6/12/2021 0 Comments
Let’s Continue Our In-depth Look At How to Find Freedom in Christ on the Yoga MatSummer is here! Last week was a big week for park yoga and I hope you were able to take advantage of some stretching your faith and body in the grass. When I was a girl, something that gave me a lightness and joy in the heat of the summer was climbing trees. I remember heading deep into the back woods of Connecticut to find the perfect pine tree. Each limb was spaced just right for the size of my little body. It took a brave spirit and ample strength to press on but before I realized, I was nearly at the tippy top. The risk of falling didn’t occur to my 8-year-old brain as all I knew was that I had accomplished something all-together wonderful and freeing. It was an exercise in dependence on something bigger than myself to help me go somewhere I had never been before, or since. Once I climbed off, I kissed terra firma for a safe arrival back down.
On May 9 I began the series “A J’ogi’s Path to Freedom – Christian Yoga and the Tree of Life.” Here the picture is painted where yoga isn’t just another work out. It’s an exercise within the bounds of a yoga mat that’s met with a certain level of intention to learn about ourselves, both in how we relate to God and the body. We yoke together with Jesus as a mindful disentanglement from the worries, fears and worldly problems that keep our souls in bondage. It’s a physical knowing which takes us from a place of stagnation to one of challenging personal growth and true freedom. (Galatians 5:1) Freedom on the mat allows for more love off the mat.
The first limb we climbed in the J’ogi tree of life is “Knowing God’s Commands and Moral Precepts.” When I know God and can take him at his word (The Holy Bible), I can keep my eyes on heaven and less on the problems in the world. Where my gaze is, there my focus lies. As soon as I’m more of a study of the world than the word of God, I lose balance and tend to stumble. Keep in the word to know the difference.
The second branch for which we reach is Improving Physical Postures. Each F.R.O.G. Pose class is met with a flowing series of multiple physical poses to build strength and flexibility. If you are unfamiliar with yoga, you can expect a short learning curve of new terms such as Upward Facing Dog and Downward Facing Dog. And just like grasping a new language, repetition in attending classes helps. The more yoga teachers and classes you can take, the quicker you learn, plus by looking around to other students, you pick up on the poses rather quickly.
Last Tuesday night Luis confessed he was facing his giants by coming to his first park yoga class; he was transparent in admitting to a predetermined mind that he wasn’t flexible enough to participate. I reminded him that we all start somewhere and can look to improve as long as we are open minded to learn and grow. Yoga is like faith in God. He loves us so much that he doesn’t leave us in our pathetic state and breaks the chains that hold our soul in bondage. And so it is on the yoga mat. Flexibility in the mind leads to flexibility in the body. Keep showing up and your facia will soften allowing your body to move with greater easy and fluidity.
I was told once that to improve in any sport takes practicing 3-5 times a week. Can you show up to the mat more frequently to notice improvement in your body? I believe you are worth it to yourself. My challenge for you this week is to pick a pose that you’ve told yourself “I can’t do it”. We all have those poses in our minds that give us hesitation. Perhaps it’s Wheel Pose, Side Cross or Wide Leg Forward Fold Pose? Change your mindset, give yourself permission to climb to higher heights and show yourself you can do it! Practice this pose after each class you take this week. Rephrase your attitude and I am confident you and Madonna will “Strike a Pose!”
Grab this branch of Improving Physical Posture with me on Wednesday at noon. We will be meeting in person at Holiday Park in North Boulder for 60 minutes of focusing on God’s word and praying and strength and flexibility. We are strong because God is strong.
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