In college I had several Christian friends who have tried to encourage me to try out Yoga. I have always been hesitant because I know the roots of Yoga are in the Hindu religion. I know many people who say you can practice Yoga and avoid all the religious stuff, but for me the connection between the two gave me pause and I chose not to participate. I was fairly active anyway taking hikes and walking around campus so I wasn’t too concerned about adding in exercise.
Laurette Willis’ personal testimony of her search for truth after being immersed in yoga from a young age is a beautiful example of the redeeming work of Christ. As a result of her personal journey she develped PraiseMoves, a Christian alternative to Yoga, not to be confused with other programs which call themselves Christian Yoga. All of the postures and movements are grounded in and inspired by Scripture or the Hebrew alphabet. While you are practicing the postures Scripture appears on the screen and is read to you. What an affirming exercise program!
The AM-PM PraiseMoves Dvd includes two workouts, one to start the morning and one to close the day. The morning routine is more energetic than the evening routine. Laurette guides with clear instructions how to stand in the various postures. Because she dresses very modestly I felt comfortable exercising in front of my husband, something no other exercise video I have used allowed me to do.
I mentioned before I have received daily benefits from PraiseMoves. The first was a complete night’s sleep, something I hadn’t experienced in a long time. When my oldest daughter was born almost 8 years ago I experienced the constant wakings expected from a newborn, but this disruption in sleep continued for me long after my daughter started sleeping through the night. For years I have consistently awakened 2-3 times in the middle of the night and typically have a difficult time going back to sleep. The first night after using PraiseMoves I slept soundly and felt more rested than I had in a very long time. I attribute this partly to exercise, but mostly to dwelling on Scripture as I exercised. What a wonderful way to close the day!
Another benefit I have received is more energy to be active. My surgery required me to be incredibly inactive while my incision and muscles healed. Getting back to even basic activity was a challenge, let alone being regularly active with my kids walking or bike riding. After about a week of PraiseMoves I told my very surprised husband I wanted to go on a bike ride around the neighborhood. I didn’t go very far, and I certainly didn’t ride very fast, but I went and enjoyed it!
The final benefit has been increased flexibility and lack of pain in my back. When we were camping last summer I hurt my back slightly while helping my husband set up our tent. It was a very small sore spot my doctor told me was a muscle issue which couldn’t be helped without extensive physical therapy. At the same time she said unless it was preventing me from living a normal life, it wasn’t absolutely necessary to deal with. About three weeks into using PraiseMoves I realized the pain was decreasing and now I feel no pain in that spot. I don’t know how it helped, but it helped! I am also able to bend and stretch farther than I ever have in my life. I always hated the Presidential Physical Fitness Test in school because I scored so low, especially on the sit-and-reach…I wish I could try it now and see how well I could do!
I love this program so much I have been talking to many of our church ladies about it. We have purchased the 20-Minute Praise Moves DVD and will be starting this together soon. Click here to find out about starting a fitness ministry or PraiseMoves workout at your church.