Purify – Holy Yoga Retreat

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      ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Yoga + Chef cooking for me + worshipping with other Sisters in Christ

I’m there!

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On my way up to the yoga retreat at Idyllwild, I thought a lot about Purify.  My heart says, it’s full, no more purifying for me. But I had no idea how God was going to bless me through this 3 day retreat. We did yoga facing looking out from floor to ceiling glass windows, which gave a panoramic view of the snow capped mountains. We were “completely” spoiled by the delicious food made by Michelle, owner of Flavorful! our ears were blessed to hear music by singer and song writter, Lyndi Hoenegger. The most rewarding above and beyond the yoga + food was meeting sisters in Christ who has a heart to draw us closer to God.

During our time at the retreat, there were a few sharing sessions where the Holy Yoga Instructors shared, gave testimonies and challenged us to think about our defenses and how that blocks our ability to receive. Furthermore, we were encouraged toward allowing God to purify our motives, minds when it comes to self image. There was so much that I received out of the weekend, but here are the highlights.

SELF IMAGE

For me, my weak spot, my hair. My family has a history of thin hair, so growing up, I braced myself for the day that I’ll be bald. I can’t imagine feeling beautiful when I’m bald. Yet, God spoke into my heart that if I can’t love who He’s made me to be, then I am dishonoring him. In Genesis, He says, “we are made in his image”, and if we are made in the image of God, whatever shape, size or bald, we are “LOVED” and “BEAUTIFUL” because we are HIS. It was so reassuring to hear those words in the midst of a huge FEAR for the loss of hair.

In a separate session, Lyndi shared with us about Eve. Eve was God’s creation of women and how beautiful she must have been. While in paradise being so close to the Creator, she still doubted God’s goodness. Tempted by the serpent, she went against God’s command to not eat of the fruit from the tree of knowlege. Made in the image of God, aren’t we all like Eves? How easily we doubt the goodness of God and we try to chase the image of what the world tells us is beautiful.

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What would life be like, if we chose daily to believe that we are beautifully and wonderfully made? That we possess in us, a part of Eve. In the passage Psalm 139: 14 it says, “I praise  you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that well.” What if God sees me beautiful, even if I was bald. During this weekend, I felt that God took away my fears about my hair and replaced it with LOVE and AFFIRMATION that He sees me as His beautiful daugher. I want to live daily in that truth!

HOLY YOGA

I always loved yoga because it gave me time to reflect and just be. Doing Holy Yoga with christian music is amazing because the whole pracetice if focused on worship through mind, body and spirit. Check out some photos from our yoga sessions.

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FOOD

My new found LOVE is Kale. The week after I came home from retreat, all I ate for the week was organic fresh baby kale with roasted beets. I went straight for the local farmers market and picked up the simple ingredients. So here it is everyone!

Kale – wash, i take away the stems/ Beets (red or golden) – sauteed/ Dressing – a squeeze of lemon, olive oil, honey, pepper & salt.

Meet the Chef Michelle of Flavorful! Michelle was the mastermind behind this delicious Kale Beets Salad Receipe.

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography is my passion. When you put together worship and photography, I’m in heaven. It was so great being able to photograph some women in Catalyst sessions – photography sessions that captures someone in the moment and celebrating who they are. AND i was able to take pictures of everyone doing yoga and having a great time. Here are some highlights from a Catalyst and group photos.

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Lastly, the talented team that created the Holy Yoga Retreats.

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For more information about Holy Yoga or attending a Selah Retreat Event, go to www.holyyogala.com or www.holyyogaoc.com for more information. If you live in Los Angeles area, contact Holy Yoga Instructor, Joan Jahng and if you live in the Orange County area, Tasha Anderson or Brooke Thompson can answer your questions.


Catalyst – an artistic photography experience

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God is amazing, as I’m seeking His will first and following my passion for photography, it has lead me to a place where LIFE, PASSION and MINISTRY come together in a perfect fit. What is Catalyst? A Catalyst for me is a SPARK! Something that sparks and brings to life a new thing!

In the last 2 weeks as I’m struggling to see photography as a career, God brought into my life a new idea (through the advice of an amazing Holy Yoga instructor, Joan Jahng) that I should take pictures of women doing Holy Yoga. Holy Yoga is an amazing practice and ministry centered around Christ. Through listening to Christian music, meditating on scripture and doing yoga poses with the focus on the Lord, you can both get the exercise your body needs, but also feed the soul that hungers to be filled with God’s truth and healing.

So it started, a SPARK! Catalyst a photo session for women who wants to have pictures taken of them doing yoga and also at the same time express themselves in their own unique way. This photo session celebrates God’s creation through beautiful yoga form and poses, but that’s not all, you also get to express yourself in the way God has crafted and made you.

As I’ve been shooting Catalyst sessions, I felt that the Holy Spirit reminding me that it’s a struggle for women to see themselves as beautiful and wonderfully made by the Lord when in front of the camera. It’s so easy to let the devil take away our sense of self worth when you are put in front of the camera. In response to God’s leading, I felt that before each session, it’s important to pray and ask God for help. God’s word and prayer will give each women encouragement and the strength to face the camera with FREEDOM, BEAUTY and and to BELEIVE that God sees us beautiful in his sight.

I’m so grateful! Ministry and passion, coming together for HIS PURPOSE and GLORY. It’s a privilege to be able to serve, encourage and bless my photography clients with the gift of prayer and God’s word. God’s beauty that surpasses words, Brooke in love with the Lord.

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