you are holy and righteous (in right standing with the Father) simply because you accepted the free gift of salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus (Eph 2:8) .
Thank you, Father for your unconditional love. It is far beyond our comprehension. When man was unworthy and sinful, You still chose to die for us. Help us to grasp the vastness of your love that we may love You more and in turn love ourselves and others. You are beautiful, wonderful and altogether worthy of all our praise.
Day 4 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Psalm 62 | Sabbath Rest
Posture: Corpse Pose Variation | Resting Angel (Savasana)
Sabbath, derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, it is typically observed Friday sundown to Saturday sun-up for Jewish people while most Christians practice the Sabbath on Sunday. It truly doesn’t matter what day you practice the Sabbath, as long as you observe a day of rest. Can you stop? Can you cease? Jesus did, not because he was tired, but because the work was complete and to give you and I an example we should follow. To work, labor, gather and then rest.
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. How long will you assault me? Would all of you throw me down—this leaning wall, this tottering fence? Surely they intend to topple me from my lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Do not trust in extortion or put vain hope in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done.” (NIV Version)
Meditation: His Strength ~ Not Mine
Posture: Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I )
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:17-18 AKJ
Scripture reveals that God’s strength is perfected in our weakness. (2 Cor.12:9) Would you take a moment and let that settle into your bones and spirit? If we are operating in our own strength, in all reality, this is not strength at all. We are actually operating in complete weakness without the Lord’s help. Our flesh is weak, it always has been and always will be. Relying on God’s strength is a throughout-the-day kind of renewal. The fact is, we are always weak.
I want you to grasp that in your weakness, which is everyday-all day long, His strength is perfected! This is such an amazing and powerful truth. Because of this truth, we can always stand firm in His strength, which translates; we are never weak! Hallelujah! Is this mind blowing or what?
When was the last time you felt weak, weary, or flat out exhausted? Chances are it wasn’t that long ago or maybe it is right now. The good news is, your Father, the Creator of the Universe and galaxies, you know the One who created you and knows you intimately, He is all powerful and never runs out of strength. He never runs out of strength!
Today, I encourage you to draw on His strength. Exhale your weaknesses and inhale His might.
I simply love, love, love The Message version of what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. “I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what He in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
Did you catch this? “The weaker I get… the stronger I become”. Wow! Paul is saying that God’s grace and His strength is all you (ever) need. You do not need to worry about anything, including your weaknesses or handicaps. Isaiah predates Paul’s passage in Isaiah 40:31, which The Message also translates so eloquently. Meditate on this beautiful passage as it correlates to your strength as well as strong, standing yoga postures.
Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, (replace your name here) or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me?” Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch His breath. And He knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
Do not dare let the enemy of this world steal your energy or your strength for one more second! Your Father waits for you to call upon Him, to need Him, and to prove His power in your life! Perhaps you feel weak right now. So weak that you don’t feel like writing these few lines down…”Me, operating in Him, is strong”, but you should, then post where you see everyday.
“He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch His breath…He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength…”
Remember this as you come into your strong Warrior I, use modifications such as a chair or place your back foot against a block that rests on the base of the wall. His strength takes over in your weakness!
Or go deeper: Practice Humble Warrior
Day 6 – Be Still Challenge
Michelle Thielen, YogaFaith
Meditation: Exhaling Ego
Posture: Humble Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasanaf)
Philippians 2:1-18 New International Version (NIV) Imitating Christ’s Humility Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Do Everything Without Grumbling Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Day 7 – Be Still Challenge
Michelle Thielen, YogaFaith
Posture: Eagle (Garudasana)
If you ever feel overwhelmed, just ask your Father what might need to be cut out of your life. Ask Him, He will speak to your heart, but first you have to get still, be quiet, and simply ask. Unless you are quiet, you will not be able to hear Him when He does speak.
In everything under the sun, there is a season (Ecc. 3:1-8). Trust Him that His will shall come to pass in your life and there is nothing you can do to speed it up or diminish it! Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil 1:6 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour (I Peter 5:8 AMP).
It is so easy to become unbalanced. Our bank account can suffer if we are not financially balanced or keeping track in this area. Over shopping, or obsessively pinching pennies, both will cause undue stress and frustration. Our physical bodies may be exhausted because we are not balanced in taking care of ourselves. We can error on the side of too much exercise, or no exercise at all, neither are healthy. We may spend too much time with our children and not enough time with our husband, being unbalanced in this area can place pressure and frustration on all of these relationships. Too much time working and not enough time resting will affect every area of your life.
Most of our lives are spent being extremely unbalanced and off kilter, and this is exactly how the enemy would want us to remain. Busy. When we get so unbalanced, the enemy sneaks in an open door where we are not paying too much attention. We can be so focused on certain things that we lose sight of other things, which is why it is important to remain balanced.
Remaining balanced requires maintenance and rechecking your activities and priorities often. Balance means to keep things in a harmonious arrangement or as Webster defines it, a state of ‘just proportion’. Seek to be balanced and maintain this balance in every area of your life. Just like a vehicle, check up and maintenance is required and vital.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, today I simply praise you for giving me wisdom to create space for You, my family and other valuable things in my life. Help me to never lose sight of how important it is to create time and space for all of these things. I want every relationship in my life to honor You, my marriage [or future marriage], my children, every friendship I have, I want them to thrive and glorify You, and the work of my hands to magnify your greatness. I am never more fulfilled that when I am a servant. Show me where I can serve You and Your people. I know that when I fill my day with serving the funniest thing happens-I have all kinds of crazy time on my hands! Help me to enjoy my life and my many blessings. Guide me to be a blessing to others and stop taking everything so serious.You are light, joy and peace. Thank you for a balanced life in You. Amen and Amen!
