I was raised in a traditional church and as a kid I showed up with the expectation to keep emotions to myself and outrageous gestures out of the pews. I've since spent many years attending non-denominational churches and have witnessed many a fellow worshiper lift hands in the air like they don't care (thank you Cameo, Word Up!). I'm disappointed with myself to admit to secretly passing judgement when the hands would go up. I could certainly appreciate that those folks were overtaken by the Holy Spirit and reaching up for their own personal reasons, or possibly putting on some sort of act, but I never felt the urge to do so. A "Good Catholic Girl" keeps her cool, right?
And then it happened!
One Sunday morning, the lights were dimmed, the worship band was stirring up the Spirit, and I thought to try an experiment. Certainly no one would notice if I tired lifting a hand: just one. Immediately, in this gesture of humble adoration and full surrender, my heart nearly leaped out of my chest. It took me by surprise! There really was something in my physical gesture that evoked an emotional response! One hand was met by the other and suddenly I was standing in church doing mountain pose and feeling tall and strengthened by God.
In Frogpose Yoga class a similar evolution may occur for you. We begin class feeling stiffness and rigidity and end class feeling strong and relaxed. So, don't be intimidated due to a perception you may have about yourself as not being flexible enough. The 60 minute class begins with a warm up and integration of spirit, soul and body. And then we turn up the heat with fluid physical postures using the breath of life to direct our flow.
It's at this time in class that the arms are warmed up enough to reach to heaven with least resistance. Shoulders have loosened and the fascia has softened. You may even hear a teacher cue to use Steeple Grip. This is the ultimate expression of the moving meditation with fingers interlaced, palms touching and both index fingers directed upward like a heavenly vector. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit with our fingers as the steeple, pointing to our eternal home. The physical posture of Steeple Grip evokes the emotional response of direction for our lives and souls. There is peace in knowing where the steeple is leading!
Join us on Wednesday at noon as we focus on what the bible has to say about the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. And the next time you feel moved to lift your arms in worship and praise, maybe give Steeple Grip a try and report back to me.