Holy Yoga!

Going to the mat with God

Next up was a headstand, one I'd been working on for a while. It took a few kicks to get up, and I was disappointed with how unsteady I felt. I'd been practicing, so where were my results?

Nicole's headstand, of course, was stock-still and perfectly balanced. A classmate asked, "How are you so good at that?"

"I've been practicing for a long time," she said. "You need to trust that your body is getting better. It's not going to happen as fast as you want it to happen, but if you keep at it, the change will come."

God's timing is perfect. God is working in you. Trust that the change is happening.

How many times had I heard this before? And yet, this was the first time it resonated with me, with a tangible example of how continued effort, continued prayer, continued trust in God's plan will lead to a brighter future. Or a better yoga pose.

Yoga is full of these little reminders for me, nudges in the direction of a God-centered mindset.

Wobbling over in eagle pose? On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Feeling frazzled in Warrior Two? No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to this rock I'm clinging.

Absolutely positive you cannot do full wheel? With God, all things are possible.

I can't explain why, but yoga flips a switch in my head. I go from my normal thoughts to a completely God-centered stream of consciousness the minute my feet touch the mat. I'm the type of person who feels happiest while active: I talk to God while I'm running, and feel most worshipful when I'm on my feet singing in church, so it makes sense the intentional, slow movements of yoga feel so prayerful to me. My mind tends to wander when I try to pray while sitting still, while my mind moves straight to God the minute I start moving.

Some Christians dismiss yoga because of its Hindu roots, but why do we dismiss yoga as a way to connect with God? Prayer is so much more than folded hands and bent knees. God is so powerful, so present, that he surely must hear prayers uttered from a yoga studio or a forest trail, as well as those whispered in a church or a bedroom. God created each of us to be unique, so surely we each have unique ways of connecting to our creator and speaking to him.

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