WHY YOGA?

so… why do you do yoga?

I get this question aaaaallll the time, babes. it’s asked in a thousand different ways by a thousand different people with a thousand different motives.

and I love this question! the truth is, no matter who’s asking it for whatever reason (yup, definitely had people ask me this to try to prove their anti-yoga point), this is a question that never fails to spark some kind of excited flame in me… because oh, why do I practice yoga? let me count the ways, sister. 😉

because it soothes the mind

as someone who has lived with mantal illnesses, primarily anxiety and depression, for roughly 18 years of her 23+ year life, anything that calms my mind without a slew of negative side effects is my best effin friend. putting your physical body through postures of precision, steadiness, and intentionality has a profound calming effect on the brain. the signals sent through your nerves and your breath when you do something as intentional with your body as yoga, tell your brain that you’re alright, that you don’t need to panic. just a few minutes into a practice or flow & I can already feel my mind settling and my thoughts gaining clarity. and that’s priceless!

because it’s really good for your body

there are countless ways that yoga improves your overall physical health. increasing flexibility is just awesome for your body- you’re less likely to injure yourself in accidents or falls, you’re less likely to pull a muscle during another workout, and you’re less prone to stiffness/tension if you’re consistently stretching out your body. teaching your spine proper alignment (especially for those who sit at desks all day!) can make leaps and bounds of change when it comes to healing back, hip, and shoulder pain. alignment can also help clear up issues in the neck and head- for me, personally, my migraines dropped in amount significantly when I began practicing yoga and implementing proper alignment.


because it boosts confidence Continue reading “WHY YOGA?”

PALMS OPEN

hi beauties. I love you guys so much.

today I have a really important chat for y’all. it’s not only timely for Palm Sunday, but it’s a valuable & precious mantra for a lifetime. yeah. it’s that piercing.

when Jesus entered the city, the people waved palm branches & blessed Him, and later on they received Jesus Himself on the cross. today we open our palms to bless Him still & receive His goodness and blessing.

there’s a term we use in yoga: “palms up to receive.”

as we sit in meditation, or pause, steady in our breath, in a pose full of difficulty, we often remind ourselves or our students to simply turn our hands so our palms face up- a posture of surrender, openness, and release.

it’s a softness, a gentleness, a simplicity in the midst of spiritual tension. it’s an offering in the midst of emotional scarcity. it’s a song of sweetness in the screaming bitter season of the soul.

this is our Palm Sunday everyday.

this is our silent shout of hosanna, defiant in the chaos of a world shrieking with fear & demanding our worry and panic. Continue reading “PALMS OPEN”

50 WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF CARE

with all the chaos that our lives have been over the last week, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about priorities and what it looks like to keep myself safe and healthy and well of body & spirit during these really wild and trying seasons of life.

for any preggo mamas out there, you know just how much harder it is when you’ve got a little one sending hormones surging through your body (and kicking you repeatedly) on top of whatever tough stuff you’ve got going on.

it’s especially hard not just to recognize those priorities, but also be able to enforce them with yourself and the people around you without feeling guilty. it’s difficult, though 100% necessary in order to be able to stay healthy for you, and for the health of the people who are relying on you!

make sure you have someone who will check up on YOU and be sure you are okay, making time for yourself, getting enough sleep or food, and staying healthy.

so out of this, I decided to sit down and come up with several ways to practice the all-important act of self-care. ❤ I hope you can find a few ways to show yourself some TLC!

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50 ways to practice self care Continue reading “50 WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF CARE”

THREE YOGA POSES FOR TIGHT HIPS // 3 ON THURSDAY

YOU GUYS I’M SORRY.

I DITCHED YOU YESTERDAY BUT I’M BACK NOW!

and with the winning combination of a long plane ride and, well, being pregnant, my hip joints are absolutely killing me. even though I spent a lot of yesterday shopping walking and re-exploring the good old southern maryland stomping grounds, my tight hips are still giving me a hard time.

so, I figure, why not share with you some of my favorite remedies for those sore and tight hips… three of my go-to yoga poses!

here are some things to keep in mind while practicing these postures:
– discomfort is okay. pain is NOT. stop if you’re feeling pain!
– make sure to stretch BOTH hips… that means doing each pose twice, once on each side
– breathe steadily throughout the duration of the pose, from entering into it, until you have completely left it
– it’s 100% normal for one side to be tighter than the other. don’t force it!

ready to feel so much better?!
let’s do this!

**DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor! always listen to your doctor. I claim no liability for any injury which occurs while practicing these poses.**

three yoga poses for tight hips

LIZARD POSE

begin in a simple aligned standing position, or mountain pose. step your right foot forward into a lunge and bring your left knee to rest on the ground. make sure your right knee is stacked over the ankle. bring your hands down to the floor near the inside of the right foot. begin to stretch out you back left leg slowly, straightening it out behind you. you should feel a strong stretch in the front of your thigh/hip joint. for a deeper stretch, bring the forearms down to the ground, and lean your knee to the outside. 


LOTUS POSE VARIATION

Begin in simple seated position, half lotus, or full lotus. remember if you are in half or full lotus to keep your feet flexed in protection of your ankle joints. walk your hands forward and lift the tailbone. begin to press forward and down through the pelvis & up and back through the shoulders in a gentle backbend. the stretch should be felt across the front of the pelvis and through the front of the thighs and hip joints.


FROG POSE

begin in a tabletop position (all fours) and slowly walk your knees out to the sides. maintain a straight line from shoulders to tail as you breathe into the stretch. rest your forearms on the ground and press through the pelvis to deepen. you should feel this stretch in your inner thighs and deep hip joint.


happy yoga-ing, friends!

HERE’S WHAT’S UP // WHAT EXACTLY IS CHANGING FOR UNTIDY GRACE THIS MONTH

YOU GUYS.

I know I’ve been talking this up for a couple weeks now, but TONIGHT from 10:30pm until TOMORROW at 10:30am pacific time, the Untidy Grace blog will be unavailable to view because when it reopens tomorrow morning, it will look TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

that’s right. we’re doing a total facelift ’round here as a celebration of ONE WEEK until a full brand reveal.

what exactly is a full brand reveal? Continue reading “HERE’S WHAT’S UP // WHAT EXACTLY IS CHANGING FOR UNTIDY GRACE THIS MONTH”

Namaste.

mmmmm. this word, you guys.

for those of you who don’t practice yoga, you may be surprised at how downright biblical this word gets. 😉 if I’m being honest, at the core, that’s why I love Holy Yoga so much… the parallels in yoga to so many of the truths in Scripture are startling and eye-opening. “Namaste” is one of those.

I remember in 2011 when I went to India for a missions trip, we would often greet the native people in return with the response of “namaste” or “namaskar”. it’s a common Indian greeting which carries significant spiritual and cultural weight. it isn’t just the word either, it’s nearly always accompanied by the pressing together of one’s hands over one’s heart, and bowing forward gently.

it’s also a word and gesture that in western cultures has been contorted, or is just said by heated yoga-practicing white girls because that’s what their teacher concludes class with. (sorry.) if we’re honest, most of us (even some of us who do practice yoga) don’t know what this word means.

online Yoga Journal defines it this way: “The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us… The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.

so here’s the thing. while, as Jesus followers, we certainly don’t believe that we ourselves are divine, we do believe that we are made in the image of God, or in other words, carry the signature of the One true Divine in the very core of who we are as humanity. this is why tragedy is tragic. this is why loss of life is so terrifying. (more on that here.)

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how often do we forget this? how often do we allow careless words and judgement to come between us and others, forgetting Jesus’ words that “whatever you do for them, you do for me.” (paraphrased) how often do we treat our fellow humanity like nuisances to be ignored or creatures to be judged?

how often would we do this if we truly remembered that they are Image-bearers? how often would we sin against one another if we constantly acknowledged the Divine spark, the Image of God in the faces of those we interact with?

Namaste is our reminder that we have all been created in His image, that we are all walking resemblances of our Creator, however tainted and torn it has become. Namaste is the word that brings us back to the basic belief that God so loved the world… and that we are called to do the same. Namaste is the gesture that nudges us to make ourselves low, to humble ourselves because we all bear the same image, and none of us is better than another.

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So when your next class ends, and the teacher bows her gentle “Namaste”, look around you and soak in His image. look around you and walk in love towards humanity. look around you and be gentle in love and firm in truth and bold in your very soul because you bear the image of the Divine.

how to make life less sucky when you’re crazy busy

let’s just be real guys.

when we get too busy, everything becomes a blur of checklists, schedules, meetings, getting things done, disorganization, chaos, family world wars, atomic bombs… waitno. mostly just checklists and schedules. but seriously, as the speed of life picks up, I end up feeling like I’m in the middle of a race I didn’t realize was happening, and I’m all out of breath and miserable and confused. (it ain’t pretty)

and right now, with less than four weeks to pack up and move cross country, you could say I’m stressed worried nervous in a total panic. so, believe me… I need this post as much as you do. let’s take a deep breath and read on.

here are a few ways to make that out-of-breath chaos a little less sucky while you’re living it…