Remember Modifications: Practice Eagle Arms only or gently hug yourself while standing in Eagle.
Or go deeper: Practice Sleeping Eagle, Hollow out the belly, bring the elbows down to meet the knees and gaze at the crease of the elbows.
Congratulations on your 7 days of stillness. Keep at it, the best is yet to come!
WEEK 2 – DAY / MEDITATION / POSTURE
Day 8 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Trust & Provision
Posture: Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)
“I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build.” Joshua 24:13
You have heard it said, “God helps those who help themselves” or something along the lines of “God can’t direct an object that isn’t moving”. Where did these thought processes come from? I believe it is rooted in a works based mentality. Man’s incestuous relationship with his own strength.
The old covenant required the Hebrews to perform in order to satisfy the law. However, the law was impossible to fulfill by man’s effort in its purest form. This impervious task was God’s attempt at showing the Hebrews their need for a Savior. A Savior who would fulfill the law and give them an abundant life they did not earn or deserve.
The new and better covenant through our precious Jesus makes us rely on His work. He is our strength, He is our peace, He is our counselor, He is our provider and the list is endless. Our “job” is to be at His feet, in relationship with Him, and listen to His still small voice we call the unction of the Holy Spirit. He will direct your steps and provide for you along the way (Phil 4:19).
So, are you lacking anything? Abba provides exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ask or think. (Eph 3:20) Stop trying to do everything on your own. “For it is not by force, nor by strength, but by His Spirit. (zec 4:6) It is then you will see the manifestation of Him in your life that you may boast of Him and not yourself.
Father, thank you for the precious gift of Jesus, and for Your willingness and ability to provide for your children. Help me to hear Your voice clearly and trust Your direction for my life. You are my provider and I am not. Guide my path that I may see clearly, and allow for all endeavors to be credited to Your hand and not my own. In the name of Jesus.
Day 9 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Trust & Provision
Posture: Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Meditation: Acts 10:15, “You must not call what God has cleansed common.” (You are clean! You are royal! You are pure and beautiful before God and man!)
Sitting back on your heels, place your knees either apart for wide legged child’s pose or together- whatever is most comfortable for you. Make sure you are sitting back into the hips so any pressure in the knees is relieved. Reach forward with your arms, long spine, sinking the armpits toward the floor and belly pressing into the thighs as you place your forehead on the ground. If this is too much for the moment, place your arms alongside your legs.
Begin to focus on your breath- in through the nose, out through the nose, getting deeper and deeper with each inhale and exhale. Draw the breath into any places of tension in the body. As you breath, sink deeper into the posture.
Make this a place of rest and surrender. You belong to the Lord Most High! You are His child and He looks on you with great favor. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past or even 5 minutes ago. It doesn’t matter if you made a bad decision when you knew better. It doesn’t matter if you’ve made all the right choices or all the wrong ones. All that matters is you are HIS. Be all here now, in this moment with Him. Forgetting what’s behind and pressing on to the beauty and joy that’s ahead. His cross has made you clean and new- so let go of perfection. Let go of fear and just be held in the great palm of His hand. Be present in this moment with our very present God. Your only job is to be loved by Him. He calls you clean, and He calls you His child- and He only speaks truth! If He says you are worthy YOU ARE WORTHY. If He calls you His child, His royal bloodline, then that’s what you are! We must choose in this moment to believe Him, to come into agreement with what He says and nothing else. So although we might beat ourselves up over all our mistakes, that isn’t how He sees us at all. Take the time to line your thoughts about yourself with His thoughts about you today. Ask Him how He sees you and choose to believe Him. Every time your mind tries to tell you something else, say, “No! The Lord sees me as perfect, clean, pure. I am made Holy, I am made clean by His love.”
In Acts 10:15, Peter dreams about the “unclean food.” These were foods that were forbidden by God for the Jews. But in this dream, God is telling Peter to eat this food and Peter is refusing, and the Lord tells Him, “You must not call what God has made clean, unclean.” In another version they word it beautifully, “You must not call what God has cleansed common.” This was a metaphor for the Gentiles being accepted as clean before God. Where before the Jews were the chosen ones, now all are welcome, all are in! We are no longer commoners, but uncommon. We aren’t seen as low, but as royal, perfect, fully of glory and power. Jesus has made us clean- and not only that, He has made us Uncommon. So let’s think like He thinks- about ourselves, our situations, about others. I love the words of this song by Melissa Helser and think it sums it up gloriously,
“You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone.”
