PraiseMoves DVDs - a Product Review
A few weeks ago, I was researching on the web about the history and practice of yoga. I had always thought of these exercises as just that - exercises to move and stretch the body. I was very surprised to learn that the asanas are postures that were specifically developed to be used in adoration and worship of the 330 million Hindu gods. In addition, the meditation practices are designed to create a state of transcendental trance, a state where the mind disconnects from the material world and conscious thought ceases as much as possible.
As a Christian, these issues concern me. On the one hand, I do not wish to give any Hindu god my worship as that is reserved for The Father, Son and Holy Spirit only. I also do not feel comfortable allowing my mind to unhinge from my body and go wandering about on it's own without me. It gets into enough trouble when I can supervise it's activities. In Christian worship of God, our engagement in that worship is to be mind, body, soul and strength (Mark 12:29&30). Our conscious mind is to be always engaged upon the worship and love of our Creator God, so any practice that disconnects that mind/body connection is not something a Christian should be engaged in.
On the other hand, I have searched for a stretching program that does not compromise my fellowship with Jesus Christ or His Word, and that makes Him a center piece of the activity. It would seem that yoga has a corner on moving the body in structured stretches and isometric strength development. Or does it? After doing a search for good stretching programs I found PraiseMoves, by Laurette Willis ! It truly was an answer to prayer!
PraiseMoves is a structured and gentle stretching program that incorporates holding various poses for up to a minute for both flexibility and isometric strength development. The spiritual focus is on Jesus Christ and every move has been paired with a scripture memory verse. The beginning and end of each DVD work out is devoted to prayer and thanks to our Creator God through His Son, Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit.
While on the surface this may seem "yogic" in nature, it really isn't. Many of the postures and positions are taken directly from classical and modern dance and from athletic training as well. All postures are geared for strengthening the core body muscles and stretching in such a way that the integrity of the spine is protected from injury at all time. Modification of the exercises to help people with less strength and flexibility adapt the movements to their ability is highly encouraged, as is proper posture and breathing.
I have had the good fortune to try out both 20 Minute PraiseMoves and Alphabetics PraiseMoves DVDs and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time blessing my body with healthy movement and my spirit with the Word of God at the same time.
20 Minute PraiseMoves is great if you don't have a lot of time to devote to your work out. Starting with beginner or advanced "Walkin' Wisdom Warmups" you get warmed up with light aerobic movements at a pace that raises your heart rate and prepares your muscles for the stretches in the beginner, intermediate or advanced PraiseMoves work out. For 20 minutes you then stretch and move, holding postures while you contemplate scriptures from the Holy Bible. Each posture is demonstrated by Laurette Willis and her two assistants. Laurette demonstrates the advanced form of each posture while her two assistants demonstrate modifications appropriate for individuals who may not be able to do the advanced forms.
Alphabetics is a walk through the Hebrew Alphabet, with each letter being represented by a separate move in the routine. The movements are challenging and the education about the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are intellectually stimulating as well. Alphabetics uses some of the acrostic passages of the old testament as the foundation for each posture. An acrostic passage is a form of Hebrew poetry where each line or each segment of the scripture passage starts with one of the 22 Hebrew characters, in order, through out the entire passage. Psalm 119, the longest of the psalms, is just such an acrostic poem that provides a challenging half hour work out. Proverbs 31:10-31 is also an acrostic passage for a shorter work out. Laurette has also set Alphabetics to The Lord's Prayer, for those who do not have time to go through the Psalm 119 or the Proverbs routines.
If you want to add a good stretching program to your work out that focuses on Christ centered spirituality then you can't go wrong with PraiseMoves!
If we can no longer trust words to be the faithful vessels to carry our thoughts to another person's mind, then our efforts to preach the true gospel become mired in a swamp of indistinct verbiage. As Paul said, "if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?" And who in the world will be able to distinguish the foe from the protectors and purveyors of the truth?