Welcome to Yahweh Yoga!
Graduate Story: Dawn Jones
Why did you decide to become a christian yoga teacher?
My desire to teach Christian yoga came to the surface only after I attended a secular yoga retreat in Mexico several years ago. I had booked the trip as a birthday gift to myself. I never desired to teach, but only to learn from well known teachers and leaders in the field so I could grow in my personal yoga practice. So, I signed up for a retreat with the famous yoga expert, Baron Baptiste. I was yoga partners with another yoga industry leader, Wade Morissette, that week! It was a totally transformational time in my life. Baron Baptiste helped me realize that not wanting to teach was a selfish desire. Yoga is an amazing practice on the mat, even more meaningful off the mat and off-the-charts meaningful when you can share it with others. I remember the feelings I had after that retreat. God totally dealt with me and placed in my heart the desire to share yoga, but not just yoga; Christian yoga. The great need for Christian yoga in the body of Christ is why I decided to become a Christian yoga teacher.
What has practicing christian yoga meant to your relationship with Christ?
My relationship with God has become more intimate through my practice of Christian yoga. For years, I incorporated praise and worship in my personal yoga practice. I found myself in poses and praying before I learned that Christian yoga was available. With the knowledge I gained from Yahweh Yoga, I am able to enjoy beautiful, God-centered yoga. Now I can share the truth of Christ by teaching classes and holding Christian yoga retreats.
What benefits do you receive by practicing christian yoga and how has it helped your health?
The benefits of Christian yoga are numerous, but the obvious ones are:
- A deeper connection with Christ through prayer, devotion and intention
- The physical benefits of flexibility , weight control and physical strength
- A calm, collected mind
- A balanced life
All three components of the body, mind and spirit are wonderful characteristics and benefits of Christian yoga.
How has christian yoga helped your personality “off the mat?”
Yoga on and off the mat became a way of life for me. While I was on the mat, I experienced strength of body, mind, and spirit. Off the mat, Christian yoga has magnified my acceptance and forgiveness for others and for myself. It has given me more grace in difficult circumstances. Deadlines, responsibilities and other outside influences in my life have become more manageable, bearable and certainly less exhausting. The best personality trait that I have recognized in practicing Christian yoga is a change in my focus, to less of myself and more of others. I understand that my life on earth is for service, rather than to be served. I am quite sure my friends and family are delighted with those character changes! I continue to respond and grow as I practice Christian yoga daily.
What made you choose to travel so far to study at Yahweh Yoga?
I remember the day that I chose to Google “Christian yoga.” Yahweh Yoga popped up. My thoughts were “Arizona? But Lord, I am in Florida and I have a full-time job and family. How will this be possible?” The answer was clear: nothing is impossible with our God! I would travel to the ends of the earth to learn and study with DeAnna Smothers and Courtney Chalfant. They continue to be instrumental on my path with Christ though Christian yoga. I praise God for them and their vision of Yahweh Yoga.
What was your favorite part of the Yahweh Yoga training experience?
Besides the knowledge I gained to help people learn and grow safely in their yoga practice, my favorite part of teacher training was the union and bond that was created with each participant in yoga school. I now belong to the best tribe in the world: the Yahweh Yoga Christian yoga tribe.
How long was it before you began teaching after your training?
Initially, I struggled to start teaching, as time would not permit it, with the travel in my job. DeAnna and Courtney’s words played over and over in my mind to “start teaching as soon as possible.” I had the tools to start teaching the day I returned from school, but it took a few weeks to start working with individual clients. Eventually, I committed to a class once every two weeks. I knew God placed the idea, concept and insight into my heart for Christian yoga retreats because of my time constraints. Finally, I started working on a business plan and my ministry started to unfold.
What do you hope people feel when they experience one of your classes and what does Christian yoga mean to you?
Christian yoga is now as integral to my life as breathing. It is my destiny. I hope that anyone who takes a class with me will feel God’s love and receive peace of mind, healing for their body and wholeness for their soul. I also hope that Christian yoga retreats will be a venue to help others find the time to get away and absorb a profound life with God through prayer and healing of their body with yoga and good nutrition.
Anything else you would like to share?
I named my company True Light Yoga www.truelightyoga.com. We just had our first retreat, which accomplished everything I hoped for. People walked away with the knowledge and desire to start a healing path. The True Light Yoga retreat ministry has started. It will bring wonderful retreats to amazing locations all over the world.
Yahweh Yoga has been so supportive that they are among the first to engage in business with True Light Yoga to produce the Yahweh Yoga’s Vacation Experience of a Lifetime in Israel in June 2011. For more info please visit…Yahweh Yoga’s Vacation Experience of a Lifetime
Secular yoga has its home in India. Now Christian yoga has a home in Israel. What an honor! We will be practicing on His Holy Land, walking where He walked, praying where He prayed, feeling His energy.
Just imagine sea breezes, awesome, healthy food, beautiful people and a sacred, holy feeling that seeps into your soul. You may never be the same, as your life with Christ grows in intimacy you have never known. My own experience traveling in Israel totally changed my life and the way I resonate with the written Word. I hope and pray it will be the same kind of positive, life-altering experience for you.