Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Diary of a Holy Yogi cont.

It's been a while since I have made a journal entry and what I realized is that I am a little bit over committed right now. Since my daughter was born almost 20 years ago, I have not had a full-time job (other than caring for her and my son), but I have not once been bored in the last 20 years. I keep filling my time with part-time jobs or business opportunities, Bible studies, cleaning house, visiting with friends and family and laundry, cooking, preparing for taxes, blogging...

Right now is no different than at any other time, except that I am required to journal about my Holy Yoga journey and it takes time! I don't do things to stay busy - I do them because I think I should be doing them. Finding quiet time is my most challenging thing. I know I'm not alone in this but I do need to reflect - especially if I'm going to be teaching Holy Yoga.

Today we embark on our 4th week of the study of the Holy Spirit. I didn't know you could spend 8 hours just on the Holy Spirit, but we are doing it! And I am learning so much. It is humbling to learn so much about something that seems like a simple concept. Except the Holy Spirit is not a concept - He is a being! A being that surrounds me continuously, protecting me and guiding me all the while I am doing my business. As I'm writing this I'm thinking "I really need more time!" I need to go make the dinner (smoked chicken stew) because I will be on the phone for two hours which hits dinner time. It has to be ready so when my husband and son come home, they can dig in while I finish up on my date with the Holy Spirit. It's amazing to me how when you are digging deep with God, He creates certain space and support for you. I think I am babbling, but suffice it to say that I absolutely must start carving out specific time on my calendar for business, study, journaling and cooking. An organizer I'm not, but I am feeling nudged right now to do that for my own sanity.

By the way, I am meeting with a Director of Women's Ministries at a local church to discuss the possibility of offering Holy Yoga to the members there. I am praying for God to open a door. It's kind of exciting. Even if this one doesn't pan out, I am certain my meeting will lead to something wonderful.

Here's a thought from outer space: While I have developed a deep faith in God and Jesus Christ - I do not see myself as very religious at all. It's so weird. I want to go deep and be used by God, but when I see myself, I don't see the me that I think others see. I wonder if other believers feel the same way.

That's all I've got for now. In a little over an hour, I get to commune with my sisters and brothers and learn more about the Holy Spirit. Some day I will share what I have learned here.

God bless!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Udon Noodle Soup Recipe

I copied this recipe from a soup I used to eat at SOMA. I really miss that place! I made it up based on what I thought might be in there.

Use chicken broth base
Saute chopped garlic (I use 4-6 cloves) and onion (a little) in a little olive oil.
Add the broth.
Add some chopped cooked chicken (1 breast should do it)
Salt, pepper and Lowery’s Seasoning to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (I use a lot, cuz I like it hot)
Add chopped green onion and cilantro (optional)
Add cooked and drained rice noodles

I measure everything based on how many people, so you have to kind of figure that out. This will make your nose run but it is really tasty and good for you. If you don’t eat meat, skip the chicken.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Christian Yoga in Tennesse!

Just ran across a studio online that offers Christian yoga, business yoga and nutritional counseling in Tennessee. I like to spread the word when I know someone is working hard to help others get a better handle on their spiritual and physical health. If you know anyone in Blount County, Tennessee, have them check out Keola Fit

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Unpacking the Verse

I am more of a task oriented person than a visionary, so when I'm given an assignment I enthusiastically seek to get it done. Then I feel a sense of accomplishment. In my first week as a Holy Yoga student, I was asked to "unpack" a verse. Here's what that looks like: You take a verse and choose the words that stand out to you. They can be verbs or nouns - it doesn't matter - just main words that complete the thought or message. Then you define those words, write them down and then look at the same verse with this new understanding. Ideally, you will read the verse a little differently - it becomes deeper and more meaningful because you have looked at it with more consciousness.

Another way to do this is to read commentaries on the passage. These really help to put the verse in perspective and shows from possibly various theoligical standpoints what God meant by inspiring these words.

It's not like I never knew this had been done before, but I had never actually done it. I am just beginning to enter into this process on a weekly basis and what I know so far is that the text is more alive and rich when studied this way AND it is going to help me immensely when preparing to teach Holy Yoga.

