Why I Stopped Teaching “Christian” Yoga

I have tried to write numerous times over the last two years. Our family Bible verse is:

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

To those of you reading this, I hope that you know that my words are coming from a place of love. Not from condemnation or malice. I enjoy sharing how God continues to mold and shape me, thanks for reading!

A few years ago I wrote a blog post titled “Does Downward Dog dishonor God?” I tried to address the question “Should Christians practice yoga?” Over the last few years my desire to know God has grown so much that last year I finally disciplined myself to read the Bible in its entirety.

Even before I began reading my Bible something had just continued to feel off over the last several years when I would practice and teach yoga. I would have loved to have stumbled across a blog post like this back when I was looking into teaching Christian yoga. The only reason I ever felt comfortable signing up for my 200 hour yoga certification was because the word “Christian” was in the title.

Before I go further let me give you a brief history on how I became involved in the yoga community and started teaching.

How I Started Teaching Yoga

The summer before I entered college I purchased a yoga DVD from Barnes and Nobles. This was back when I still went to the bookstore and didn’t simply Amazon prime everything to my front door. I used this DVD numerous times and began to also take a few yoga classes at the gym.

I continued to take yoga classes occasionally over the next four years and during my senior year of college the Kinesiology department offered a Movement Analysis Lab focusing on yoga. I was so excited! The instructor was very relatable, and told the class up front that she was a Christian, and used yoga as a way to “connect” with God. I felt like I had hit the jackpot, especially because I had never in all my years at Arizona State University had any of my teachers state they were Christians.

Up until this time I had never viewed yoga as a way to “connect” with God and had only used it as a way to exercise. I had only taken yoga classes at the gym and in 2005 the yoga classes being offered at my gym were strictly posture based.

Fast forward to March of 2007 and I became very, very sick. You can read more about the neurological disorder that paralyzed me from the neck down and my road to recovery was HERE.

On the road to recovery in 2009 I signed up for a Chrisitan Yoga Teacher Training. Since yoga had been one of the tools I had used during my recovery, I really wanted to share its benefits with others and the added bonus of sharing the gospel message at the same time really appealed to me.

That summer I learned all about “Christian” yoga. I was fired up and ready to encourage others to experience God more deeply through the practice of yoga at my church and any other church that would allow me to teach. Each class included scripture reading, a playlist that contained praise/worship songs, low impact movements, and ended with prayer. The only problem was that the churches that I approached with this amazing opportunity, my own church included, did not want to offer Christian Yoga classes.

I was perplexed and if I am being totally honest, slightly offended, about the reaction I received from local churches in my area. I felt equipped to teach yoga in a manner that honored the Lord yet wasn’t able to get my foot in the door to teach at any church.

Since I was having trouble finding my own yoga classes to teach, the Christian yoga studio that I took my training from offered me a few classes on their schedule. From there I continued to branch out and seek out more studios to teach. Over the next 4 years I taught at 8 different studios/gyms, became a certified personal trainer, and began to teach group fitness classes as well.

From 2010 – 2012 I was teaching upwards of twenty classes weekly. At this point I was no longer teaching at the Christian yoga studio. My classes didn’t contain scripture or prayer because they were being offered in a secular setting but my playlist did contain a mix of pop and praise music.

Once my second baby arrived in 2014, I was no longer teaching classes or practicing yoga, and the further removed I became from teaching and practicing the more I began to wonder if I should really be teaching yoga anymore at all.

Why I Stopped Teaching Yoga

My initial intentions of wanting to share Jesus with others were soon replaced with only wanting to stoke my own ego. During my time teaching yoga I took many yoga workshops and classes to help me fine-tune my own teaching ability. I began setting goals for myself that had nothing to do with my initial desire to help others. The more I embedded myself into our local yoga community the more yoga began to shape and form my identity.

Instead of being excited to share my faith I began to become prideful over how full my classes were and that I was actually able to contort my body into some pretty advanced yoga postures. I spent hours of my time in front of my camera taking pictures of myself in these advanced postures to post on social media in order to promote my classes.

I allowed my successes to become an idol and overshadow my Savior. While there isn’t anything wrong with being successful or taking pride in our gifts, our ability to use discernment often gets pushed aside when we elevate things or people to a position that only rightfully belongs to the one true God.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

Being a “Christian” yoga teacher made me “feel” close to God. But I can’t say that I knew God. Feeling God and knowing God are two completely different things. Even when I was strictly teaching only Christian yoga I based my classes more off what I was feeling as opposed to what I had been studying in God’s word. Because truthfully, back then, the only time I really opened my Bible was to find a scripture that resonated with me for a class.

As a Christian my actions should point others to seek and find an ever deepening relationship with the Lord which is why I am no longer teaching or practicing yoga. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism and as a Christ follower I can no longer in good conscious be associated with teaching something that may cause others to stumble or open up a path to them that leads them away from the saving grace of Christ’s death on the cross.

God gives us all free will. But a Christian must not merely consider what is lawful, but what is expedient, and to edify others.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23

What About Christians Teaching/Practicing Only Christian Yoga?

