Winning something shouldn't motivate you to attend Yoga at the Church, right? You come because you know it's good for your mind and body and you enjoy seeing your kind and loving yoga teacher, Doris. 👍 But it sure is exciting knowing that you may be the one who ends up leaving after class with a yummy "Just Because" mystery prize.
Simply show up and attend Yoga at the Church this Saturday, March 30th. Who knows? It may be you!
YogaFit vinyasa yoga is part of the ongoing evolution of yoga in the West. Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago as a philosophical system that incorporates psychological and physical practices. These practices created greater health, mental awareness, and balance in practitioners of yoga. As yoga evolved and expanded, several different “types” of yoga emerged. YogaFit is part of the hatha yoga tradition and is a vinyasa style. Hatha is a Sanskrit word that means several things. It literally translates to “force” or “physical”. It is broken down into ha and tha. Ha represents the qualities of masculine, solar, or energizing. Tha represents the qualities of feminine, lunar, or relaxing. The word hatha invokes the balance of opposites.
Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj. Yuj means “yoke” or “union” of the mind, body, and spirit. Hatha yoga is the union of opposites through physical practices. Ancient yoga practitioners used the system of hatha yoga as preparation for long periods of sitting. Therefore, many hatha yoga movements focus on the lower body, especially the hips, hamstrings, and back. Almost all styles of yoga share the same poses. In YogaFit, we use these poses to help create balance in the body, and to complement the activities of our daily lives.
YogaFit classes involve linking several poses together to create strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. The technique is called vinyasa, which means, “to place in a special way.” I create classes that effectively work all parts of the body equally, with each pose flowing safely into the next. It is highly complementary to other styles of yoga.
In my yoga classes, including those at the Kirkersville United Methodist Church (KUMC), we LET GO of many things, including judgement against ourselves and others. Jesus taught us "...Love your neighbor as yourself," (Matthew 22:39).
After reading in recent newspapers and the internet about the recent "News about United Methodist's ban on LGBT at the 2019 United Methodist Conference" I met and spoke openly with KUMC Reverend E. Neil Gaiser, OSL. When I asked his opinion about this recent ban he replied, “The term ‘ban’ is a misnomer. The LGBT community is not banned from the Methodist Church. Under the traditional plan, LBGTQ persons are unfortunately prohibited from ordination and existing United Methodist clergy are prohibited from officiating at same-sex weddings. Violations of either would result in stiff penalties. This traditionalist plan retains the current UMC teaching on sexual ethics and marriage as between a male and female."
Although a small majority voted in favor of this plan, Reverend Gaiser disagrees their stance on supposed "biblically based" ethics in regards to human sexuality, arguing instead that theirs is simply a different interpretation of the scriptures. He pointed out that while Jesus says nothing about homosexuality, he had plenty to say about issues like divorce (and even condemning re-marriage); subjects that the more conservative groups in the UMC all but ignore. This, he feels, means that traditionalists are rather hypocritically cherry-picking which "Biblically based" ethics to follow and which ones to throw out or sweep under the rug. He added, "If an LBGTQ clergy person were forced to surrender their ordination credentials under the traditional plan, why wouldn't a straight clergy person who has been remarried be forced to do the same?"
As a socially progressive centrist Reverend Gaiser believes in the principles of truth, justice, fairness, and happiness (ethical and moral). He added, "At KUMC ALL are welcome at the church....and I mean ALL. I will NEVER exclude anyone."
Please read the full statement below which he wrote and posted on social media regarding the 2019 United Methodist General Conference.
