When God gave Susan Bordenkircher the vision for her yoga-based Christian ministry, Outstretched in Worship, she truly believed she was stepping into uncharted territory. And while God has used her ministry as a pioneer of sorts in this movement, she was amazed to see the level of interest and involvement that already existed. She quickly learned that there are approximately 15 million people in this country practicing yoga, and fully 50-60 percent of them say they come from a church background. In fact, many churches, Christian retreats, and denominational conventions are incorporating yoga as one creative approach to cultivating a quiet, receptive spirit and deep prayer life.

After producing several top-selling Christ-centered yoga instructional videos, Susan now brings her unique form of exercise, stretching, and prayerful praise to a market eager for yoga that is centered around Christ and not eastern forms of meditation. She has even included a full-length instructional workout DVD for readers to follow along with!

Christoga - Christian Yoga Christoga is a non-traditional hatha yoga practice at beginning and intermediate levels using scriptures from the Bible as the meditation focus. The positions strengthen and lengthen muscles as well as improve breathing, concentration and balance. The progressive guided relaxation phase is both comforting and restorative. Therefore, regular Christoga practice (at least 3 times a week) will improve your ability to perform activities of daily living. Strengthen both body and soul therefore improving your quality of life!

From Publishers Weekly: Evangelical Christians are not often very enthusiastic about yoga, dismissing it as irrelevant at best and Satanic at worst. But for Boon, an Arizona yoga teacher who is the founder of the Holy Yoga ministry, yoga is a worship tool to enhance her relationship with Christ. Although Boon's writing is primitive and breathless, with excessive use of italics and exclamation points, she offers some decent ideas and memorable spiritual quotes from the likes of Eugene Peterson, Lauren Winner and Richard Foster. Boon first outlines the theological reasons for yoga practice, likening it to ancient Christian disciplines like fasting. This section can seem defensive and apologetic at times, as Boon expends energy answering her evangelical critics. Part two briefly highlights yoga as a healthy lifestyle (e.g., it can improve circulation, relieve stress and maintain a healthy weight) and offers tips on incorporating yoga into a neophyte's regular routine. The final, longest section presents various postures, with black-and-white illustrations. However, the instructions are brief and vague enough that Christians who are new to yoga will definitely want to supplement their fledgling practice with more detailed, step-by-step information, such as that contained in traditional yoga books or Susan Bordenkicher's more thorough Yoga for Christians. Note: DVD and photo insert not seen by PW.

Book Description
People often equate yoga withEastern religion, but Brooke Boonsees it as an exercise style thatChristians can use to generate patience,strength, and deeper worship.Author and yoga instructorBrooke Boon combines her passionfor Christianity with her commitmentto health to introduce yoga asa physical and spiritual disciplinethat strengthens the body and thesoul. Clear explanations and photographsmake yoga accessible forany reader, and Brooke offers customizedroutines for readers strugglingwith specific issues, such asweight loss and anxiety. Through it all Brooke uses scripturalreferences to help reinforce the idea that by takingcare of our bodies we can also take care of our faith.

WholyFit: Fitness for the Whole You! Consumer Feedback: I just completed the workout for the first time on level one and I LOVE it! It's so nice to have a Christian alternative to Yoga that isn't hokey or corny. I'm very happy with it. I'm already looking forward to doing the next workout!

This DVD is one of my favorite yoga workouts! It's a quick (32 minute, I think) workout that incorporates all the movements of the spine. The music is indeed "soul-stirring"! I usually do this workout in the mornings or when I want a shorter practice. It gets my body limber and ready for the day, and gets my heart in the right place, too--aware of God and His great goodness to me. I love the way Father Ryan has choreographed the poses to flow with the words and feel of the music. This meaningful and well-timed choreography makes the sequences easy to learn so that you don't have to keep eyeing the TV. (I've even bought all the songs and put a playlist on my ipod so that I can do this workout while traveling or away from the TV.) I love doing the warrior poses to the song, "The Peace Prayer," and kneeling poses to "Blest Are They,"--a song about the Beatitudes. The workout on this DVD offers a beautiful and holistic experience for a Christian practicing yoga. It also includes an excellent teaching from Father Ryan on why a Christ-centered yoga practice is a "good fit" for Christians.


wholyfit pictureWholyFit Teaching DVD. View an actual clip of this DVD on the website. WholyFit Founder Laura Monica and WholyFit Mentor Instructor Trainer Leah Nelson demonstrate Ephesians 6 routine in 3 levels. This DVD is used to train instructors and is also a valuable practice tool for those who take WholyFit classes in their churches or local health clubs.

