Friday, March 25, 2016

Let's talk Sanskrit, science, and faith...

First, something you need to know about me. Actually, two things. I believe in creation science, the more I learn (and the longer I live); and grow fruit and vegetables; raise(d) chickens; and experience nature at work; the more I do not believe evolution could be more then an idea. Maybe we will move on to that topic on another day ... But for now, the first thing you need to know about me is that I believe that God created the earth, plants, animals, fish, birds and people - in six days. Second, I am a yoga teacher, who has had several college science and health courses, but I am not an expert in the medical field. I do believe that we are not to live blindly. So, if I am going to teach asana (the postures of yoga), then I need to be able to discern and educate others in regards to what ideas align with my faith in Christ, and what does not. Hence, this very long post.

Alright. Now if you are still with me, let's move on. Sanskrit is an ancient Indic language that is the language of Hinduism and the Vedas and is the classical literary language of India. It is also the language often used to describe different postures when you visit a yoga class.

For today, I'm going to narrow the topic down to the chakras, and what you really need to know about these  popular wheels of energy. If you are believer in Christ, who practices yoga under teachers who do not share a faith in Christ, it doesn't mean you need to stay away from their classes, it just means you need wisdom and discernment in what philosophy they might be teaching.

When translated, chakras refer to a wheel or a disk, and signifies a spinning energy center within our body. Depending upon your source, some believe that the human body has over twenty chakras, and some as few as three. Most of the time, if you have heard talk of the chakras, the number mentioned was probably seven.These seven run along the vertical line within the torso of the body (think around the spinal cord-ish).

The seven are as follows:
Muladhara (root wheel of energy)
svadhisthana (sacral wheel of energy)
manipura (naval wheel of energy)
anahata (heart wheel of energy)
vishudda (throat wheel of energy)
ajna (brow wheel of energy)
sahasrara (crown wheel of energy)

If you notice, each Sanskrit word, when translated, tells you the location of that particular chakra. What is even better then that a little bit of knowledge is that each of these seven charkas are at locations of the powerful glands that comprise our endocrine system.

Now for a bit of science. The endocrine system is a network of glands which both produce and secrete hormones directly into our bloodstream. In other words, these tiny glands work together and with the nervous system to help keep balance within our bodies. Remember homeostasis? Our bodies are constantly striving for stability and balance within itself. If you ever have heard the story of creation, you may remember that when God created the world, and humans, they were perfect. Designed not to die. The original bodies were perfect - then entered sin into the world, and death became something that would be a part of life, since then our bodies have been striving to find perfect again. So, if even one, tiny gland produces too much or too little of a hormone, then the body can move into a state of disruption, impairing function of the body systems. (Think hyper or hypothyroid issues, diabetes, fight or flight: all are related back to your hormones.)

Chakras are not the glands of the endocrine system, rather they are balls of conscious energy that interact with our endocrine and nervous system. They are not described as physical, instead they are thought to be part of our consciousness.

Chakras are energy. Genesis 2:7 (ESV) states "then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." God's breath brought man to life. We are full of energy. God created us that way. Remember, He created us perfectly, in the beginning there was no sin. There is nothing wrong with energy. There is also nothing wrong with understanding our endocrine system. God's work is amazing. Spend a few minutes learning the importance of how our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system help our bodies work for our good, or at times,against us—and God will only get more incredible.

What is wrong, is when that study of energy becomes greater then our desire to know God. So, as far as the Chakras go: these balls of energy were brought into the limelight in India, within Hinduism. Hinduism is not yoga. However, parts of the yogic community share similar beliefs with Hinduism and believe that the universe is identical to divinity (the Creator is the mind or soul of the universe).

The Bible teaches that God is omnipresent. God's presence is everywhere—but He created the universe - He isn't the universe. God is greater then the wheels of energy that affect my endocrine and nervous system. He created them. He is God. He is who we are to desire to know, more then if our root chakra is more open then our throat chakra. So, if mudras (special hand positions) are taught in class, or Sanskrit sounds are introduced. Before you take part-find out what they represent.