There is no governing authority or church body presiding over Christian yoga or Christian Yoga Teacher Trainings. Even with all the best intentions, without this governing authority, there is no elder board or pastoral staff ensuring that the doctrine is sound and inline with what the Bible teaches.

The ability for new and even mature believers in Christ to be able to discern what is or isn’t biblically based can become much more blurry especially when churches are offering Christian yoga classes. If a person really starts enjoying a Christian yoga class there is a high probability that they will start to seek out other classes. Yoga can, in some regards, become a gateway into many new age practices that the Bible specially warns believers to stay away from. (Leviticus 20:6, Deuteronomy 18: 10-12)

Please know, I am not saying that everyone who practices yoga will participate in these activities but they do become much more accessible.

For someone who is seeking more peace in their life or looking for a greater purpose I can see how these things could become very attractive. For several years I had put so much weight in the fact that because I was a yoga teacher I should have zero stress and not deal with anxiety. When I was suffering with postpartum depression and anxiety I didn’t realize I had elevated my yoga practice to a place where I had actually made it an idol. Instead of seeking out God for comfort and wisdom I was looking at myself to calm my anxiety and overwhelming feelings of sadness and fear.

Recommended Reading: 10 Bible Verses for Anxiety and 10 Ways to Deal with Anxiety

As believers we have to stay alert and be mindful of how our actions can be perceived by others.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. 1 Pet. 5:8-9

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Even things that are good can distract us away from God. Taking care of our bodies is a good and even a biblically based practice to follow, but we have to be so careful not to let the pursuit of healthy living become an idol.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2


Body After Baby: 9 Months Postpartum

I don’t use extreme measures, deprive myself, or sacrifice my sleep in order to obtain results. I was active during both of my pregnancies and I fully believe that staying active has helped my body recover. I have found that being patient, consistent, and determined are the greatest ways to regain strength and stability in my body. I am a mama to two, and a wife to a firefighter. I don’t have a chef, housekeeper, or nanny. I am real person and I am inviting you to come on my postpartum journey with me. If you are recovering from childbirth please listen to your own body and know that each woman’s pregnancy, labor, and delivery is unique. 

To read Maisie’s birth story click HERE. You may also be interested in reading my 1 Month Postpartum Update and 4 Month Postpartum Update.


Waist 27″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 130 lb.


Waist 38″ | Hips 39″ | Weight 154 lb.


Waist 31″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 133 lb.

Body After Baby 9 Months Postpartum

This is me right now. No makeup and still slightly sweaty from a workout.  

Postpartum Body Months 1 4 9

It has been 5 months since my last update and there has not been any significant change in my body measurements but there has been a huge change in how I am feeling.

My struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety left me feeling like a shell of my former self. Being brave, talking with my doctor, getting a prescription for Zoloft, meeting with a christian counselor for treatment, and making time with God a priority has allowed me to become engaged in my life again.

Back in December I was suffering from horrible lower back. I had never experienced pain like I was feeling which led me to physical therapy. My hips and hamstrings were so imbalanced and sadly my range of motion in my body was drastically reduced. I have spent the last several months focusing on correcting my muscular imbalances with stabilization and strengthen exercises.

In April I am going to be eliminating caffeine, sugar, gluten, diary, and alcohol (this one isn’t a big deal for me because I hardly ever drink) for 21 days. Bread is my favorite thing ever and so are cookies. Each time I have done an elimination diet or a juice cleanse I feel so much better. My cravings are drastically reduce, eczema improves, and I sleep better.  I will post more details soon in case anyone else would be interested in learning more about why this is beneficial for your body.

I realize that my last several posts have not made motherhood sound very pleasant. As miserable as I was feeling a few months ago my husband and our babies are the best thing that has happened to me. I am trying to keep this blog real and honest. As a christian it can sometimes be easier to pretend everything is fine because you don’t want others to be turned off by your vulnerability and rawness. Life is wonderful but it can be hard sometimes.

To the moms reading this who have not experienced anything that I have written about. I totally get it. I was right there with you my first pregnancy. I had no idea what postpartum depression felt like or even how consuming dealing with its aftermath could be.

To the moms reading this who have experienced anxiety and depression my heart hurts for you. You are not alone in your suffering. I promise. There are so many of us who suffer in silence. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or talk with your doctor.

When we judge each other we are forgetting that every person has a unique story. Everyone of us has experienced something that has changed us. Be authentically you. God created each of us for a purpose and a calling. It would be a boring world if we all experienced the same struggles and triumphs.

Thank you for your love, kind words, and support over the last several weeks!


Body After Baby: 4 Months Postpartum

Wow, I have so much to share. I am anxious and slightly nervous to write how I have been recovering during these last several months. But before I continue please read the following disclaimer…

I don’t use extreme measures, deprive myself, or sacrifice my sleep in order to obtain results. I was active during both of my pregnancies and I fully believe that staying active has helped my body recover. I have found that being patient, consistent, and determined are the greatest ways to regain strength and stability in my body. I am a mama to two, and a wife to a firefighter. I don’t have a chef, housekeeper, or nanny. I am real person and I am inviting you to come on my postpartum journey with me. If you are recovering from childbirth please listen to your own body and know that each woman’s pregnancy, labor, and delivery is unique. 