Although yoga is increasingly popular as a source of spiritual and physical well being, few Christians know that it is also a unique way to worship God through the ancient practices and disciplines of body prayer. Nancy Roth's An Invitation to Christian Yoga offers an introduction to the practice of yoga as a Christian discipline of prayer, followd by simple poses and exercises that are clearly explained and helpfully illustrated by line drawings. Roth offers a short biblical text, often from the psalms, to accompany each pose as basis for meditation.

This books is ideal for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners who wish to incorporate yoga into their life of daily prayer.

From the Author
"The long experience of Nancy Roth with hatha yoga practiced in a Christian context with all age groups is brought to articulate fruition in this fine book." Tilden Edwards

About the Author
The Rev. Nancy Roth is an Episcopal priest, retreat leader, author, dancer, and musician. Assisting Priest at Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin, Ohio, she travels widely as a retreat conductor and workshop leader offering classes on the integration of body and spirit.

Promising to bring peace, healing, and wholeness (even prosperity!) to its practitioners, readers will be shocked to discover that yoga is, in fact, based on the worship of (and prepares participants for supernatural connection with) unholy spirits that manifest in extraordinary and dangerous ways. The author-an avid promoter of biblically based physical, mental, and spiritual wholeness-distinguishes pure truth from popular belief in this revealing expose. Every Christian should be informed of the true origins and effects of the practice of yoga and its ungodly roots in Kundalini energy-which, literally defined, means an awakening of the "Serpent Power."

About the Author
Dave Hunt is a best-selling author and internationally esteemed researcher, lecturer, and scholar, whose works have been translated into more than 40 languages. Over 4 million copies of his books have been sold. Dave's impeccable research and recognized scholarship make him a sought-after speaker at conferences. Along with cohost T.A. McMahon, Dave also challenges listeners on the weekly radio program "Search the Scriptures Daily" heard on over 350 stations nationwide.


PAPERBACK WITH AUDIO CD. In Jesus, Yoga, & the Way of Happiness, Andrea Vidrine shows the reader how to integrate the spiritual discipline of yoga with the Christian faith. This book is a 21-day journey designed to inspire a deeper awareness of Christ within and to stimulate the explosive expression of Spirit in all aspects of life. All who enter this process will emerge with a renewed sense of purpose and the knowledge of the practice of being the presence of Love.

From the Author
Andrea Vidrine graduated from Louisiana State University with a Master's Degree in Social Work and from the New England School of Natural Health Care in Natural Health Care Science. She works in the field of Nephrology Social Work, was a licensed massage therapist for seven years, and is a certified yoga instructor. She lives in Church Point, Louisiana, with her husband, two children, three or so cats, and one horse.


"For just as strolling, walking, and running are bodily exercises, so spiritual exercises are methods of preparing the soul," wrote St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises. In her homage to this classic, Nancy Roth offers a rationale and overview of contemporary prayer and practices that prepare the soul in the here and now through a variety of exercises that honor the link between "body" and "spirit" and lead the body to express itself in prayer.

To help us in our quest to integrate physical well-being with spiritual practice, Roth introduces and leads us through many different disciplines, including Pilates, Tai Chi, yoga, dance, strength training, and aerobic exercise. After summarizing their origins, she describes each discipline clearly, with three or four examples, and then discusses how this particular form of exercise provides a metaphor for the spiritual journey. Other sections discuss breathing and posture, alignment, progressive relaxation, and message, while the final chapter helps us think through the different offerings presented here and decide which we might incorporate into our own lives of prayer.

