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.

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FAITH, COURAGE & PERSISTENCE | Must Haves in Serving & Business

I’m so honoured to be invited by Fideliz Cruz to be featured on her lifestyle channel recently. 

FAITH, COURAGE & PERSISTENCE.
THE MUST HAVES IN SERVING & BUILDING A BUSINESS

Have you seen my interview with Fideliz Cruz? Watch the full episode here:

Here are my tips when serving and building your business:

1) Grace – allowing grace and remembering that we are all made uniquely different – when working with someone that works differently from you, and when you’re faced with a difficult or challenging situation, allow grace and trust in God’s plan.

2) Faith – trust that He [God] has a plan for you. you might not understand when you come across obstacles but keep going with courage.

3) Persistence – “You can not know whether it’s God’s plan or whether you’ve not done enough if you don’t persist. If you’ve persisted and its still not working you know that you can still trust in the plan. But if you didn’t persist and you didn’t give it your 100% you wonder whether it was me or what it was…”

Entering Advent

     
Today ends the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga devotional in child’s pose. Here it looks like I’m begging. And there’s an element of that. I beg for God’s forgiveness and grace.

It also looks like I am cupping my hands in a gesture receiving grace. And there’s an element of that. I show gratitude and give thanks to our Lord for sending us a Saviour. I am so #thankful for all the things I have in my life and all the things get to do (as opposed to ‘have’ to do). It looks like I am worshipping. And there is an element of that. I worship my God. I love Him and I want to serve Him. 

Finally, it looks like I am laying down something. And there is an element of that. I lay everything at your feet. My all… Thank you for coming to offer salvation. 

Thank you hosts for this “challenge”. It has been fulfilling and most rewarding for me. I can actually enter into advent, for what advent is.

Dedication to a Noble Man

  Today is day 9 of the ‪#‎PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent‬ Holy Yoga devotional and today is grace day.

What does ‘grace’ mean to you?

THIS is grace for me. My father. He shines grace all over. He is my best friend, my mentor, my go-to-for-everything. He gave me the foundations of being a good Christian from my earliest memories. He showed me what Grace is about.

“Stay calm, stay in lane.” was a frequent reminder from him.

Growing up, I remember making mistakes along the way. Most were insignificant but some were grave. No matter how big or small the mistakes were, I was always shown grace by my dad.

Gentleness is his fashion. There’s disappointment from him at times, but hardly anger.

He has inspired many, including my other best friend, my hubby Willie Pang.

My earthly father, Dennis, is a gracious blessing from Him above.

What spells grace for you today?

Christmas. Pain Beyond Imagination

 Today is Day 7 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga devotional.

It’s a busy Sunday and truth be told, I didn’t really get the still meditation time I would have liked to have. Running around with two boys and HoYo Sunday class to teach, life has never a dull moment on Sundays! But in this time we prepare for Advent, every day I make time to think about Jesus’ coming. Here, my son and I do it together. We both love Jesus. We say our prayers together. He is my blessing. I love my son.

I know God loves His son and to send His son to bear our sins for us, planned to be crucified on the cross from the moment He was born… It’s pain beyond imagination.

Thank you, Lord for your mercy. Thank YOU for Your grace.

You Heard It. Stop Compartmentalising Your Life …

  Possibly one of the hardest challenges for the modern-day 1st world Christian is to stop compartmentalising his/her life. By that, I mean that we live a Christ-like way of life within our comfortable circle of church friends. And the minute we step away from the comfort of those brothers and sisters, we enter into the world without the same boldness that we have amongst our church friends. Why do we do that?

Inherently, I suspect it is our fear of rejection. 

Humans are built to be in community, regardless on where you land on the extro-intro-version scale. Isolation and abandonment is the one of the worst forms punishment. Hence why we fear rejection and isolation. And in this modern, secular world (or city that I) that we live in, being outwardly Christian may mean you risk the abandonment or isolation.  

Personally, I haven’t experienced much ‘abandonment’ per se. That would be a strong word to use. However, have I been faced with awkward situations where my faith has been questioned and I was compelled to stand on the opposing side of a spiritual view with a good friend? Most definitely. 

Did that make me uncomfortable? Absolutely.

Did I fear judgement from my friends who do not follow Jesus, even though I know the only judgement I should fear is God’s? (Especially those who are like, “Comon’, Jo. You? Christian?”) Yup, sometimes I still do. 

Did that make me waver and live a ‘compartmentalised’ life, where I only speak of the Gospel to my family in Christ whom I am comfortable with? Yes. Often. 

Nonetheless, over time that ‘often‘ became a constant nemisis and shame for me . Openly taking up Holy Yoga as ministry work has been a huge step forward for me. As a results of this,I have observed five important phenomenons:

1. With practise comes more strength and steadfastness

By living out Word and Deed in every aspect of your life through God, He powers you with strength. By law of the 10 thousand hour rule; by practising, it gets easier. There is absolutely NO reason to live a compartmentalised life. Do it afraid and with courage from Him. 

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is by the power of God that brings salvation to those who believe, first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles.” Romans 1:16-17

2. People can’t actually repel Christ-likeness. So, don’t be discouraged to live out Word and Deed.

What I’ve learnt over the years is the Truth of salvation. Jesus’ teachings cannot be faulted. If only I can be more like Him! People love Jesus-like people. People are just attracted to kind, compassionate, loving, patience people.  Folks, why would we be afraid to live out a life that others love and frankly, need?

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬

3. Good friends will appreciate that you practise what you preach. There is no false pretence. 

One of the worst things you can do IS TO COMPARTMENTALISE your life. Either you believe you have been saved by Grace and live it out in joy or you don’t. It is counter productive to be selective in who you rejoice with. Live it out! Spread the Good News! 

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” ~‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:3-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

4. Your non-Christian friends will respect you and come to an acceptance. (so long as you remember that you don’t dial the call from God! They will be called in His time. Don’t annoy your friends by playing God. Just pray for them.)

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” ~ ‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

5. When all of the above is established and becomes the norm, there will be a sense of true liberation. Pleasing God is a command and He will protect us on our journey. Stop compartmentalising your Christian life today! Make your every day a ministry life. 

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” ~‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

May this encourage you to seek Him. It’s not an easy road but it is a joyous and deserving one. The gift of salvation is precious. Be thankful. 

Be. Very. Thankful. 

The Ultimate Healer | Holy Yoga

As my Holy Yoga students will know, this week has been a little challenging for me to speak/preach during class as a result of a canker sore that has grown in size right on the tip of my tongue. God does great things though. He gives me wonderful students and friends who pray for healing and by His grace, I manage to teach through the pain. It gives me true joy to live out the Word and give Him praise while teaching yoga.

“However I am physically bound, I still look up to YOU, Lord. In You, I find freedom“.

Thank you to all my students for your grace and love for me. Thank you for coming to class even though some classes are not as ‘fun’ as others. Thank you for just being a part of this journey. May God continue to bless you all and bring salvation to ALL one day.

Open  Side Angle Bound

Open Side Angle Bound