To read Maisie’s birth story click HERE. You may also be interested in reading Body After Baby: 1 Month Postpartum Update.


Waist 27″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 130 lb.


Waist 38″ | Hips 39″ | Weight 154 lb.


Waist 31.5″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 133 lb.

Body After Baby 4 Months Postpartum

I am really not even sure where to start. I was feeling really great up until around 6 weeks after giving birth. Both Caden and Maisie were healthy and Josh was back on his regular 24 hour shifts. I felt like supermom. Sure I was exhausted at the end of the day but all things considered I thought I was managing fairly well.

Around 8 weeks postpartum I started to feel very run down. I remember the newborn phase with Caden and being tired but this time around I just seemed to become more fatigued as time went on, experienced frequent heart palpitations, and felt a looming sense of dread hanging over my head.

Thinking that I might have a nutritional deficiency I set up an appointment with my naturopath and she recommended that I see a cardiologist.  One doctors appointment turned into another and has since spiraled out of control. I really can’t tell you how many times in the last 3 months I have been to a doctor. These appointments have included the dermatologist for skin biopsies and exzema, dentist for a root canal, cardiologist, naturopath, vein specialist for varicose vein treatments, and lastly to my primary care doctor.

I don’t even want to think about how much money I have spent on co-pays. Thank the Lord for insurance!

Multiple doctors visits, waiting for various test results, and trying to manage squeezing all these appointments in while nursing Maisie has been stressful to say the least. The “what if’s” started to pile up and before I knew it I was spending the majority of my time worrying about what could happen to myself and my family.

Crying seemed to become a normal part of my routine and I seriously felt like my bubbly personality was never going to make a reappearance.

I never thought I would battle with postpartum depression or anxiety. Like never ever.

With Josh’s encouragement and support I made an appointment with my primary care doctor and told him with tears in my eyes what I had been experiencing. That was the turning point. It was scary but empowering at the same time. I knew from that instant going forward I would be in a much better place. Maybe not right away but I was at least taking steps in a more positive direction.

Sharing all of this is not easy, and I debated over and over if I even wanted to share. In the end it feels better to be open and honest. I am not perfect and don’t have it all together and would never want anyone to get that impression from my blog.

I am so thankful I went to see my doctor when I did. Waiting would have only allowed me to sink deeper and deeper into a dark and bottomless pit.

This past week I learned the results from the testing that was done at the cardiologist. I have to say that it was a relief in a way to find out that the heart palpitations I have been experiencing were not a result of an over active imagination. The pulmonic valve in my heart is leaky. It is mild leak that could have been a result from pregnancy or I could have had it my entire life there is really no way to know. It is not life threatening but later on down the road if it should worsen I may need heart surgery.

My heart is also misfiring electric signals causing it to contract in an abnormal rhythm, this is why I have been feeling the palpitations. I had to wear a heart monitor with electrodes and wires for two weeks which was slightly annoying but worth it because I now have the answer I need. Again this is not life threatening and should it get worse I might need to go on medication but the cardiologist thought it could be related to postpartum hormones so I just have to wait and see.

All of this to say I am doing better. I can still exercise and I now have a plan to get back on track mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Without God at the front of all this I would be even more of a mess.

Enough of all that. Hopefully that gives you an idea of what has been going on. This next part seems slightly less important to me now in comparison to what has been happening with my overall health but I know I said I would share my before and after pictures from using the MuTu System 12 Week Program.

Body After Baby 1 Month & 4 Months Postpartum


Waist 33″ | Hips 39″ | Weight 139 lb.


Waist 31.5″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 133 lb.

Ladies, if you have had a baby recently or even if it has been several or more years I highly recommend the MuTu System. You can read my MuTu System 12 Week Online Program Review for more details. Since my last update I have lost 6 pounds and 3.5 inches. I can’t sing it’s praises enough! If you feel like you are looking pregnant months or years after having your baby do yourself a favor and click HERE to watch a quick video explaining the program and how it works. I’ve also been using my Fitbit to track my steps each day which has helped me see how much (or how little) I have been moving.

I am averaging around 7 hours of sleep each night and Maisie is nursing every 3 hours during the day and sleeping 12 hours at night. It is great! Over the last 6 weeks I have been waking up at 5am to pump breastmilk to stash in the freezer. The treatment I am having done on my varicose veins requires me to pump and dump for 24 hours after my appointments. All you moms who exclusively pump you are rockstars! I am planning to write a separate post on this in the next few weeks. So far my treatment has been going well and my legs are already feeling better. Yay!

I think that I need to hit publish on this post before I decide to delete it. To see cute pictures of my kiddos follow me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.

Moms how have you dealt with your postpartum recovery?

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