Anti-Trafficking + Yoga = Wholeness Journey Thailand

Anti-Trafficking + Yoga = Wholeness Journey Thailand

Join us on a Wholeness Journey to Thailand!

Do you long for something greater? Hungry to break out of your day-to-day life and connect with God, yourself, and others in a deep and powerful way?

This is an invitation to embark on a journey outside of your everyday, emerge into a new culture, and discover yourself in a new way. To adventure, minister, and experience the beauty of wholeness in mind, body, and spirit through Jesus Christ.

Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Nicknamed, “The Land of Smiles,” Thailand boasts pristine beaches, tropical jungles, delicious food, exotic animals, and smiling people, making it one of the top tourist destinations in the world. But behind all Thailand’s natural beauty lies a terrible secret: modern day slavery.

As the Thai economy strengthens and more visitors choose to vacation here, tourism of a different sort flourishes. Human trafficking and sexual tourism continue to grow.
Behind the smiles of many Thai women, is the dark reality of their suffering:
• The abuse and manipulation of the sex trade causes loss of identity and self worth
• The physical, mental and sexual abuse the children and women experience can result in spiritual and even physical death

The women of Thailand need to be freed from the bondage of sexual exploitation.
We will be serving with Shear Love International , a ministry that rescues young women from the brothels of Thailand and educates them in becoming independent women through discipleship and beauty school to live sustainable lives, so they do not need to re-enter the sex-trade.

The women in Thailand long to know their true worth and value. They need to know they can be made whole through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ!

Will you join us to discover and share God’s freedom, healing, and wholeness in Thailand?

Your trip leaders, Christina Barnes and Jessica Dahl, are both trained missionaries and yoga instructors. They bring the combined experiences of The Beyond Project and Beauty for Ashes to lead you in this unique combination of a women’s mission trip and a Christian yoga retreat.

You’ll start your trip along the beautiful beaches of Thailand, as you get to know your team and pray into what the Lord has in store for your Wholeness Journey. You will conclude your trip on the island off Pattaya where you’ll create action steps to keep walking into the whole and purposeful life God has uniquely designed for you!

During your stay in Pattaya, Thailand, you will:
• Attend inspirational workshops on spiritual growth and maturity
• Enjoy rejuvenating yoga classes and fresh, local meals
• Adventure in the natural beauty of Thailand
• Learn to share your unique story, giftings, and wholeness journey with others
• Host women’s retreats where you’ll minister to hurting women of Thailand and share with them about how to cultivate Christ-centered wellness, wholeness, and beauty

Most of the young women you will get to minister to feel so much shame and guilt in their lives and don’t know how to heal from it. You will be a huge catalyst in reminding them of their wholeness in Christ as we get to share with them about their identity. They will experience healing in their bodies as the masterpieces they are, so they can express their inner beauty outwardly—and live freely into the purposes they are created for.


Why Yoga?
We were created as body, mind, and spirit. The exercise of yoga can help us:
• Become more connected with our physical body
• Increase mental clarity
• Attune our spiritual ears in meditation and listening prayer to become more sensitive to hearing God’s voice in our lives

Through this unique missions trip and personal retreat experience you will delve to new depths of faith, adventure, and wellness. You’ll step out of your comfort zone, serve women in need, and press into the wholeness God has for you as well.

Are you ready to embark on your Wholeness Journey to Thailand?  APPLY HERE

The Wholeness Journey Movement

The Wholeness Journey Movement

Wholeness Journeys are happening!

I am thrilled to share with you about the momentum I felt coming off of our March Wholeness Journey Trip in Guatemala! This was my biggest prayer leading up to the March trip:

“God, let me feel your momentum coming off this trip. I hope, God, that it’s not just a one-time-thing. 

If this is something you really want me to pursue, let there be other people want to BUILD this with me!”

And THAT, my friends, totally happened!