Day 10 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: The Lord’s Prayer in Motion
Posture: Son Salutation A
MEDITATIONS FOR SON SALUTATIONS, FOCUS ON THE [REAL] SON AS YOU PRACTICE SON SALUTATION A
Our Father who art in Heaven, [Inhale arms rise] hallowed be thy name, [Exhale Forward Fold] Your kingdom come, Your will be done, [inhale up to Half Forward Fold] on earth as it is in Heaven. [Walk or float back as your exhale brings you to the bottom of a push up] Give us this day our daily bread, [inhale to Cobra or Upward Facing Dog] and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us, [exhale back to Downward Facing Dog] lead us not into temptation and deliver us from all evil. [inhale to Half Forward Fold] [exhale Forward Fold] For Yours is the kingdom, [inhale Upward Salute] and the power and the glory forever. [return to Mountain] Amen (Matt.6:9-13)
Day 11 – Be Still Challenge
Michelle Thielen, YogaFaith
Meditation: Flowing in His Grace
Posture: Son Salutation B
The more time we spend with others the more we get to know them. We get to know what brings them joy and sadness, we get exposed to faults and character flaws. The time that we invest in others and relationships, allow us into a deeper intimacy with those people. The more time spent with each relationship, the more they can influence us or “rub off on us.” This is why it is so important to protect our inner circle and only travel with people going toward the same destination. Our relationships influence us and can have a profound affect, positively or negatively upon our lives. What if you were to begin a new habit of spending more time with God? Spending time with Him and seeking Him would allow you to know Him more intimately. The great news about God is that He has no faults and no character flaws. Anything that rubs on us will only be amazing!
As we grow in Christ, His ways and heart begins to influence everything in our lives. As we begin to know the heart of God, we take on those things that hurt the heart the heart of God. Things that make God smile become those things that bring us joy. I often pray, “Lord, give me a burden for lost souls.” Well, this prayer did not come from my fleshly heart. It came from spending time with my Father and His heart eventually become my heart’s cry. When we get saved, we become one with Him. His spirit resides on the inside of us and we are intimately one. We can pray silently and He hears our prayers even if we do not speak it. He actually knows that thought before it was even perceived! We don’t have to scream and shout hoping that our prayers make it to Heaven. No, He is on the inside of us hearing our prayers and thoughts before they are even perceived!
When we are intimate with God and the Holy Spirit, we get into a sweet spot. We flow in His grace. Our prayers are set in motion. We dialogue constantly together, even laugh together. Hidden mysteries and treasures that were not previously made known to us, are revealed to us. There truly are no secrets in the secret place, we just have to ‘get there’! Throughout scripture it always says that we have to “go” first. We seek first. We knock first. We draw near first. Then we find Him, then He opens the door, then He draws nears to us. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
In this incredible sweet spot, grace washes over us. His grace is always greater and always sufficient. Receive this great grace. From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another! John 1:16 Take note, we have already received these gracious blessings, one after another after another. Can you picture it? You flowing in God’s great grace, moving in and out of His love and embrace? Can you see yourself completely enveloped in His presence? Now picture this presence gone. It can be a very scary thought. We can do nothing without Him and as soon as we are no longer enveloped in His presence, darkness creeps in.
I encourage you to stay in the dance of grace with your Heavenly Father, He will guide, all you have to do is follow and trust. That is all you [ever] have to “do”. We serve a mighty God don’t we? It is so simple to receive this abundant life. Believe, trust, follow. That is it! Why do we want to complicate what He has already given us? We have already received all of His blessings over and over. We certainly do not deserve it. Are you overjoyed that we do not receive what we deserve? Then how come we are so stingy as Christians with extending grace, mercy, and forgiveness to others? We should freely extend what we have so freely been given. We can get a little holier-than-thou when it comes to extending something that we think someone does not deserve. Well, all we have to ask ourselves is, “Did I deserve the forgiveness, love, and blessings that the Lord has so freely given to me?” Great grace! Stay in the flow of [His] grace. I want you to remember the flow of grace as you practice praying in motion. YogaFaith is quite literally your prayers in motion. Dancing in grace. Flowing in grace, and worshiping the One who has blessed you exceedingly and abundantly more than you could ever imagine!
In yoga, the word Vinyasa is defined as continuous movement. You are flowing with your breath. In YogaFaith, knowing the One that gives us breath and setting our intentions on the Lord allows are flow, or continuous movement in prayer to become transformational.
There are numerous postures and poses in yoga, linking them together and moving in and out of postures is called a Vinyasa Flow. You can follow a preset flow, or create your own based on you personal needs. You can practice a slow, gentle flow, or an energizing and powerful flow. If you are sore or lethargic, you may focus on more of a stretching or restorative flow. If you need energy or balance, you can practice inversions, backbends, and balancing postures in your flow. You can create your own amazing and fun routines, perhaps to different worship songs, I call this YogaFaith Dance! Be safe, and put sequences together that make sense so that you are not compromising alignment or joints. This is a time you can be creative and be with the Lord in many different ways of worship and praise.
Son Salutations can be your entire practice, or it can be woven into a practice. If you are new to yoga, be patient with yourself while learning the basic poses. Establish breath control, good alignment, and then move into the Son Salutations. You may also modify or alter the sequences, there are no rules here just freedom. I encourage you to step out of the box, not just during a Son Salutation, but in life. Explore and become a blessing to others with your own unique and God-given talents!
Day 12 – Be Still Challenge
Michelle Thielen, YogaFaith
Posture: Double Pigeon / Fire log Pose (Agnistambhasana)
Sing to the Lord, all the earth; show forth from day to day His salvation. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He also is to be [reverently] feared above all so-called gods. 1 Chron 16:23-25 AMP
The reason many Christians have a fear of yoga techniques, specifically, is that they have false myths and opinions about something that they may have not studied or sought out for themselves. I first want to remind you that the enemy tries to use all things good for the kingdom of darkness. The forces of darkness have taken a biblical principle of mumbling and singing praises to the Lord and twisted it into something mystical or foreign. We as Christ followers need to take back everything that God has blessed us with to enjoy here on earth and use it in making God famous. We have every power and spiritual authority to take back dominion, and once we gain knowledge or the truth about anything, we gain a clear perspective. Staying meditated on Him and His word will result in powerful revelations. Keep your intentions on Him! See Him first, seek the Kingdom of God first and all these things will be added unto you. (Matt.6:33, Luke 12:31)
Chanting is used throughout the Bible to sing praises to God and sing of His holy names. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines chanting as; to make melodic sounds with the voice, to sing words, especially religious prayers by using a small number of musical notes that are repeated many times, to celebrate, or praise in song . As far back as there are scriptures, God’s children chanted, or made melodic sounds with their voices , toward the Heavens to God. Moses and the Isrealites sang their praises, and we see this throughout the Bible.
