Lighten Up | Yoga & Life Coaching Workshop

LIGHTEN UP for Christmas Retreat

Co-hosted by Grace x Strength & She Seeks

20 amazing souls showed up to this God-breathed event. Some for themselves, some to show us support, some for Jesus.  Whatever the motivation behind, we hope that each and every one of our guest walked away with a “lightened up” sprit and renewed heart for the season and new year to come.

Tucked away in the lower north shore suburb of Artarmon, Yoga Pavilion, we felt, was the perfect spot for our mini-retreat.  We divided the group into two sessions and grouped them based on the level of yoga experience that we knew or felt they would prefer. We hoped that each individual walked away with their She Seeks coaching booklet ready to take the world with their 2018 goals and some soulful moments on their mat in their yoga session.

As with all our events, classes and retreats, it is with trust and faith that we believe the day’s events and the people are answered prayers. Prayers from the hosts that:

1.Our hearts are postured humbly to bring Him glory through our passion do what we do.

2. He calls those to show up to show up.

3. He uses our being, our lips, our bodies to be the vessels to bring His message to those who need to hear and to be the heart to those whom He wants to touch.

The event filled our hearts. We are so thankful for the honest feedback, positive and tips for improvement (where there will always be).

Our gratitude goes to our guests who so faithfully stayed with us and practiced “being present”.

We are so pleased to be able to offer 10% of our ticket sales to help Holy Yoga’s Breathe Love Give Campaign, to being trauma-sensitive yoga training to parts of the world that need it. May You All be blessed.

With love and light,

Alyssa, Josephine & Joanne xx

Grace x Strength Launch | A Dream Come True

It’s Day 2 of launching Grace x Strength @gracexstrength with soul sister Alyssa Mak. I’m flooded with emotions – exhilaration, fear, vulnerable, gratitude, proud, humbled, delirium, happy…..

Some of you will have walked this journey with me so closely that you probably sensed this brewing for a while. However, unlike my other business ventures, this one has no targets to meet, no go-to-market strategy, no 3-year financial goals. There wasn’t even a set launch date! Everything just came together organically and calmly. It’s so counter-what-I’m-used-to! It’s entering total uncharted territory. And I call this a true leap of FAITH.

True to what this brand stands for, it’s an experience of grace and strength for me too! Et voilà!

Grace x Strength [#GxS] invites you into community to experience exactly that [GxS] through yoga and soul care programs. What does that look like? Maybe short yoga 🧘🏻‍♀️tips on Instagram, maybe more workshops, maybe classes, maybe retreats, maybe online classes… I say “Maybe” because we do whatever God calls us to and go wherever He takes us.

This a new exciting chapter of my life. Thank You for reading to the end and allowing me to share my craziness with you. Some of you will agree with this thing. Some of you will think I’m cray… but hey, life is journey! And I’m just thankful for your encouragement in pursuing my dream and calling. 😃 .

Soul Care Retreat 2017 | Christian Yoga Retreat

9th September 2017 marks a very special milestone for me. It was the first ever retreat hosted by Holy Yoga Australia. It was a Spirit-led, God-breathed success that brought His people together to gather and steep into the goodness of our Heavenly Father. It was a chance for those whom were seeking spirituality to meet Jesus on their yoga mat. It was a dream come true for me.

Who would have known that 3 years ago (back in 2014) when I was yearning for a deeper relationship with Jesus and struggling with how the love of the benefits of yoga could complement my faith journey, that I was capable of leading a spiritual yoga retreat? In the space of 3 years, the Lord has led me into deserted places of loneliness to reflect and grow, and risen me to be the forever young leader in front of crowds like this retreat. And for the opportunities and lessons, I am immeasurably grateful.

The many lessons learned in co-creating and collaborating with the co-hosts of this retreat have been precious. From its inception from a bold and visionary Holy Yoga leader in San Francisco, to the many fears of logistics, turnout, funds, sponsorships…the Lord has proven us unfaithful yet mercifully provided. The number of times, we cried out to the Lord together because the 4 of us couldn’t agree nor connect at the same time. The number of times, our faith withered at the thought of financial challenges. The number of times we put ourselves before the Lord and our fellow co-hosts. How many “number of times” can actually happen within a 2 week planning period??!!!

YET. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to work through all of our challenges and strengthened us.

To detail the challenges that each of us were all going through in our own lives is pitiful. But in the midst of the planning, every bit of our every day lives were real. 3 of us were going through home moves (interstate relocation, even), 1 of us was living on the other side of the world. 2 of us were going through significantly changes in our professional work lives. While all 4 of us had family to look after. Sure, we all have such challenges but I would like to think that it’s not every day that we move residences nor change jobs. As pitiful as it is, it was real and I honour each of us that through the tough season, we were able to stretch ourselves further for God’s work and ministry. This, is the very heart of our ministry. Sacrificial love. If love gave only when easy, that it isn’t sacrificial.