It does help to read the verse in context - review the history of the book in which it's written - and understand how the verse fits into the story.

Tools for this type of study are available in print and online. You can look up www.blueletterbible.com or www.dictionary.com or Strong's dictionary or any number of concordances, Bible dictionary's and commentaries.

Each assignment brings me a little further along in my walk with the Trinity. As we are focusing intently on the Holy Spirit for a whole month, my mind is really starting to gravitate toward the Spirit during each day with regard to everything I do. This is great food, and I am chewing slowly and deliberately so it digests well.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Short and Sweet Notes/Diary of a Holy Yogi cont.

Okay, here are some things I wrote down while taking notes that resonate with me:

Our Purpose is different from our Calling.

A Purpose is a reason for which something exists. It's got the end in mind. Action in purpose = determination.

Our purpose of being human is to emulate Christ Jesus - to glorify God. This is the purpose for our design and creation.

Our calling is an extension of the invitation to join in - to "bear title among men".

Our calling is to get swept up in Jesus Christ passionately in whatever we do.

I get to be who I am! (What a relief!)

Be super authentic!

God calls. His voice is louder than your doubt. He moves you off your path. (Think Moses and the burning bush!)

When you are doing God's will, it will result in worship.

That's it...just some notes I took and liked and wanted to share. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Diary of a Holy Yogi

Okay, I’m not exactly holy, but I was recently reminded that the Holy Spirit lives within me – has taken up residence in my body – and that my job in my “wonderful, spirit-filled life” (Charles Stanley) is to connect with that Spirit at all times and give off the light it emanates.

Thus starts the journey into my Holy Yoga immersion, one which has been waiting for me for over five years. Here’s the scoop of my journey and why I’m doing this.

I am a born again Christian for almost 10 years now and just after my conversion, I began practicing yoga at local yoga studios. My favorite yoga style has been Anusara yoga, which has transformed my life in many ways and has given me a place to expand my heart and body. It’s a really fun, uplifting practice and I am always amazed at what I am capable of doing when my body is warmed up and encouraged to move. If you happen to live in the Phoenix area, the best place (in my humble opinion) to practice Anusara Yoga is at Yoga Village.

In 2003, I became certified to teach yoga and have been teaching at a variety of places since. It was suggested to me shortly after my teaching began that I consider teaching "Christian" yoga. I read some books about it, but at the time I just didn't feel ready to teach Christian Yoga. So for several years, I pondered, considered, mulled-over and prayed about teaching Christian yoga. I was having trouble finding a class to try (that would fit into my schedule) and finally a door opened up for me to attend a Holy Yoga class. I loved how scripture opened, was weaved through and ended the class and from my first class I was hooked. That was it; I decided it was time. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 - To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.)

Here's why I love my I-Pod: I was able to look that up in about 1 minute from my (free) Holy Bible application!

Now I am really fascinated by philosophy and yoga philosophy is very interesting to me; however, my desire is to be a light for Jesus, so my spiritual focus has been primarily a Christian one - even though I have read and enjoy a lot of non- Christian literature. Here's the short of it: I made the decision to combine my love for the Lord Jesus with my love for yoga and so I made my decision to get certified to teach Holy Yoga. I began praying, preparing and making space in my life about three months ago.

Because I have been teaching for seven years, I am taking the 20 hour course, which will prepare me to lead a Holy Yoga class. But did I stop there? No...I also committed to a 13 month Masters Program with Holy Yoga - as if my plate wasn't already full. And believe me, it was. But when the Spirit leads, you follow, so I know that Grace and Wisdom will get me through. Anyone care to pray for me? Thanks!

To begin with, I ordered the required reading so far: "Holy Yoga" by Brooke Boon; "Hatha Yoga Illustrated", by Brooke Boon and Martin Kirk; "Prayer of Heart and Body" by Thomas Ryan; "The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life" by Charles Stanley, "Reclaiming the Body in Christian Spirituality" edited by Thomas Ryan, and one of my favorites, "Eat This Book" by Eugene H. Peterson. Believe it or not, today is the second day of my training! I'm going to need a Jodi Picoult book soon. I can't believe how prolific she is. One of my favorites: "Plain Truth". If you are interested in any of these books, you can find them HERE.