I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted. Exodus 15:1
Throughout the Psalms, and there are many Psalms, David chants his praises and instructs others how to do the same. The entire book of Psalms tells us to shout praises; “Everything that has breath praise the Lord, praise Him with song, dancing, and instruments, shout unto the Lord with a loud voice….”, the list goes on and on. In praising God and spending time in His presence, the more we begin to look like Him. We become transformed from glory to glory. The more we sing praises to Him the more we want to sing praises to Him, everything increases and we become changed in doing so.
Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live I will praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. Psalms 146.1 GW Praise the Lord! Praise, oh servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens! Psalm 113.1-4
Vedic yoga literature, or the “Four Books of Knowledge”, contain significant teachings that are found throughout the Bible. Bhatki yoga (devotion, or a spiritual journey) principles parallel what Moses said thousands of years ago: “We should love and serve God.” In scripture we see chanting, dancing, bowing down, sacrifice, and whole heart-ed surrender through our singing, prayer, praises, and worship of the Lord. Moses not only chanted the holy names of God, but he pleaded with others to do the same.
I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! Deut. 32:3
All Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals,
making a noise with psalteries and harps. 1 Chron. 15:28 KJV
In Isaiah, he declares that all people, everyone, should give God a shout and praise from anywhere on earth.
In Isaiah 43 we see Isaiah’s song to the people.
Sing a new song to the Lord. Sing His praise from the ends of the earth, you people who sail on the sea sand all the
creatures that live in them, you coast lands and all who live on them.
Let those who live in the desert and its cities raise their voices. Let those who live in the settlements of Kedar praise
Him. Let those who live in Sela sing for joy. Let them shout from the tops of the mountains. Let them give glory to the
Lordand announce His praise on the coast lands. Isaiah 42:10-12 GW
In Revelation we see that only those that are able to enter into the kingdom of God could learn and understand the “new song” that Heaven was singing. I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of these that are able to hear and learn the chant, or sung prayer of the Heavens!
Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. Rev. 14:1-3
Going back to the beginning, Moses was the first person to declare to his people to sing to the Lord, glorify Him and shout forth praise, in Revelation 15:3 it is no wonder that those who will overcome the last days will sing the song of Moses. Spread out before me was what seemed to be an ocean of fire and glass, and on it stood all those who had been victorious over the evil creature and his statue and his mark and number. All were holding harps of God, and they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
“Great and marvelous Are your doings, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of Ages who shall not fear, oh Lord, and glorify your Name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been disclosed.” Rev.15:2-4 TLB
Numerous men of the Bible tell God’s children to praise His holy name. God has many holy names that define His sovereignty and we can call upon a specific name of the Lord for a precise victory. And God said to Moses, I Am Who I Am and What I Am, and I Will Be What I Will Be; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I Am has sent me to you! Exod. 3:14 AMP
This verse pretty much sums it all up, doesn’t’ it? God says, I am what I am, I am the Great I AM! It means that He is whatever you need Him to be.
God is everything to you. He is everywhere for you. He sees everything, and hears everything. Although it may not seem like it, look like it, or feel like it, God is taking care of us. It may behind closed doors for a long period of time, but He is perfecting everything that concerns you. (Psalms 138:8) He has a name for all your needs. As you read and study the names of the Lord in tomorrow’s Meditation, you may find yourself humming, chanting, or singing His names and their meanings “up” to Him. Meditate on the names that you need for a specific season of life. Perhaps someone has hurt you and you are carrying this hurt around with you. (which, by the way, this is not hurting anyone except you but God can and will release you!) Do a study and scripture study on Jehovah Gmolah and Jehovah Nissi, the God of
recompense and the God that you can count on for your joy and your victory! He is the God who sees all, and He will protect and guide you! This is all in His holy names.
Day 13 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Call on the Name of the Lord
Posture: Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Remember to use modification if needed: Use the wall or the back of a chair for stability. To deepen, lift arms or practice flowing from Tree Pose into Warrior III back to Tree.
CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD
Elohim, Elyon: The plural form of EL, meaning “strong one.” It refers to the One True God, it is in regards to His
creativity, sovereignty, supremacy, strength and power. The Most High God.
El Shaddai: means God Almighty, mighty, and to overcome. It is the name known to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.
El Olam is The Everlasting God who is the Creator of all and cannot grow weary or exhaust His strength.
Yahweh comes from a verb which means “to exist, or be.” It is the name above all other names. Yahweh is also
defined as, “I Am that I Am.” Yahweh is where we begin to understand that He is everything we need at all times no matter what.
If you need provision, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord will provide.” It refers to God’s provision for His people
So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount
of the Lord it shall be provided.” Gen. 22:14
If you need victory, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah Nissi: which means victory or “The Lord is my Banner.”
God is the one who fights for His people and always protects them, even when they deny Him. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ 1 Cor. 15:57
Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner. Exod. 17:15
If you need healing, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah-Rapha, “The Lord our healer”
“…I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.
