I recently had the privilege to interview Laurette Willis, a dear sister who was involved in yoga for 22 years until overwhelmed with chaos and loneliness, she finally found peace. I will share her story in three posts. This is the first.
At age of 7, Laurette Willis began yoga with her mother, assuming it was simply a form of exercise. Jack LaLanne was a popular television exercise program at the time. Their involvement began when Laurette and her mother would exercise with LaLanne. A yoga program followed his, and the two joined in.
Mom had heard over and over again that yoga was “just exercise” and Laurette (at age 7) did whatever Mom did. So the two became yoga buddies.
A 22-year Nightmare.
But what started as a simple exercise program turned into a 22-year nightmare
Laurette shares that she was “easy prey for the enemy through yoga” because her and her mom did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, they understood and participated in the Christian religion, but it was not real to them through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The spiritual influences within the world of yoga unwittingly drew them in. Laurette shares, “We began going to an ashram, which is a Hindu spiritual retreat .” There, Laurette was blessed by Swami Satchidananda as a child.
As Old as Sin.
Yoga and the New Age (which Laurette shares is not new, but as old as sin) “is very appealing to the pride of the person because you can have a certain element of spiritual power and spiritual experience without being under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
What people don’t realize, she says, is that without that authority, “you are like a city broken down without walls,” making you easy prey for the enemy. “This is exactly what happened to my mother and me, Mischelle,” Laurette shared.
Dead as a Doornail.
Laurette eventually became a yoga instructor. She shares, “I was deeply involved in New Age, mysticism. I was a psychic. I was a channel or open vessel for demonic spirits. And all the time I was thinking that I was serving God. But I was dead.”
The spiritual dangers poured over into the physical realm as she pursued and lived a life-style filled with risky behavior and sin.
“I was a compulsive overeater; I was an alcoholic; I had a promiscuous lifestyle. Just call it what it is. It was fornication. It was bad. I am amazed I am still alive.”
No April Fools.
Holding back tears, Laurette continues, “But God…the Lord in His mercy reached out to me. I am so grateful.”
At the age of 29, she says, “I came to the end of myself one April 1st, one April Fool’s Days. I cried out to God. I was lonely. I wanted someone to love me for myself. The Lord will use what ever it takes to bring you to your knees…and that’s what He did with me.”
For Laurette that was the desperate desire to be loved and share her life with a mate.
“I said, ‘I surrender. I give up. If you can do something with this life, You can have it… And I fell on my face. And Mischelle, I felt a weight lift off me…It was amazing, because when I got up, I felt about 30 pounds lighter.”
Finally Peace and Joy.
Laurette acknowledges that the weight upon her was the weight of sin. And when it lifted off her, she felt peace for the first time in her life. She says she had avoided peace, associating it with a tombstone, which reads “rest in peace.”
She says, “I never had peace; there was always chaos. It was always, ‘I gotta be excited or I’m bored. Gotta be excited or I’m miserable. I never felt [peace].”
“You know what was in the center of that peace, Mischelle? [It] was Joy. Joy sprung forth like a fountain from the inside of me, and I have felt joy, the joy of the Lord which is our strength….”
“And from there it was a process….I still had a New Age head….So it was a process of being discipled and going to church, and I developed a voracious appetite for the Word of God.”
In 2001, something exciting happened in Laurette’s story. But this will wait until part three of the interview. The next post in this interview will reveal some scary truths about yoga. Laurette has so much knowledge on the topic of yoga due to her long time participation with it. I can’t wait to share (but I must).
And I know Laurette would not be satisfied unless I shared the gospel truth with my readers today. It is so simple, she says. And it is.
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He took our sin upon Himself so we could inherit eternal life and lasting joy. He died in our place so we could live. Won’t you turn to Him today? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
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Reformed Health exists so you can take control of your own health and be all that God has designed you to be. The information shared on Reformed Health is the sole opinion of the author and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. None or our claims have been evaluated by the FDA or any other government organization. We are not medical doctors, nor do we have any medical doctors on staff. If you are having a health emergency, please call 911, contact your doctor, or visit a local emergency room. Always consult your doctor before engaging in any new exercise regime.
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