Yoga & Christianese

I've always been a weight- lifting, running and jumping kinda girl when it comes to working out. I never thought that doing yoga was considered a workout... until I started practicing it of course.

I had wanted to try yoga for the longest time but to be honest, years of lifting weights had left me in a strong, but extremely tight and non flexible body. I wanted to start yoga but I was ashamed. Ashamed of my flexibility, ashamed of my lack of knowledge, afraid that I wouldn't be able to understand the yoga jargon and afraid that people in the yoga community would judge me. (I couldn't even straighten my leg all the way and hold it in the air) I was intimidated to say the least. Nevertheless, I dove in. 

What I have found is that the yoga community is extremely welcoming. There is absolutely no pressure, no "right and wrong" way to do things. The yoga instructors are adamant about not feeling pressured to create certain exact shapes, but rather finding what feels good for your body, doing it safely, and at the same time getting stronger and learning to breathe.

The other day, I did my devotions on the scriptures 1 Corinthians 14:7-9, and got a glimpse of how exploring Christ can be a lot like yoga. Here's what the scriptures say: “Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody. And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle? It’s the same for you. If you speak to people in words they don’t understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space.”

 

It's easy to get caught up in speaking what we call "Christianese." Jargon that we as Christians use to explain things. There's nothing necessarily wrong with it, except for the fact that not everyone understands it, and it can become something that we hide behind, something we use to avoid trying to explain things normally and answer questions we as mere humans don't necessarily know how to answer. Something we use to avoid being raw and honest and vulnerable to others to an extent. Something that can hide our humanity. It keeps us from being able to fully love and connect with others the way God wants us to. It is intimidating.

The truth is, we as Christ followers are loving, and welcoming to everyone. But sometimes we begin to lose sight of that when we have to dive deep with people. People who don't know what "being intentional about furthering your walk with Christ" means. Or don't know the five love languages. Or don't know what spiritual gifts are. 

Just like in yoga, there is no need to be ashamed of the things you carry; God welcomes us with open arms. There is no need to become a certain shape, or make ourselves or our lives look a certain way in order for Him to love us. As long as we are getting stronger, and learning more every day. 

"Christianese" can keep people from really investing their time into Christ and connecting with other Christians, rendering them confused and intimidated. Thrown off by jargon they don't understand. The same intimidation that keeps people from exploring yoga keeps people from exploring God.

I am working on being more raw when it comes to talking about God. God and His word are relatable, so I need to represent them that way. Intentionally Raw. Honest. Simple.

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