I had the pleasure of experiencing my first Holy Yoga Retreat this past May when I attended as an instructor-in-training. The experience was so rich, full and transformative. Between the bible studies, yoga classes, and non-stop learning, I barely had time to take out my camera to capture the experience. This time around, however, I was asked back to capture retreat as their official photographer. It was such a different experience and perspective. Being back there brought back the flurry of emotions I experienced the first time around as a student, but this time I got to experience the holy work in a new way. Last time, I was very introspective and focused on what the Lord had to say to ME. This time, I was able to observe and see the holy work that the Lord was doing for OTHERS!
The few days I was there, I watched and documented hearts being transformed before my very eyes. And at the same time, the Lord did a beautiful work in my own heart. I fall more in love with this ministry every time I am around the people who make it what it is. It is so rich in the grace, freedom, holy work of Jesus Christ. They long to see people “get free and stay free” and pursue a life of wholeness that can only be found in Him. It is an honor that I get to be a part of this ministry!
The shuttles arrive with the 150ish instructors bringing with them a flurry of emotions, stories and reasons why they ended up in this place. No doubt, they feel the anticipation of what’s to come in the week ahead. The excitement. The fear. The hope. The confirmation. The doubt. They step off the buses and onto campus with whatever “stuff” they bring…but will leave there, undoubtedly, changed.
The campus was as breathtaking as I remembered it 6 months before.
The yoga is clearly a huge part of retreat, but equally (or more) important are the moments of worship to our King! The worship leaders were such a gift to all of us, creating a sweet space to focus on the real reason why all of us were there.
The instructors go through intense anatomy and yoga pose training throughout the week and the teachers are nothing short of top notch!
Beyond the yoga, beyond the training, beyond the beautiful campus and wonderful teachers are the moments of transformation that happen to the hearts of those that attend. God works POWERFULLY through the work of holy yoga to break chains, transform hearts and bring people closer to Him. Witnessing and documenting those precious moments was a true gift to my heart.
As I left retreat last May, the weather took a turn and it started snowing. Ironically, on the day I left to go back home this time, the same thing happened. I wiped the snow off my windshield and caught my reflection as I took my hand away. He sees me this way. He sees all who trust in Him this way: as white as snow because of the blood of Jesus!