I have been working with one of my Wholeness Journey sisters, Anna Murphy, to build our first MissionaryYogi Retreat & Missions Trip in Asheville. The goal is this trip is to bring together women passionate about both yoga and ministry — and yoga AS ministry. And my Wholeness Journey co-founder, Jessica Dahl, and I are planning our NEXT Wholeness Journey to Thailand this October!

It looks like our vision of “sharing the love of God and the wholeness available in Christ through the practice of yoga” is the premise for a movement!  But before I get ahead of myself, let me share with you more about the Wholeness Journey Guatemala trip:

 

We had 14 women ages 21-40 come down to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala and join us for our very first yoga retreat/missions trip: “Wholeness Journey.” It was AH-MAZING. I loved every minute of it. It was like ALL THE THINGS I LOVE in one place at one time: Jesus-focused yoga, new friends, adventure, creating experiences for people, teaching and training, Beauty for Ashes style women’s retreat activities, and amazing food. (That’s a lot of things I love!)

We studied what the Bible says about the wholeness and abundance God has for us, we hosted a women’s retreat for 50 Guatemalan women from a local church, and we practiced yoga as a form of worship — connecting with God and honoring Him in a physical way. It was SO cool how God wove it all together so seamlessly: what we taught in our small group sessions, the Lord would echo in the meditations on our yoga mats, and then the team would share with the Guatemalan women what they were learning!

The Guatemalan ladies LOVED our time together. Their leader thanked us saying,

“The work that you did was truly an expression of God’s love for us. Your girls were angels sent from Heaven!” In fact, we heard that one 17 year-old girl who had walked away from the church and her faith attended our retreat, simply because she heard there were Americans in town. She had been in conflict with her family for several months about the bad choices she was making about drinking, boys, and partying. After the retreat, she told her Mom she was sorry! She changed her mind about God and wanted to come back to church, because “she wanted to grow up and be like the girls she met from America at the retreat.” Isn’t that so great?!  (If only some of us had had cool yoga-practicing, Jesus-loving role models at 17! Haha.)

As we wrapped up the trip, one Wholeness Journey participant shared,

“I’m leaving with an extreme sense of comfort — that I don’t have to go to battle alone. The Lord is on my side and I can make real friendships, not just surface level ones. And there’s been so many great insights I have learned from the Bible this week! I hear God saying, ‘The answers are in there, what are you doing?’ My Bible has been sitting on my shelf collecting dust. I’m gonna dust it off and read it!”

I left SO encouraged and motivated to keep things going!

I’ll be honest, re-entry back into America slowed me down, but God has been so faithful to connect me with women who share the same dream of yoga as ministry — and it’s HAPPENING! I am FINALLY feeling that same momentum that I felt at the end of March 🙂

And now we are open for applications to our Thailand Wholeness Journey in October! It’s going to be epic.

And if you or someone you know is passionate about connecting with other missionary yogis — join us in Asheville in July! Only a few spots left!

God is on the move and yogis are partnering with Jesus as He redeems the practice of yoga.  Yes and Amen!  …and Namaste  🙂

My Wholeness Journey Guatemala Sistas

Taking the PLUNGE!

This was in a ‘releasing our fears’ exercise where we went CLIFF JUMPING.

Pursuing this dream is a little scary… but I am jumping in!

Asheville Yoga Retreat & Missions Trip

Are you a Missionary Yogi?

If you are a woman passionate about yoga, serving others, and building community, you’re invited join us on this 5 day intensive retreat in Asheville, NC this July!

This retreat is a Vision Trip for the future of our Missionary Yogi Community. This trip is for women who are serious about using their yoga practice and their faith to impact the world with the love of Jesus; women who are eager to pour into others and cultivate community in yoga ministry.

Join us to build your practice, your faith, and your tribe of like-minded missionary yogis!

Where? Asheville, North Carolina!

Asheville is arguably the coolest town in The South.

A vibrant city with a bohemian spirit, Asheville has earned itself tons of nicknames and accolades (Beer City, Paris of the South, 25 Best Cities to Spend a Weekend, Best Outdoor Towns, Best Foodie Destinations, Most Beautiful Places in America). Asheville’s rich architectural legacy, thriving arts, music, food and beer scenes along with a relaxed mountain vibe will have you thinking about extending your stay beyond our 5 day retreat!