About the Author
The Rev. Nancy Roth is an Episcopal priest, retreat leader, author, dancer, and musician. Assisting Priest at Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin, Ohio, she travels widely as a retreat conductor and workshop leader offering classes on the integration of body and spirit. Nancy Roth's many books include Meditations for Choir Members, and An Invitation to Christian Yoga.

Opening the door for Christians to a spiritual practice of unimaginable richness,
By William Courson "William Courson" (Montclair, NJ USA)

Opening the door for Christians to a spiritual practice of unimaginable richness

Hatha yoga, once the exclusive cultural property of an isolated ethic enclave, has today encircled the globe. But although yoga is phenomenally popular in the West as a source of spiritual and physical well being, few Christians know that it is also a unique way to worship God through the ancient disciplines of body-centered prayer.

This is surprising given that the Christian tradition is one whose central mysteries are that of the Incarnation - the embodiment of the Divine - and of the Resurrection - the transcending of the body's end. These body centered mysteries come with two facets: from the Creator's perspective, that of 'kenosis,' the self-emptying of the Divine into human flesh, and from the perspective of the creature, that of 'theosis,' the process of transcending the bounds of its flesh-enshrouded vehicle to become more Godly. Hatha yoga is an instrument for accomplishing the latter.

Anthony Randazzo, a Roman Catholic priest and student of yoga and Madelana Ferrara-Mattheis, a yoga teacher and educator, offer an introduction to the practice of yoga as a Christian discipline of prayer, told in engaging, delightful language and helpfully illustrated by color photographs useful to both experienced practitioners as well as to newcomers to yoga. But the authors' conversational, storytelling style and the size of 'Beatitudes, Christ and the Practice of Yoga' (108 pages) are deceptive: this is by no means a 'little book.' It is, rather, a manual for achieving spiritual and bodily balance in narrative form whose words must be both read as well as practiced to resonate.

This book is ideal for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners who wish to incorporate hatha yoga into their life of daily prayer and to integrate yogic principles into their devotional praxis. It is also extremely worthwhile reading for Yoga teachers with Christians as students and for those Christians who are wholly unfamiliar with hatha yoga, opening the door to a spiritual practice of unimagined richness and reward.


A. K. Mozumdar was the founder of the Christian Yoga Society and this book outlines much of its spiritual philosophy. East and West and brought together to allow those from both spiritual backgrounds to enhance their growth and to possibly experience an all-pervading Oneness in the universe. This is an important spiritual work that is capable of transforming an individual. From reading it, one may discover a unique path to follow and achieve spiritual peace of mind.

If you're looking for clear links between Christian faith and the practice of yoga and meditation, this book is for you. Prayer of Heart and Body will help you integrate teachings from the Christian contemplative tradition into your practice and encourage a new appreciation for the role of the body in prayer. "Yoga," says the author, is "meditation in motion, a way to pray with one's whole being--body, mind and spirit. It was originally designed to prepare people for sitting meditation." The two work powerfully together.

Quoting extensively from such authors as Ignatius, John of the Cross, Rahner and Merton, Ryan explains what is distinctive about Christian meditation compared to some eastern forms, and looks at reincarnation and kundalini energy in the light of Christian faith, respecting the authenticity of other world religions and drawing from their wisdom traditions where appropriate. "Through this, Ryan integrates all that is beautiful, wise and holy in other traditions," says Jean Vanier in his Foreword, for a book that is "unifying and pacifying."

The final section gives explicit instructions on beginning yoga. Using easy-to-follow diagrams, it covers breathing exercises, warm-up exercises, and the postures, including benefits, precautions and contraindications for each. In all, the basic aim of this beautifully written book is to assist the millions of Christians who today are practicing meditation or yoga or both, to consciously integrate them into their Christian spirituality as effective instruments for their personal development in prayer and daily living.

About the Author
Thomas Ryan, C.S.P., directs the Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in New York City. Father Ryan also leads retreats in the U.S., Canada and Europe.