***

So what about the actual day?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” ‭‭~ Ephesians‬ ‭3:20

“Wow, just wow.” This has become my favourite expression.  Because words can not describe what the Lord brought to us.

Holy Spirit was present. The people He brought to the place was providence. We knew that each soul and being that we had been praying for was the fruit of love and faith. We knew that our work was done and it was the moment to hand over to the Lord to speak words over these faithful people who had been led here. We knew that this was a sacred space for these people to meet Jesus on their mats. We knew that this was the time to let the Holy Spirit take over all of us. And all that was done in His name.

It was Christ-centred yoga.
It was Community.
There was grace and there was strength.

We all learned to live beyond ourselves in that space.
The fire and water ceremony and heart circle was divine. I sensed that most of us had something deep to surrender and may we continue to do so. I sensed that there was yearning in the room to reach into this world, and be part of a community where we can serve and have purpose. I believe the heart circle was such a reminder.

I am still in awe of the power of the Lord and the privilege I have had to host this event.

I pray that the hearts He has spoke to will continue to open and soften to His voice. I pray that the next retreat will be equally successful in that He will provide as He did and grow us deeper yet still.

Lord, I love you.  Friends, I love you.

Let us build this Kingdom of love together through the unity of the Spirit.
Last but not least, when I speak of provision, our sponsors are those gracious hearts who didn’t hesitate to serve His Kingdom, our community and bless our retreatees. Deep gratitude to each and every one of you. May you reap what you sow.

SPONSORS:
1. Alyssa Mak – Alyssa Mak, Pilates & Yoga Instructor
2. Christian Women in Business – Sarah Jane-Meeson, Founder
3. Luxe Mane Salon – Lily, Hairstylist & Owner
4. Mums With A Mission – Cath D, Founder
5. Quit the Quick Fix – Kate Thompson, Founder
6. Salt + Glow – Roxy, Founder
7. SheSeeks.com.au – Joanne Tweedie, Founder & LifeCoach

Thank you to the lovely Sugar Apple Studio for allowing us this beautiful space.

Thank you to our wonderful creative video partners from Carbon Lily who poured this soul and energy beyond what we had expected, in His name.

Soul Care Yoga Retreat

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Inviting you along to experience how we do community, yoga and living beyond ourselves.

It has been such a blessing for me to be able to find capacity to co-ordinate and co-host this event with my soul sisters. This is a prime example of the power of our sovereign God. His provision is far greater than what you can see with your naked eye. Faith and trust in Him is all He asks and yet we find it so difficult time and time again, but yet so easy to be on bent knees seeking for His help when we need. 

So much I’ve learnt through the process of pulling this retreat together in such a short amount of time. Will you come and join us and experience for yourself, first hand, the grace of our Father in your life?

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Mini Yoga Learnings | WIP

WIP – Work-In-Progress

Working on improvement but that's what life is, right? A work in progress.

Earlier this week, I had the most relaxing and positive start. God spoke Hebrews 12 over me and at that point, I thought I knew what He meant. Then a series of events turned the emotional needle the opposite direction. Now I ponder over Hebrews 12 and have a more profound perspective. Just when you think you know… What can I say? Life is a constant WIP. Yoga is a great reminder of that.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” ~ Hebrews‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭NIV

Keeping Warm with Chair Yoga | Wesley Mission

“If I’m still going to yoga classes at 81 years of age, know that it was you Heroes who inspired me.”

Our most dedicated students are not those who can do the headstands and splits. In fact, they’re the ones who show up with a smile every week, even if their arthritis is flaring up, even if it means catching the bus in in 5degrees cold and nursing a frozen shoulder, a bunked knee, a toe injury, a sore back… you name it, we’ve heard it from this community of elderly. 

Teaching yoga and bringing the Gospel to this community of seniors is not about how “good” you can be. It’s learning about grace and courage. To others and to yourself.

To us, this is the richest reward. This warms our heart, mind, soul and body.

Oh how much we love you brave souls and learn from you. 

And of course, thank you always, Wesley Mission for providing us this safe space to serve, to share our stories and to grow. 
Serving in His name ✝️


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Holy Yoga International | Calling Christian Yoga Teachers in Asia

Are you a Christian who loves yoga and living in Asia? We would love to hear from you!

It was my pleasure and honour to bring a taste of Holy Yoga to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Firstly, through the use of blessed technology (Instagram), I was able to reach quite a few who were interested in a Christian Yoga practise, or Holy Yoga.