What are we doing on this “intensive retreat”?

  • Building community in our intimate group of like-minded missionary yogi women at our beautiful mountain cabin retreat
  • Learning from top yoga experts at the Asheville Yoga Festival and the Asheville Yoga Center
  • Ministering to hurting women at a homeless shelter and recovery center

Tell me about the Asheville Yoga Festival…

Set in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, the vision of Asheville Yoga Festival is to create a space for connection, adventure, play, relaxation and healing. Downtown Asheville is the retro-urban backdrop for the 2017 Asheville Yoga festival that will feature workshops, music, and unique health & wellness vendors.

We will attend a highly-sought after immersion workshop taught by Dr. Chelsea Roberts, who was featured on the cover of Yoga Journal this month. Chelsea’s workshop, “Finding Comfort in Our Purpose: Using Yoga to Reflect, Heal, and Impact Change” is a 6-hour experience that utilizes asana, dialogue, journaling, poetry, and meditation in order to attune to our individual and collective purpose while in community with others. I’ve practiced with Chelsea and learned a lot from her — and I know you’ll love her!

PLEASE NOTE: You will be responsible for buying your own ticket to this workshop. Tickets are $120 and need to be paid for at http://www.ashevilleyogafestival.com/tickets. Hurry, as spots are going fast!

Tell me about Asheville Yoga Center….

AYC has a mission of providing the highest education of Yoga. We will take a few classes at AYC over the weekend to learn from their 500 E-RYT instructors. Many of AYC’s instructors have decades of yoga experience and frequently lead 200 and 300 hr RYT programs. I’ve practiced at AYC, my yoga trainer was trained at AYC,  and I intend to pursue my 500 RYT there in the future. AYC is where it’s at for yoga education.

AYC Studio

Tell me about the ‘missions trip’ part of the retreat….

We’ll get to serve the women of Western Carolina Rescue’s “Abba’s Love” program. Abba’s Love exists to provide a plan for women to recover from brokenness, abuse, and homelessness. Abba’s Love encourages breaking the generational patterns of hopelessness and dependency on others. The program works to help women secure a stable home, job, and income and to develop an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 61:1

Tell me about where we’re staying…

We’ll be staying just 15 min from Asheville in a gorgeous mountain cabin complete with lots of gathering spaces, comfy beds, mountain views, and a hot tub!  And the end of each day of yoga and ministry we’ll debrief and build new friendships over dinner and deep conversation.

Our Mountain Retreat


Register by June 30  to save!

Early Bird $349 until May 31  //  Regular Registration $399 until June 30  //  Late Registration $449 until July 15

You can also pay by cash or check directly to Christina.

Tickets to the Asheville Yoga Festival are going fast, so purchase your workshop ticket ASAP! Remember, the cost of your Asheville Yoga Festival workshop is NOT included. Your $120 ticket needs to be purchased at this link.

Namaste & God Bless,

Christina Barnes

Why Yoga?

I believe yoga can be just an exercise or it can be a spiritual discipline.

And, like all spiritual disciplines, it matters where your heart is and where you are devoting that discipline.

Are you glorifying God? Glorifying yourself? Or are you aimlessly emitting your devotion out into the world and inadvertently glorifying something you’re not even sure of?

I believe that when we engage our minds, bodies, and spirits in devoting our yoga practice to glorify Jesus Christ, we can cultivate a deeper more purposeful connection to God, ourselves, and the world around us.

Yoga helps us grow in our awareness of where we are at — in our minds, bodies, and spirits. And self-awareness is important to our spiritual growth. We can’t grow past our level of self-awareness.

I believe God is a personal God who wants relationship with us. He is both the Creator of the universe and the small still voice within us. He wants to journey with us and be our guide and closest friend, as long as we invite him into that place in our lives.

I believe faith is a beautiful thing to be celebrated and shared, not forced.

