ISSN 1538-1080

Movement, Breathing, and Christian Meditation: Catalysts for Spiritual Growth

Movement, Breathing, and Christian Meditation: Catalysts for Spiritual Growth

Yoga taught and practiced in a Christian context This paper describes a fitness course where yoga and mat Pilates exercise techniques are combined with opportunities for structured faith development in the students enrolled in the course. The end of semester evaluations for this course, entitled Yoga/Pilates: Spiritual Growth Through Movement, indicate that many students are experiencing strong, positive spiritual impacts that they attribute to this course. This paper explores ways in which course content may act as a catalyst for spiritual growth. The process I describe here derives from my own faith journey and my own experiences as a lifelong learner. This work is therefore both personal and professional. It reflects the ways I bring together my spiritual life and my approach to teaching, and explicates how I endeavor to nurture the integration of faith and learning within my students lives. This process becomes a circular one, as student feedback from assessments of physical, emotional and spiritual components before and after the course informs my teaching methods and my own faith journey. The cycles of teaching and learning, and of faith development and expression continue.

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