[Jehovah-Rapha]”Exodus 15:26 ESV
If you need peace, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah Shalom: “The Lord is Peace.”
The Lord is our peace and rest and all times. Judges 6:24
The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. Psalm 29:11
If you need counseling or a commander in charge, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah Sabbaoth: “The Lord of Hosts.” God is thee almighty.
Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”
And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of Him who called out. Isa. 6:3-4
If you need sanctification, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah Maccaddesh, (M’Kaddesh): “The Lord sanctifies.” He sets you apart to be sanctified, holy, sacred, and different than others.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.
May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Tess. 5:23
If you need protection and guidance, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah Ro’i: The Lord my Shepherd and my guide. It means “The Strong One who sees.”
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3
If you need righteousness, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah Tsidkenu: “The Lord our Righteousness.” He has caused you to be righteous. You are the righteousness of God! You have been redeemed!
In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The
Lord is our righteousness. Jer 23:6 ESV
If you need His presence or feel lonely, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah Shammah: “The Lord is there.” If refers to the Lord’s personal and intimate presence with you. We never have to worry about anything, because God is always there, everywhere, at all times.
And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord is there! Ezek. 48:35
If you need the Lord to be your vengeance, call upon the holy name of:
Jehovah-Gmolah, “The God of Recompense”. You do not have to ever defend yourself, allow God to work everything
out for the good, never taking matters into your own hands.
…for this is the time of the Lord’s [Jehovah-Gmolah] vengeance,
the repayment He is rendering her. Jer. 51:6 ESV
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to
avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Rom 12:19
You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord
will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them
tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. 2 Chron 20:17
Thank you Heavenly Father for being absolutely everything to me at all times! Amen!
Day 14 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Benefits of Meditation
Posture: Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
There are numerous benefits of meditation and the best part of meditating is that it can be done anywhere, it
requires no equipment and there is no cost.
Increases & Improves
-Listening skills and empathy -Learning ability and memory
-Creativity and brain wave coherence -Focus, concentration and will power
-Serotonin levels, improving mood and behavior, emotional stability -Reaction to stress and anxiety
-Perceptual ability and motor performance -Communication between the two brain
-Vitality, stamina, and overall energy hemispheres
-Productivity -Composure to act in considered
-Mind ages at slower rate & constructive ways
-Develops or increases intuition
– Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit
Decreases bad habits, potential of mental illness, aggressiveness, anger, destructive habits, restless thinking,
dependency, addictions, and can alleviate or cure insomnia, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and
many more ailments.
Increases & Improves
-Blood flow and slows the heart rate, reducing anxiety stress, and decreasing muscle tension
-Immune and circulatory systems
-Relaxes our nervous system
-Focus and brain productivity
-Aging process, slows it down (amen!)
-Body and mind healing recovery time
-Endurance and can aid in weight loss
-Energy, strength and perseverance
-Deeper level of physical relaxation.
-Air circulation to the lungs resulting in easier breathing
Decreases cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease, reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress,
can reduce and alleviate high blood pressure, headaches & migraines, premenstrual, menopause, and numerous
other syndromes. Meditation will also aid with common as well as chronic diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia,
cancer, allergies, asthma, and so much more.
Creates & Improves
-Space for the Holy Spirit -Discovery of worth in Christ
-A deeper relationship with God -Discovery of self worth and self-actualization
-Alignment of your will with God’s will
-Peace of mind, joy, and happiness
-Body, mind, spirit, and soul in alignment
-Acceptance and understanding of oneself, others and environment
-Wisdom and knowledge
-Ability to forgive
-Compassion, empathy, a widening, deepening capacity for love -Living in the present moment
-Allowance to keep everything in perspective
Decreases selfishness, self centered behaviors and habits, pride and ego.
Father, thank you that you created us and know our inner most parts. Thank you that as I come to you
and seek you, you fill me with your truth and spirit so that I can be awakened to see and hear what you have for me.
Thank you for carrying me through my battles and always protecting me and keeping me secure and safe. I commit
to you today that I will glorify You with every breath that I take. My thoughts and meditations will stay perfectly on
You and You will continue to speak and guide me into all truths forever and ever, amen!
Congratulations on being still for 2 weeks! Keep at it, the best is yet to come!
WEEK 3 – DAY / MEDITATION / POSTURE
Day 15 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Standing Postures of Prayer
Posture: Mountain (Tadasana)
Remember to modify: sit in a chair or stand against a wall, bring hands to heart center in prayer position. To deepen: Engage the entire lower half by “hugging” the leg muscles into the bone, lifting one foot off the floor, include side bends, a back bend or forward fold. You may also deepen this pose by looking up or closing your eyes…or both!
Prayers that were prayed while standing were for adoration, thanksgiving, worship, and praise. While standing in awe of God, the hands were typically open with the palms facing upward toward Heaven and generally speaking the eyes were open and lifted toward the heavens.
Orans is the Latin word for praying. It is the oldest prayer posture found in scripture and most commonly used in today’s western churches, Jewish synagogues, practiced during mass and the standard position for taking communion together. Some pastors today require standing for the reading of God’s word. During this time many lift their hands or face their palms upward to receive and absorb the words or prayers that are being spoken. Seeing a church gather and stand at the reading of God’s word proves that there are Christians who
honor, revere, and respect the written Word of God.
Some of the most memorable stories and miracles from the Bible have come from standing postures that look
up to Jesus or Heaven.