For example: Om (or Aum) is a Sankrit sound/symbol often used at the beginning or end of a class. Om represents both the manifest and unmanifest aspects of God within the Hindu faith. I have yet to see God call Himself by Om in the Bible. Therefore, I do not say Om when it has been taught, I say a prayer, or another name I know God uses to describe Himself.

If we have accepted Christ; and follow God the Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit; and if we give His Holy Spirit room to move and grow within our being - we do not need to walk in fear that other beliefs are bigger then our God. King Solomon says in Proverbs 1:7 (ESV) -"that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." If you desire more health, wisdom and boldness—as a believer in Christ—that doesn't come from the study of the chakras, that comes from knowing God, and putting on His armor (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Saturday, August 15, 2015

[good] changes.

part of the thought process-aren't necessary to be used for website…. just working it out…)

Good changes. A lot of changes - but amazingly surprising changes.

Which would not have happened had God not gotten my attention during the horrible poison ivy/weed outbreak of July 2015. And the "Jonah" Bible Study by Pricella Shirer - because there is no sleeping when all you do is ooze, itch and blister.

Two and a half years ago, I took a break from major distractors in my life. Knitting had already been put on hold due to large blocks of time needed for running, so that meant what was left. I didn't watch a lot of television, but I watched some. So I cut it out for the month of January. (Note: I still don't watch much - it kind of "ruined" it for me.) I also cut out Facebook. And devoted all extra time to memorizing God's Word. I wish I could say I remembered all the scripture I learned, but the last year and a half back in school slowed that down… And just as I was gearing up to head back to nursing school - the poison hit. We were helping with a service project - and BAM! The older two girls and I got it. Each in varying amounts - thankfully mine was the worst. I would not have wanted theirs to be as bad or last as long. That would have been even worse.

I really need to back up a bit here to help this all make sense, but long story short - during my first semester in nursing school and when I wrapped my head around all my feelings regarding nursing school. Nursing school was an amazing experience, but as my studies continued, I realized that my passion for healing still remained with our own biology and how God created us - and how many times, we can heal naturally. As a nurse, my main goal would be to love and care for patients (right what I desire), but following that, a lot of what I would do centers around delivering and recognizing how medications interact with the body. I know that medications can be amazing tools-I have needed antibiotics in my life- but investing further study in medications, when my passion lyes in less medications and more discipline to understand how God created us just doesn't jive. Then as God was reminding me what my goal really was, "to serve and love people through improving their life - and hoping to share Christ in the process…" I realized that nursing wasn't my only option. God had planted a dream in my heart long before this - and maybe instead of thinking that it would come after nursing school, and after I was working as a nurse… it was time to share it with Matheau and move forward with it now.

He (God) has already proven that He will do amazing things to take care of and help my family in new and hard situations. If this is His plan, this is the time. And now we are taking steps to make it a reality. Pretty scary, but pretty awesome.

There will be more details to come. I am going to use this space to help prepare for its launch and help me weed out my thoughts and writing through the process. I just need to end this with when God brings us change. It is good change. Because He is good. All the time.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

the breath of life.

(thought process….)

Each morning I begin the day reversing my "normal" breath pattern… Instead of just breathing, I focus to take deep inhales, with time for expansion into my lungs and stomach, then wait a moment, before I slowly exhale... emptying the lungs and stomach of all the breath I just took in. Again and again-making it my intensional pattern.

It isn't easy for me. It is sometimes frustrating, because the moment my mind wanders, my breathing returns to what has been comfortable for years. And years.

Just like my breathing patterns, I have many patterns that are comfortable, but not necessarily the best option. And as I breath, I pray God continues to take those old patterns, and transform them into the patterns He desires and has planned for me - my family - my friends - and those God brings into my life.

When I started this practice, I really didn't think I had time to fit this discipline into my life. Now I love this time - in the silence to slowly learn a new and better way to live this life.