"Hi friends, I have been asked to share words of advice and encouragement in the wake of our Special General Conference. I must confess that even after a night of reflection and prayer, it is difficult to do either. My heart aches for our LBGTQ siblings in Christ over the way in which our church, in my opinion, has misused scripture and tradition while seemingly ignoring the often painful and tragic realities of lived experience to exclude and further wound those who are, nevertheless, beloved children of God. I find myself in so much pain over this ruling, that it is in this moment, difficult to even identify myself as United Methodist, despite how much I love our church and our Wesleyan and Anglican heritage. But even as I say this, I must be careful in that even though I strongly disagree with those who have cast their votes and who support the traditional plan, they too are my sisters and brothers in Christ. I have to be careful to remember that, especially as one who works in the field of interreligious relations, we are a global church working alongside those who have a completely different ethic and theological understanding than our own and this has to be respected even as much as I disagree with their position, lest we run the risk of a sort of double-colonialism. This is why (though many of my friends and colleagues might rightly disagree with me) I would have been more in favor of something like the Connectional Conference Plan. Contextualization is of the utmost importantance for all parties who are trying as best they can to follow their interpretation of the scriptures and their conscience. Because of this, I was deeply saddened that it was not worked on more leading up to the GC and was essentially DOA. This is, (as others like Bishop Willimon have observed) simply put, one of the great challenges and hurdles of our polity; one that perhaps cannot be overcome as this sad ruling, passing with only the slightest majority, reflects.
And yet, my friends, it is at this point that I remind myself that my faith, ultimately, does not rest on human institutions, but in Christ and Christ alone. If you have ever attended one of my worship services or my Bible studies then you know that one thing I always emphasize in my preaching and teaching is human sinfulness, not as a list of 'thou shalt nots' but in the way that the German theologian Paul Tillich once argued: as a condition; a state of being. Our tendency is towards estrangement, division, and fragmentation. We see it throughout the Bible, we see it in our interpersonal relationships, we see it in our political landscape, and we see it reflected in the church. The history of Christianity is littered with such brokenness. Indeed, I am reminded of how the great reformer Martin Luther once said that we are both "simultaneously saint and sinner" and nowhere have I seen that reality more than in our General Conference these past few days with all the bickering and the hurt and pain that we have caused. As our Hindu and Buddhist friends would say, we are steeped in maya, in delusion. As Saint Paul would say, we see through a glass darkly. And as Niebuhr once observed, our own sinfulness and brokenness is perhaps the greatest empirical evidence of the truth of the Bible.
Thus, we are wholly dependent upon God's grace. And for that reason alone, in spite of all the tears I have shed for our LBGTQ siblings these past few days, and as difficult as it is, I am not without hope. The Lectionary reading for this Sunday is Luke 9:28-43, the story of the Transfiguration. Even in the midst of my grief, it is yet my fervent hope and prayer that Jesus will lead us up the mountain as He did Peter, James, and John, and that He will reveal Himself to us as He truly is, lighting our present darkness and dispelling the ignorance of our broken and fallen institutions and that He will somehow, in spite of all these setbacks, lead us back down into the valley renewed and transformed because there is still much work left to be done; especially that of loving our neighbors as ourselves and excluding none, for ALL are welcome at the Table. Kyrie Eleison. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy."
Feel free to openly post comments on this blog. If you have questions or comments you would rather address privately please click on the button of the contact of your choice (below). Namaste.
For many of us Christians, this first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, represents a time of limitations. Limitations of overindulgence with food, sleep, pleasure, and work. These "external" limitations may seem dreary or burdensome since there are more church masses to attend, less time to go out and do what we'd like, less food consumption, and even refraining from meat-just to name a few. In the Eight Limbs of Classical Yoga these limitations are also shed to light, not only during the Lent season, but every day of the year.
On the flip side, these external limitations provide us with "internal time" to get closer to God in the silence of our hearts. Internal time for self-reflection, prayer, meditation, gratitude, appreciation, wisdom, etc.
So, if we have found ourselves side tracked, forgotten who we are, have a poor attitude, poor thoughts, and poor actions, we can start again by using this sacred time of Ash Wednesday and Lent to pay attention to the transformation God wishes for our mind, body, and spirit. A positive change that should not only take place during these next fifty days, but for the remainder of this year, and the next year, and so on.
How can we go about this transformative journey? By spending quiet time with our Lord: retreating to a quiet place, reading sacred texts, incorporating pranayama exercises, praying, and meditating.
"But Jesus withdrew himself often to lonely places and prayed." (Luke 5:16)
Are you ready to be the person God has called you to be?
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