1 Timothy 2:8 In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.
John 17:1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come…
John 11:41 Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
Luke 9:27-32 The Mountain of Transfiguration, “But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him
Psalms 121:1, I look up to the hills from where my help comes from.
1 Sam 1:26 Hannah presented to the Lord her petition while standing, and the Lord answered her.
Psalm 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
In Luke 18:10-14, God answered the prayers of sinners as they stood, prayed, and humbled themselves. “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God,
be merciful to me, the sinner!’ “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
One of my most beloved stories in the Bible is found in 2 Chronicle 20. A story of how God answered Jehoshaphat as he and his small army gathered corporately and stood in prayer believing God would fight their overwhelming battle for them as they obeyed His commandment of standing still. God performed a miracle. Jehoshaphat and his people stood victorious in the face of their defeated enemy! When you have done all that you can do, stand!
2 Chronicle 20:5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard. Verse 13 continues, All Judah was standing before the Lord, with their infants, their wives and their children
Ephesians 6:13 (TLB) So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up.
The Message Version “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each others spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”
Day 16 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Fruit of the Spirit
Posture: Knees to Chest | Wind Relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law” Gal 5:22-23
“Against such things there is no law”. There is no limit to the extent man can experience from Him or express towards others the fruit of the Spirit. Notice that it does not read FRUITS (plural). All of these amazing gifts are the embodiment of the Spirit of Christ who is in each of us. We are the living temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are such precious gifts to Him. We don’t have to settle for just peace or for just love. We can partake of them all.
In a hurting world where tragedy and monstrosities are occurring moment by moment, what better opportunity do we have to show them who He is by our words and actions that are orchestrated by His guidance? Don’t you know that it is the goodness of Him that leads people to repentance? (Rom 2:4) Repentance is not a physical action like most people assume. Biblically it is the word Metanoeo, meaning “to change one’s mind for the better”. This implication refers to man believing that God is good, that He is for them, not against them, and that they rely on the finished work of the cross.
Let us receive from Him fully so that from the overflow of our hearts we may show the world a better view of who He is and how much He cares for each one of us regardless of color, creed, gender, circumstance, political views and so on. He does not wish for anyone to perish, He desires only that they know Him. (2 Peter 3:9).
Father, thank you for the countless gifts you bless us with including the little things we take for granted. I know you are for me and not against me. You desire for me to know you intimately and prosper me abundantly. Help me to show those in my sphere of influence the Grace and mercy that is Jesus so their minds may be fixed on You for the better. In Jesus Name.
Day 17 – Be Still Challenge
Posture: Cobra (Bhujangasana)
If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to Him in prayer! Job 11:13
Throughout the Bible we see the importance of our prayer postures. Prone or prostate postures are shown as an urgent cry or plead to the Lord out of desperation. Bowing down on the knees, we read this as an act of humility and surrender. Standing prayers are seen as praise and worship, giving thanks to the Lord. Back bends will not only be a posture of praise and worship, but they are also an incredible way to lift your heart and soul to the Lord. Most prone postures are back bends, so you may use these postures for a plea to the Lord as well as an offering of praise.
To you, Lord, I have lifted up my soul. Psalm 25:1
Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling so grateful just to be alive? Does your heart get overwhelmed at the many blessings that you have? Maybe it is as simple as the breath in your body. You know some no longer have this simple pleasure. Perhaps it is as simple as having a car that gets you from point “A” to point “B”. Some days, I wake up and simply want to thank the Lord for waking me up. A standing back bend can help us to pause, stand firm, lift our heart, and praise our Heavenly Father.
Because these poses come from leg strength, the bottom half of your body must be completely engaged for a successful back bend. As we talked about in the Standing Postures, you have to root down in the feet, be strong in the Lord, then you can rise up and lift your heart towards the heavens.
It was strong and beautiful, with wide-spreading branches, for its roots went deep into abundant water. Ez 31:7 NLT
Like twists, back bend postures can be incorporated into many postures such as seated, standing, balancing, prone or supine poses. The nervous, digestive, and metabolic systems are all stimulated in back bend postures. They are known to be rejuvenating and invigorating, for this reason it may not be a good idea to practice them near bedtime. Back bends stretch and release the chest muscles allowing circulation to flow freely to the heart and lungs. Mental clarity and focus can be a result of back bends as cerebral spinal fluids are circulated throughout the system. Back bends also stimulate the lymphatic system, pumping lymphatic fluids, by opening the chest, armpits and groin where lymph nodes and glands are located. Back bends cause pressure on the kidneys and adrenals, which not only enhances the cleansing action, but also releases adrenaline, causing an invigorating sensation, while stimulating our metabolism.
In any back bend, be reminded of your prayer and praise posture. Also know that these postures are cleansing, rejuvenating and stimulating. You may feel like you went jogging after a back bend, allow the energy and fresh oxygen to flow throughout your body. Always release any back bend gently and rest a moment if needed.
The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusted Him, so I received help. My heart is triumphant;
I give thanks to Him with my song. Ps. 28:7
Day 20 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Promise of the Gospel
Posture: Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
Through your life you might have heard or sung the song “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so…”. Jesus loves you. He loved you before you were born, as you were a young child, and as you grew older. Jesus loves you now. Breath into this wonderful, amazing truth.
Stand firm into and ground into your foundational leg in Dancer pose. Breath in the fact “Jesus loves me.” Feel all four corners of your foot in the ground, your body strong and firm. Arms stretching in opposite directions, front palm active and reaching forward toward all that God has for you! Lift your heart and head high, neck relaxed and tall. The energy of Christ is in you, around you, and in love with you!