1.) give yourself a time-out
while generally time outs are associated with mischievous toddlers (or, you know, normal toddlers), sometimes we all need a couple minutes to simply get our bearings and take a deep breath. so set that iphone timer for 10 minutes, shut and lock the door, and just breathe for a second. pay attention to that breath in your body, and focus on just how it feels to breathe instead of letting your mind loose on all the things you have to do. I went full yogi on you with the breath. sorry not sorry. thank me later. Continue reading “how to make life less sucky when you’re crazy busy”

how to rest (a totally useless guide)

so I haven’t written much since I returned from my holy yoga training retreat, except to update you all who were so sweetly and so diligently covering me in prayer. (you are the BEST, y’all.) But here’s a little peak into the wild and holy work that went on in my soul that week… Consider that (along with the history of this blog 😉 ) your disclaimer.

you have been warned. proceed with caution.

it all started with the flight. boarding scared & doing it afraid, and being so utterly terrified that I just curled into a ball, stuck my headphones in, and listened to music about God carrying me as the plane took off. miraculously, no panic pills were involved. so great, right?!
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((photo from the HOYO family facebook page- not mine))

after a whirlwind night meeting people for the first time, only to bunk with them about ten minutes later (only through Jesus, y’all), and rushing back to the airport to reconvene with the rest of the HOYO sisterhood that was arriving for retreat, and bumping along the Arizona desert for 3 hours, and moving into our cabins & going through our first flow as a group… Sunday was killer, guys.

and Monday and Tuesday were hellish. yeah. I said it. constantly moving from dawn to long after dusk on little sleep, high elevation, and surrounded by people I had never met before. (and all the introverts draw a collective gasp of horror, as the extroverts are thinking I must have intended to type heavenly). I honestly wasn’t sure I’d survive the week at that point.

and then Tuesday night hit, and I’m lying in savasana on a hard wood gym floor, only separated by a thin yoga mat, surrounded by quiet breathing and muffled sniffles, staring up at the dimmed lights and orange glow of the heaters, thinking, “what the hell have I done? I’m so utterly exhausted. I don’t understand. I thought I was called to this. but no, I’m still exhausted… just like I have been for the past year of my life. it never ends, and God you still don’t give me any sort of strength, for some reason that continues to infuriate and frustrate my ever-loving mind.”

hoyomin
((photo from the HOYO facebook page- not mine))

and then the touch came. soft and subtle, the hands of a kind friend massaging my scalp, pressing into my shoulders… and her voice: Continue reading “how to rest (a totally useless guide)”

Holy Yoga Instructor Training Retreat // pray for me

some of you have asked how you can be praying for me as I embark on the final leg of this journey. let me say: THANK YOU. you caring for me in that way is just overwhelming and amazing ❤

(if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read all about the incredible story that lead me to my calling here.)

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1.) TRAVEL
you know… that I’ll get on the right plane and the right time. that I’ll find the people I need to find in the places I need to find them. that I’ll be able to lift my carry-on suitcase into the overhead compartment without killing myself. the basics. I leave just after 5pm Saturday the 30th. I return Mother’s Day afternoon.
**pray for the travel of the other 180+ ladies & men who will be traveling as well**

2.) SPIRITUAL PEACE & PROTECTION
the enemy knows I’m called to this, and the fear & nerves are setting in, y’all. pray that I will be at peace in knowing I have a GOOD GOOD FATHER who has called me and prepared me for this. pray that my anxiety will not flare up.

3.) UNITY
pray that our small group (about 8) will gel really well and just be super unified. pray that we will truly feel like family. pray for the entire group, as well.
HOYO

4.) INSTRUCTORS
our amazing teachers will be under spiritual heavy fire, and we need to pray that they will be filled with the Spirit and overcome with His love for us students. pray that they will have patience with us, and that we will be able to understand clearly what they have outlined for us.

5.) SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
pray for my spiritual relationship with Jesus, and that it will grow and thrive over the coming week ❤

6.) MENTAL HEALTH
I am feeling ALL. THE. THINGS. terror. excitement. fear. thrill. hope. all. the. things. the emotions are a little overwhelming just in the sheer number of them and the rush as they all crash over me. it’s easy to get caught up in it all. pray that my anxiety & depression will be overcome and washed away in the presence of Jesus.

xoxo
Moriah

of yoga, starbucks, and big life decisions: your questions accepted

hi lovelies!

I thought we should chat today about some things that are up and coming, not just in my life, but also in the life of this little blog! 🙂

so let’s grab a cup of coffee & have a seat, shall we?

yoga and jesus

as many of you know, I’ve just begun my training to become a certified yoga instructor with holy yoga ministries. Continue reading “of yoga, starbucks, and big life decisions: your questions accepted”