I have heard from those in Singapore asking for a Christian Yoga practise. On that front, I am praying we will have a Holy Yoga instructor there soon.

Hong Kong is certainly a place needing Holy Yoga instructors.  Unfortunately, this trip was not long enough for to me to hold some regular classes. But judging from the interest, I trust there will be some to answer God’s calling to become HoYo certified.

Thank you, Lord, for using me as a vessel. May HoYo continue to grow in You, under Your power and Your will.

For those who are interested in Chinese yoga, teaching Christian yoga in Asia, please contact us!

 

 

Embarrassed by My Name

20151121_天愛SkyLoveThis month, Holy Yoga Ministries asks us all to dedicate a post to introduce ourselves.  It has been great learning more about the 1300+ community of HoYo teachers worldwide.  Founded by Brooke Boon, in her obedience to God’s calling, she has helped hundreds and a rapidly growing thousand(s) of us Jesus and Yoga lovers to bring the word of God to all corners of the world through Holy Yoga.
My name is Josephine Lau, more often known as ‘Jo’, living in Sydney, Australia.  A mother of 3 boys (including my eldest, aka my husband) currently training as a HoYo Therapist.  I have the honour of bringing HoYo classes 4 times a week to my community around me.  Combining my HoYo lifestyle, motherhood and my profession-by-trade as a Digital Marketer,  my life is filled with busy-ness but also peace in Christ Jesus.  I find joy in all things I do in Him.  Some days are great, some days are average.  But let’s just say, every day that I live to serve Him is a blessing.  If I ever forget that one day,  I only need to look at my Chinese name.
My mother gave me this name that I had been embarrassed for years, as a child.  In Chinese, this is a very literal and obscure name.  It reads ‘Sky Love’ and means ‘Love from above’.  I’ve grown to love this name.  If I ever forget what my life is about, say my name, say my name….

2 Minutes of Silent Meditation

IMG_1774Today is Day 4 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga devotional.

As we hide ourselves in Jesus, connecting with Him and letting Him speak His truth of who He is and who we are in Him, pondering these things in our hearts… Sometimes we need to carve out time to just let it all sink in.  So today we are taking an intentional silent meditation.

When we pray, we bring our praise and petition before God. But in meditation, we sit in silence and allow God to do the speaking. We simply listen and let His truth seep deep into our soul. 🙏

This season can be so over-full, things to do and places to be. But we can never do and be everything. So I encourage you to begin your 2minute silence with Jesus by asking Him what you may be holding too tightly to and what you may need to let go of. Then allow Him to whisper His love & mercy into your soul, breathe new life into you, and reveal what you may need to release. And then just sit and revel in His sweet presence.

Today I heard the Lord speak to me.  It’s not always what I want to hear and that’s how I know it’s True and He’s here; to give it to me RAW. Here I capture the key points:

  1. Patience (with Holy Yoga direction specifically)
  2. Obedience (with my ministry work)
  3. Continue on with rest – not so sure about discerning this one.  Could this mean spending more time with Him and extending my ‘Social Sabbatical’?  For now, I’ll run with that.

 

Preparing Our Hearts for Advent | Day 1

  

[Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.] ~ Wikipedia.com 16th November 2015

Today is Day 1 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga challenge, hosted by a dear friend @mandajoy1979.  When I first got tagged, I have to admit, I gave this little thought, thinking “Ok, another challenge?  Didn’t we just finish one a couple of weeks ago? hmm..I’ll probably give this a miss.  Don’t have time.”

Today, as I scrolled through my Instagram feed, photos of those who are participating popped up.  Each post has its own devotional by the Holy Yogi participating.  One that stood out the most was from @valariskiness.  She’s pregnant and she’s participating.  Naturally, I went back to the pic that I was originally tagged in.  This time, I read the post properly and the words sunk in.  “PREPARE OUR HEARTS FOR ADVENT.”

Immediately I felt a sense of guilt.  Guilt for not supporting my friend who was hosting. Guilt for saying, “I don’t have time for this.”  I mean, if I don’t have time to prepare my heart for my Saviour, then where are my priorities?!

Most importantly, the Holy Spirit moved me.  It reminded me that it’s not about the guilt.  We are blameless through Him.  It’s not the guilt that triggered that camera shot here.  It is the Spirit moving my heart…preparing my heart for the celebration of our Saviour’s coming.

I tell you what, there is nothing more defining than to have spent this time of reflection and devotional today.  I can’t wait to spend the next two weeks dedicating time for this devotional and reflection.  THIS is what HOLY YOGA is about.  It’s Jesus.  And it’s REAL.