By Bandanaman "Dan" (Twinsburg OH)
Sometimes I think I am led to certain books as they just seem to jump off the shelf at me. When I saw this one, I really liked the 4-color design, subtle yet pleasing, and when I realized it had a meditation CD with it, I paid full price at Borders ($20). I have not listened to the CD yet, but the author's explanation of God and soul is above anything I have read, and I am currently studying a lot of Buddhist practice. Many of the interpretations parallel the practice of mindfulness and the reality that all we have is now--that the current moment indeed is our heaven. The book eminates the fact that we are souls, here temporarily in human form, and we were here in soul form before and will be after we leave this life. I really, truly love this book, and I do not usually review books. But this one gives a very nice take and very nice reasoning behind the author's understanding of spirituality. It is very logical and acceptable, yet neither negates nor denegrates individual religious beliefs.


A new way to look at fitness, By armchairinterviews.com

Most of us have made the decision to go on a diet and incorporate an exercise program. Many of us have lost interest or found it more difficult than we thought it would be. The result was failure. We didn't reach our weight loss and health goal.

Laurette Willis, personal trainer, public speaker and author of Basic Steps to Godly Fitness, provides solid information about why our diets can and often do more harm than good. Willis offers her vast experience with health and fitness to provide us with a biblical approach to fitness: a Christian alternative to yoga. She believes her program will encourage our spirit, refresh our souls and nourish our bodies.

Willis provides practical suggestions to turn dull exercises that we really don't want to do into acts of worship. She gives simple and useful steps to better incorporate nutrition and fitness into our daily lives. These steps will bring lasting results. Willis discusses ways to overcome destructive thought patterns, make healthy choices and discover how forgiveness will free us. And she shows us ways to grow in our relationship with God.

I found Basic Steps to Godly Fitness to be interesting, logical and easily understood. I personally found the information on stress to be a reminder that is worth reading and then re-reading. The photographs accompanying the exercise descriptions were sound and easily followed. And there are suggested menus and a few recipes that contain ingredients that most people have in their kitchens.

This is a prayerful diet and exercise program worth taking a look at.


Pagitt (Preaching Re-Imagined) and Prill provide ideas and specific guidelines for praying using the body—i.e., praying for strength with your hands crossed over your chest or for healing with your palms out, facing up—with a goal of "help[ing] you connect with God at every level of your life—body, mind, and spirit." The 30 short sections of the book provide instructions for specific prayer postures, each with some introductory comments, a prayer, instructions, and room for journaling. Each posture is illustrated with a full-page drawing (which, unfortunately, does not always exactly match the written instructions). Though Christian, the book is informed by an almost New Age sensibility; many of the prayers sound more like self-focused meditations than requests for something from God, and often skirt around the issues they're supposed to address, for example, the prayer for healing: "The power and love of God/ Keeps us from falling/ Washes us clean/ And places us in the kingdom as pure beings." Scripture references are included in the notes but not in the text itself. Some conservative evangelicals will likely be uncomfortable with the book, while those in the emergent church may welcome new physical approaches to prayer. (Nov. 15)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Praise for

“We are called not only to pray without ceasing, but also to pray with our whole selves. BodyPrayer is a gentle guide to doing just that. Simultaneously subversive and traditional, the logic of BodyPrayer is holistic, anti-Gnostic, and potentially transformative.”
–Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath

“By sharing the rich prayer life of his Minneapolis church with the world, Doug Pagitt reflects a whole new way of looking at ‘church’–less in terms of ‘what is your mission statement’ or ‘statement of faith’ and more ‘what are your practices and embodied rituals that are uniquely yours?’ BodyPrayer is one of the first books to appreciate that embodied mediation is a key process by which theology is communicated and lived.”
–Leonard Sweet, author of Out of the Question…Into the Mystery and the trilogy AquaChurch, SoulTsunami, and SoulSalsa

“You can’t get any more biblical than this! God created us to worship Him with our bodies. Because of the Fall, God became incarnate to restore our worship of Him. Because of a body that suffered on the cross and a body that rose from the grave, God redeems us to worship Him–not in some disembodied soul but in, with, and through our bodies. BodyPrayer makes it real.”
–Robert Webber, Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary, author of The Younger Evangelicals

“This small guide to physical prayer is huge in its message. Doug Pagitt and Kathryn Prill here return the body to its original place in, and importance to, Christian worship. We should all be grateful.”
–Phyllis Tickle, compiler of The Divine Hours