I challenge you not to think that simple song is too young for you. Or that it is no longer true now that you are a grown up with things you might not be proud of. The song is still relevant. “Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so…”. It doesn’t get any better than that. But maybe it does. Even if you don’t memorize scripture, it is possible that you know John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Wow. Breathe that in. Say it aloud. Again. And once more.
Yes, not only does Jesus love you in an incomprehensible, eternal way; He died for you. Suffered to take away your sins. Allowing you to have everlasting life with him. Breath in that reality. Stand firm and immovable in your Dancer, feel His grace surround you, dance in it. Jesus loves me this I know!
It might make you smile and laugh aloud at how wonderful this is. And maybe at the same time cry with joy. This is all good. John 3:16. Challenge yourself to never let this passage feel ‘overused’ or dull — it is His promise! Jesus loves you! “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
That promise can move Mountains. Stand tall. Firm. And be still with God as you embody His promise.
Day 21 – Be Still Challenge
Louise LeGrand Stanton
Meditation: The Lord will fight for you
Posture: Star / Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana )
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
Set up with pose by spreading your feet about 4-5 feet apart. Sweep your arms out to the sides so that your wrists come above your ankles. Spreading your toes apart, begin to push the four corners of your feet into the earth. Draw energy up through feet and legs. Elongate arms, spine, neck. Relax shoulders.
As you inhale, hear the wind whisper, “God will fight for you.” Feel your faith expand as you draw energy up through your legs and open up into the five points of your star. The Lord is fighting your battles!
The wind whispers again, “My dear one, just be still.” He knows the battle is too big for you. He knows there is no possible way the Red Sea will part unless he rends the heavens and creates a miracle.
As the Spirit of God roots you into this truth, feel joy filling your heart and shooting out from your limbs. Let that joy shine on your face. Smile.
Remember Modifications: Use a chair or keep arms down
Let your shining star declare:
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. – Psalm 9:1
You fill me with joy in your presence. – Ps. 16:11
I am joyful in hope. – Romans 12:12
Happy are the people whose God is the Lord. – Ps. 144:15
Return to this star pose and these meditations throughout the day. It only takes a few breaths to remember this confidence and be reassured in his promise. The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still.
Congratulations on being still for 3 weeks! Keep at it, the best is yet to come!
WEEK 4 – DAY / MEDITATION / POSTURE
Day 22 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Isaiah 54
Posture: Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Isaiah 54 The Message (MSG)
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 indignities 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.”
Day 23 – Be Still Challenge
Posture: Son Salutation B (Surya Namaskar B)
Jesus, the Son of God, washes sins clean with His abundant grace.
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 – Be Still Challenge
Meditation: Romans 12:2 The Message (MSG)
Posture: Reclining Hero (Supta Virasana)
Place Your Life Before God
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.
Simply Be Still and Rest in the Lord
Meditation: Christ and the 8 Limbs (over the next few days)
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 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 word and thought. 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.
Meditation: 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 more lonely 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 simple, there is nothing wrong with “stuff”, just don’t let “stuff” control you. To help with the process of becoming more simple, ask yourself if an item is truly necessary in your life. This world is in great need of what we take for granted everyday. 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
Congratulations on being still for 4 weeks! You’ve made it to the last week!
WEEK 5 – DAY / MEDITATION / POSTURE
Meditation: Christ and the 8 Limbs Continued, The 2nd Limb
YogaFaith’s Tree of Life
The second limb of the eight fold is Niyama, or personal observances. They are more intimate and personal than the first limb. Practicing these disciplines are more about living from the soul. The five observances include how we relate to ourselves (inner world), self disciplines, and spiritual observances.
First observance is Shaucha, which means cleanliness of body and mind. Yoga postures cleanse and purify our physical bodies, breathing techniques cleanse our lungs and bodily systems, meditation on the Holy Spirit cleanses us through and through, inside and out. This discipline is being free from junk, whether physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relationally. We must cleanse our body and minds daily. Our hearts have to be cleansed of hatred, unforgiveness, anger, bitterness and any other negative emotions. It is always an “inside job”. God always begins within us.
First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. Matt. 23:26
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what
God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will Prov. 12:2
The second observance is Santosha, is defined as contentment, and being satisfied with what we have. This is about being happy with what we have and what we do not have. This discipline is about having joy no matter what circumstances surround us. Yes, I’m calling it a discipline because having joy amidst trials does not always come naturally. As Christians we know that all things work together for the good for those that love Him, so we count everything towards His glory. He promises us to give us double for our trouble! So we can rest at all times, knowing that He has got it all figured out. Isn’t this wonderful news? All we [ever] have to “do” is rest and trust.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy Psalms 63:5
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do James 1:2-8
The next discipline is Tapas: which means to discipline the use of our energy. It relates to austerity and is associated with body and mind discipline. Tapas refers to keeping a sound mind as well as keeping our body fit with physical activity and proper nutrition. This is a discipline of controlling our inner urges so the exterior shows our disciplined lifestyle and ultimately glorifies God.
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Heb 12:11
The fourth observance is Svadhyaya, it relates to any self study or self examination. To know God and the soul, leads to a great awakening of how God created us to live. Sometimes we simply need a check up from the neck up! It is important to know whats going on internally. If we don’t check in and find resolution, we eventually explode, quite often toward the people near and dear to us.