I know the transformational power of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I’ve seen the healing and redeeming work of His love in my life and in the lives of so many other people. And that’s my inspiration to share this love with you through yoga.

I believe God is as alive and powerful today as he was during the times of the Old and New Testament. That’s why I offer Biblical scriptures as meditations. The Bible is God’s timeless word — appropriate for encouragement and wisdom always. I also believe God speaks to us individually through the Holy Spirit. In this way God can offer us a timely word — a word that’s uniquely suited for us in the very moment that we hear it. This is why I offer a moment of prayer and meditation in our practices; so that we can intentionally create a space for God to speak, and for us to listen.

My aim is to invite you into a yoga practice that will strengthen your body and fill up your Spirit.
Throughout our time together on your mat or perusing this site, my prayer is that you’ll find connection, feel loved, leave refreshed.

If you want to read more about how yoga can serve our Christian faith, see www.christianspracticingyoga.com

What’s a Wholeness Journey?

Wholeness Journeys are new adventures my friend Jessica Dahl and I are excited to invite you on!
Below you will find the Trip Description for our upcoming March 2017 Trip. Our March Guatemala trip is now full, but there are more trips in the works!
If you are interested in joining us on the next Wholeness Journey, please email me directly.

Wholeness Journey
March 11-19, 2017

Do you long for something greater? Are you hungry to break out of your day-to-day life and connect with God, yourself, and others in a deep and powerful way?

This is an invitation to embark on a journey outside of your everyday, emerge into a new culture, and discover yourself in a new way. To adventure, minister, and discover the beauty of wholeness in mind, body, and spirit through Jesus Christ.

Join us on a Wholeness Journey to Guatemala!

Guatemala is rich in natural beauty—from the shores of Lake Atitlan, to the peaks of its 37 volcanoes, this Central American nation is one of the most beautiful in the world.

Sadly, there are ugly things happening in the lives of women in Guatemala.

  • Guatemala has the highest tolerance for violence against women in all of Latin America.

  • Infidelity and domestic abuse are rampant.

  • Women are often treated as second-class citizens.

The women of Guatemala long to know their true worth and value. They need to know they can be made whole through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.

Will you join us to discover and share God’s freedom, healing, and wholeness in Guatemala?

Your trip leaders, Christina Barnes and Jessica Dahl, are both trained missionaries and yoga instructors. They bring the combined experiences of The Beyond Project and Beauty for Ashes to lead you in this unique combination of a women’s mission trip and a Christian yoga retreat.

You’ll start your trip along the charming cobble-stoned streets of Antigua, as you get to know your team and pray into what the Lord has in store for your Wholeness Journey. Then you’ll head to Lake Atitlan, one of the most beautiful places in the world, where you’ll spend five days refreshing your soul at the stunning eco-resort, Isla Verde. You will conclude your trip back in Antigua where you’ll create action steps to keep walking into the whole and purposeful life God has uniquely designed for you!

During your stay at Lake Atitlan, you will:

  • Attend inspirational workshops on spiritual growth and maturity

  • Enjoy rejuvenating yoga classes and organic meals

  • Adventure in the natural beauty of the lake by kayak, hiking, or zipline (optional)

  • Learn to share your unique story, giftings, and wholeness journey with others

  • Host women’s retreats where you’ll minister to hurting women of Guatemala

Most of the women you’ll minister to are from indigenous and very poor backgrounds. Many of them have suffered abuse, been abandoned, widowed, or are single mothers. They will range in age from early 20s to 80s, but all will be hungry to learn more about their true worth and value in Christ.

Why Yoga?

We were created as body, mind, and spirit. The exercise of yoga can help us:

  • Become more connected with our physical body

  • Increase mental clarity

  • Attune our spiritual ears in meditation and listening prayer to become more sensitive to hearing God’s voice in our lives

Through this unique missions trip and personal retreat experience you will delve to new depths of faith, adventure, and wellness. Stepping out of your comfort zone, serving women in need, and pressing into the wholeness God has for you.

Are you ready to embark on your Wholeness Journey to Guatemala?