My Diary/Journal begins with the beginning and we began with a study of the Holy Spirit. This is a month-long study, so by the end of this segment, I should have a good understanding of what the Bible is saying about the Holy Spirit. I don't want to regurgitate everything I am learning, but share my thoughts and feelings about what I'm learning. This may result in some discussion with those who are on the same journey or path and I think that's a good thing. Also, I am required to journal for the duration of my Holy Yoga studies, so there you go!

One of the questions that came up is: "Is the Holy Spirit a He or a She?" The Bible clearly calls the Holy Spirit He, just like it states God is a He and a Father and Jesus was a Man, so it's very masculine in language, but it is also feminine as Wisdom is described as She in the Bible. There are many references to the feminine in the Bible, so I can see where this question arises. Personally, I am not concerned about whether or not God is masculine or feminine because I am quite certain God does not have a gender. We write "he" all the time in the English language when we really mean he or she and I just don't have a problem with that. We do know that God is mysterious, so I am content to understand that about God and not worry about this issue; although it is an issue with some people.

I have wondered that if holy means sacred, saintly, godly, spiritually pure and the Holy Spirit lives in me, then why is it I still curse from time to time? I have decided that it's a habit I formed a long time ago and that sometimes it just slips out! I am quite aware when I have cursed and what the Holy Spirit does is remind me that it's wrong to use such language and that it's crude and not very holy, so I continue to repent and try to do better next time. I am sure anyone on a spiritual path goes through the same stuff, right Anyone?

Now here's one that bothers me...when people put the word "holy" in front of a word like "crap". Really? I mean it just doesn't make any sense, but then a lot of the world doesn't make sense. Yoga for me is about checking in with reality and seeing how it can be aligned with holiness.

For now, I am delighted to be going deeper in my faith and being able to have a great workout at the same time. Some people might wonder if Holy Yoga is all spiritual. It is, but my teacher Alisa kicks my behind every time, so it's not for someone who doesn't enjoy moving.

By the way, if you don't know anything about me, my name is Lisa Kneller. I am happily married for over 23 years, have two fantastic kids, teach yoga, am a production assistant for two-time Emmy Award winning TV Personality and Celebrity craft expert Terri O. I also minister to teens through Teen Community Bible Study.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year, New Life

Along with everyone else, I am trying to incorporate new changes into my life for a healthier spirit, mind and body. At first I was going to give up alcohol, bread, all refined sugar and anything with fat in it. As I began to deny myself the first week of my newfound life, I started to feel miserable. I was craving many of those things I was used to eating. Thank God I talked to the fitness director at one of my yoga teaching venues. She told me to give up one thing at a time or I would most definitely feel miserable. So...instead of incorporating too many changes at once, I decided to cut out alcohol and refined sugar the month of January. I allow myself some dark chocolate covered almonds when I have the urge to eat something decadent. I don't really have a hard time giving up sweets because my craving is more in the bread and cheese line, but it does help to really put a halt on most sugar because as we know, it is void of any nutrition and stores as fat.

The point of giving something up is that you begin to lose your craving for it, so you will start to eat/drink less of that thing. After a month or so, it just doesn't taste as good as you thought it did. At the same time, it helps to increase your physical activity and drink more water so your body can shed some of the pounds you are planning to lose.

I love stories about people who have lost weight. They are inspiring to me. It's all about your will and discipline, but it is very beneficial to have someone supporting you emotionally while you're attempting to make changes. Here's a story about one lad who lost over 127 pounds just by cutting back, moving more and making the necessary changes for dropping weight. He doesn't even look like the same person now. I think once you see results from your lifestyle change, you are motivated to keep it up because you just feel better and life gets more fun.

If you are trying to lose weight, I want to encourage you to incorporate small, reasonable changes that you can stick with. For me, I can give up the alcohol as long as I can have a sandwich when I'm hungry. Your body needs to feel satisfied before you can forget about food and wine for a while. And remember, you are not alone! There are many of us out there who want to improve our health and we all do it best one baby step at a time.

Blessings to you for great health and good luck with all your 2010 goals!