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!

Fideliz Cruz Vision Casting Workshop | Anointed Leadership

Another great event and highlight to my week. Despite the hiccups and challenges I have had with family issues, I’m so grateful the Lord provided and allowed for me to participate in this workshop.

As I always say, “Showing up is half way there”. I’m proud that I showed up and Jesus, as always, showed up for me.

Last session in April, only 3 months ago (although it seemed a lot longer!), my mission statement was,

“To be a fearless and faith-filled entrepreneur and yoga therapist, joyfully serving God in my business, community and loving my family.”

I was so ecstatic about having a sharp goal and vision, I made sure that the mood/vision board was laminated and stuck on the wall of my walk-in wardrobe so that every morning when I dress myself, I would wear my mission.

And boy, did I!

I have to admit that reviewing my past quarter’s actions against the mission was a daunting move. But I’m so glad I made space for that time and did it. I am able to say that I tried my best to live it out and simply because I made a commitment to it and made it a habit to remind myself daily.

And all because the beautiful Fideliz gave me the tools to do that. Talk about anointed leadership!

This time, in this July vision casting workshop, I was blessed to be able to meet other like-minded beautiful women – some whom I have been divinely and newly connected via social media and others whom I have connected with very naturally since my Holy Yoga journey . This workshop has provided and will continue to be an opportunity for an in-person gatherings for like-minded women! 

If you’ve chanced upon this blog or have been meaning to meet up with me to talk Christian Yoga and Wellness, please do reach out as I will have tickets for the next one happening in October! I can’t wait.

Meanwhile, my goal for this quarter has taken a more specific position as I feel the Lord giving me permission to step up and into this space with honour. I pray that He will give me the wisdom, grace and strength to journey through and serve Him joyfully. 

“My vision is to be an anointed leadership in business, women’s communities and my family. I am committed to showing up, serving Jesus and personal growing in faith.”

For more information and to join this beautiful community, the next workshop will be in October. Stay tuned by following my social media and check out www.fidelizcruz.com!


Until next time, friends xx

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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Happy International Yoga Day 2017


Through yoga, I’ve made some great friends from the yoga community both online and offline. Through yoga, I’ve learnt about my body and simply listen to the needs of this precious temple. 

Yoga has taught me to “be present” and to dedicate time to “be still” before God. 

Yoga has allowed me to dedicate time to relax, refresh and restore. 

Yoga has opened my eyes into the fascinating and mysteries of God’s creation.

Most importantly, yoga has helped me enter into a loving community, Holy Yoga, to strengthen my relationship with Jesus. 
Yoga has been God’s gracious gift to me.

And for these reasons, I celebrate it with you today. 

National Volunteer Week 2017 | Wesley Mission

The best contribution to $4M I’ve ever made – the joys of my life. Some would have heard my story for the very first time of how I got the privilege to volunteer, at Wesley Mission’s School for Seniors as a Yoga teacher, at this celebration at #nationalvolunteerweek. 

Jeannie Mathews, I’m forever thankful to you for bringing me in. 
***

Today is the last day of National Volunteer week, a celebration to recognise those who contribute to the community in volunteer services.

Today, I am so proud and honoured to be celebrating this with other volunteers in Wesley Mission, as they host their last afternoon tea for this week. Some of you will have heard my story of why I volunteer at Wesley for the first time. And I will share this personal story again and again of my calling into volunteering in this loving place. All you need is to ask me 😊

Today, I met those who had volunteered for 30 years and those who were still volunteering and serving the community in their 90’s. To think my Friday morning yoga classes offered to the School for Seniors in the past 16 months is a big commitment is naïve, compared to the work that some of these other volunteers have done. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to undermine the hours and effort that I have spent and the benefits that the community receive. But it was certainly very grounding to see the joy of those who have served in community, especially the elderly community (94 year olds!!!) 

Wesley Mission highlighted that the contribution is equivalent to a saving of $4M AUD in wages. The impact of the lives that volunteers is invaluable. 

96% of volunteers say that they feel happier and sleep better.

I certainly feel and own this privilege. ❤️ Curious to know if it’s true? Give it a go. Try and see for yourself!

New Year Announcement | 2017 Classes

DEAREST STUDENTS,

Happy New Year to you all!  May God bless you all with another year of good health, joy and steady growth in your life.
HERE’S A LITTLE UPDATE FROM ME AND ABOUT YOUR YOGA CLASSES

Year 2016 was a year of travelling, growth, spiritual development and learning for me.  I have the greatest pleasure and honour to be serving in this ministry (founded in the US) and helping them build their foundations in this region.   Meanwhile, with the support of my gracious students, YOU, I have been able to enjoy a year of teaching yoga, spreading love, serving God and doing what I LOVE to do.   I also completed my 12 month yoga therapy training mid-last year, which was a huge achievement for me.  All of these blessings, I am so grateful for.

As some of you may know, I have been praying and listening to what my 2017 path looks like for ministry, yoga and for my work.  Every day, I wake up and remind myself that discernment is a conscious choice to just ‘let things be’ the way God wants it to be.  So, I’m not trying too hard, with my own effort, to achieve things.  Still a struggle for my ‘hustling’ personality, but I find peace and comfort in choosing to relax and let things roll in faith.   My prayer is that Holy Yoga classes have had that impact on you too, somehow!

  1. As far as ministry is concerned, I will continue to serve in Holy Yoga as their Regional Leader in Australia.  This means you will continue to see me actively in outreach activities seeking new instructors for the ministry and helping them grow.
  2. As for my business which I had taken a year off (2016) to focus on ministry and yoga,  I have been called to return to my Digital Marketing role this year with flexible hours.  I’m thankful that the business has yet again grown with God’s provision and that my expertise is still somewhat relevant enough that they need me back! 😛
  3. So what about yoga?  I’ve really enjoyed teaching community classes of varying levels of students last year but with the work and family commitments, I will no longer be able to offer community classes in year 2017.  

This year, I would love to continue working with students privately with a focus on yoga therapy benefits for physical wellbeing.  As we all know the mind, body and soul is one.  Last year was a year of soulful fitness and now that you’ve learnt a few tools on keeping that well, Iwould like to dedicate 2017 to BODY.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

  1. You will need to schedule classes with me individually or as a private group.  Community classes are no longer available.
  2. The price per person will vary, dependant on the number of students in a class, location and other factors.
  3. Unfortunately, this means that $10 class passes are no longer available.  For those who have unused classes, please contact me for a refund.
  4. For those of you who won’t be able to continue classes with me, thank you for your grace and support.  I will miss you!  I hope you continue your practice and grow in faith with Jesus.  Remember that I’m only a ‘text me’ away.  So reach out if you have any yoga questions.
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
~Psalm 20:4


Blessings with Love,
Jo xx