Slowing. Stretching. Challenging. Breathing. Building strength. Letting go. Growing.
Those words alone are why I do yoga. I can connect to God and to my body. Once upon a time I thought yoga to be a very evil device that would allow my thoughts to be used in “sinful ways” (confessions of a former fundamentalist Baptist here). For those with roots like mine, it might be helpful to seek out a Christian yoga class which are offered in different communities. I now attend my local yoga studio in my neighborhood which has been great to connect with my neighbors and gain flexibility and strength in my mind, body, and soul.
Taking private yoga classes has been one of the most beneficial practices I have instituted into my life. I tried to go to a class at a chain store gym and the experience was okay, but as it turns out, when I started going to smaller classes where the instructor could work with me, my core foundation was completely off! I encourage people to go to at least a couple of smaller classes to learn the foundation and technique before going to a large mega-class. The principles behind the poses are essential to the practice.
Because it’s in my schedule it also forces me to go and make this time and space for myself. I would encourage you to try it out if you’re looking for new ways to connect with your body and to God. And if you’re struggling with conflicting messages as I once did, remember that something has power over you only if you let it. If you’re doing something to connect with God, yourself and other people, there are healthy motives in that. Anything can become an obsession that takes over our wills if we let it — and my number one was control. In giving up that control and trying new things like yoga, I am finding more peace in myself and with others than I knew possible.