Daily renew your mind and “check in.” Make an appointment with yourself to get quiet and find solutions to anything that may be brewing or unresolved.
Wake up, my soul, wake up, lyre and harp! I will awaken at dawn. Ps. 57:8
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Cor. 3:16
The last observance is Ishvarapranidhana, the very definition means to lay all your cares at the feet of God. It is an act of surrender to God, surrendering everything, all of it. Give all your cares to Him.
I’m speaking in a human way because of the weakness of your corrupt nature. Clearly, you once offered all the parts of your body as slaves to sexual perversion and disobedience. This led you to live disobedient lives. Now, in the same way, offer all the parts of your body as slaves that do what God approves of. This leads you to live holy lives. Rom 6:19 (God’s Word Translation)
Give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. Prov. 23:26
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Heb. 10:22-23
Meditation: Christ and the 8 Limbs Continued, Limbs 3-5
YogaFaith’s Tree of Life
The third Limb: Asana, defined as seat, and used interchangeably with posture and pose. It refers to any of the postures used in yoga for the purpose of achieving balance, promoting physical and spiritual health, and attaining mental calmness.
FOR IN HIM WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING. ACTS 17:28
Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that
the Spirit of God lives in you?1 Cor. 3:16
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. 6:19 The Message
The fourth limb is Pranayama defined as breath, or life force. There are many breathing techniques that improve our overall health and well being. We can practice these for specific ailments to cleanse our bodily systems or calm our anxieties.
And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given. Gen. 1:30
This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.?” Ex. 37:5-7
The fifth limb is called Pratyahara, defined as withdrawing or retreating. This is a withdrawal of the senses, or a control of the senses, and directs our attention internally. It implies that anything that does not nourish our senses we should pull away from. We should withdrawal from external distractions and attachments and in doing so, we conserve our focus and energy towards a higher calling. Without unnecessary distractions, our center, senses and emotions become keenly sharpened and we become more aware, allowing us to properly discern things in our lives, spending more time focused on the things, people, and circumstances that pertain to our destiny.
The practice of pratyahara allows us to objectively observe our habits. We become aware of the daily habits that serve us and those that no longer serve us. We can then begin to prioritize our daily activities and habits. If they no longer align up with our destiny, we do not make them a priority or we replace old, unhealthy habits with new habits that serve our purpose. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing drawing me closer or further away from my destiny? Why am I doing this? What is the purpose of this activity?” Even if the thing you’re doing is a good thing, it can distract us from our true destination and ultimately be a waste of precious time. When was the last time that you withdrew?
Examine me, God, and know my mind, test me, and know my thoughts Psalms 139:12 (ISV)
Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and
went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer. Mark 1:35
After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
Later that night, he was there alone. Matt: 14-23
Meditation: Christ and the 8 Limbs Continued, Limbs 6-8
YogaFaith’s Tree of Life
The sixth limb is called Dharana, which is defined as an immoveable concentration of the mind. It means to focus, dwell, meditate, and to think upon a singular thing. This is meditation at it’s deepest level. To be completely engrossed and focused on one thing, not several fleeting thoughts at one time. B.K.S. Iyengar states that the objective is to achieve the mental state where the mind, intellect, and ego are “all restrained and all these faculties are offered to the Lord for His use and in His service”. Here there is no self, only self-less. The ego dissipates and you allow space in the inner most parts for the Holy Spirit to consume you. Exhale you, inhale Him.
Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious,
if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Phil. 4:8
I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet, but this one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead Phil. 3:13
This level of meditation will take time to conquer. It is difficult to to set aside a few moments each day let alone many and focus on only one thing. The one thing is God and Him alone. Allow everything else to melt away as your cares are consumed by the Spirit. This observance is when ultimate freedom and healing will take place so that we can move from our past hurts and failures to the abundant and victorious life that God has already predestined for us.
The seventh limb is Dhyana, it means worship, or profound meditation. Simply put, it is perfect contemplation. Practice the previous observance of meditating on one thing, but here we will dive a little deeper into meditation. The seventh observance is the truth and knowledge of the One Christ that we have been meditating on. We seek to understand His ways and truth. This can be called deep and profound meditation. It is an uninterrupted flow of concentration, or dwelling on the Lord. Here we can be keenly aware without focus. Our mind, with its anxious thoughts, our heart with it’s many worries, all become quieted. It is in this stillness, where few thoughts exist and Christ can pierce our hearts, minds, and spirits. In this space, His spirit speaks to our spirit.
But they delight in the law [the instructions] of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.. Psalm1:2
They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. Psalm 77:12
Known as Samadhi which means absorption, bringing together, or merging, the eighth and final stage of ashtanga is described as a state of ecstasy as our mind stays aware and conscience, while our body and senses are mostly at rest. During this stage, we can truly transcend “self” and completely connect with God, does this give you a new definition of ecstasy or what?! This is where you will find inner peace with yourself, others, and all living beings, and the [true] peace that passes all understanding!
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus Phil 4:7
In YogaFaith, we set our heart, mind, and spirit on the Lord. We never “empty” our minds out, as you may have heard of a yoga practice that attempts this, to empty the mind is not even possible. This can be a difficult task to still and quiet everything down to let go of intellect and any distractions. However, as we let go of “self” and be enveloped in the Holy presence of our Father, we can experience truth, peace, and joy on the highest possible level.
No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us,
and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1 John 4:12
For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. John 3:34 (No limit!)
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 2 Peter 1:4
You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 1 Peter 1:8
Congratulations on being still for 31 Days!