Why I Teach Yoga from a Christian Perspective

Dayna Gelinas

When I began New Day Yoga, I made the decision to teach “yoga from a Christian perspective” because I wanted to include the very specific truth about the One and Only God who is a triune being of Father, Son, and Spirit in my classes. I didn’t want to discuss God in generic, universal tones that could cheat people out of the fullness of a relationship with Him, or worse, I didn’t want to mislead them into thinking that all mention of God is the same. One passage that became a theme for me was from Ephesians 4:

“To each one [of us] grace has been given as Christ apportioned it . . . to prepare [us] for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching . . . . Instead, . . . we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph. 4:7, 12-16)

I wanted my yoga classes to build up the body of Christ on every level – body, soul, and spirit, especially the level of the spirit since Christians are told to “live by the Spirit.” So I made it a point to include Scripture in every class, believing that the Holy Spirit would actively inhabit God’s Word, bringing transformation to those who heard it and received it as truth. Some of my favorite passages are those that remind my students Who Christ is and what He accomplished through His life, death, and resurrection:

The truth about Christ:

  • He is the Son of the living God (Mt. 16:16).
  • The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word (Heb. 1:3).
  • Christ and the Father are one (John 10:30).
  • He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
  • All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in him (Col. 2:2-3).
  • In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Col. 2:9-10).
  • Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33).

I also wanted to remind my students what Christ’s life accomplished for all Believers, and remind them who they were in Christ:

The truth about a Christian, a believer and follower of Christ:

  • A Christian is chosen by God and is precious to him (1 Peter 2:4-5).
  • A Christian is holy in God’s sight, without blemish and free from accusation (Col. 1:22).
  • A Christian has been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:10).
  • A Christian has been crucified with Christ and lives by faith in the Son of God (Gal. 2:20).
  • A Christian has been justified through faith and has peace with God through Christ (Romans 5:1-2).
  • A Christian has been raised with Christ and is now hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:1-3).
  • A Christian is seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6).
  • A Christian is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
  • A Christian is being transformed into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18).
  • A Christian is transformed by the renewing of his mind (Romans 12:1-2).
  • A Christian is the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mt. 5:13-14).

Each one of these verses is rich and powerful in the spiritual realm, and I wanted to give my students the opportunity to let the truth of these words sink deep into their minds so that they could be transformed. I wanted New Day Yoga classes to build up my students in their faith as well as in their body, so that they would be equipped to live out the fullness of their destiny in Christ. I wanted to help them “reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” so that they would not be “infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching.”

So, at New Day Yoga as we learn to balance our body in tree pose by engaging our core and keeping our focus on a still point, we also learn to balance our lives by engaging our minds and keeping our focus on the One True God.