“A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body…” — Proverbs 14:30(a), Amplified Bible.
I have so far taught five Yoga classes this week, and have one more tonight. While I often have an overall theme for all the classes, each class is always different, and varying aspects of the theme are emphasized, depending on the students and what I am sensing at the moment.
Before a couple of my classes I talked about Yoga as a tool to connect with your body. It’s not about how bendy you are or whether you can do 5 millions handstands; it’s about movement on the mat that allows you to delve deeper into yourself and your practice. If that practice consists of simply lying in Savasana and breathing, then you have accomplished Yoga. That movement on the mat translates to movement off the mat, and consistency in your practice are part of the building blocks to success.
There are a million sites that talk about Yoga’s benefits, so I will not reiterate them all here. While the physical benefits are terrific, the deeper benefits of a calm and undisturbed mind are what bring me to the mat, and keep me returning.
When I started a fuller and more committed practice at the age of 44, it was for that calm, not to lose weight or to get a Yoga booty—though as you can see, I have a beautiful one!
While pursuing my first Teacher Training in 2011, I wrote these words in an article, Yogis of Faith:
“I chose to deepen my Yoga practice after a particularly stressful three years that began with a sibling’s death, followed by a job loss, loss of a home, and then my husband’s health. Despite our entire church congregation and many others praying and supporting us, this Season (which is still ongoing) has had little reason, little relief, and few answers. Yet, through the practice of Yoga I have been able to “Be still, and know that he is God.” I have walked with Jesus for 29 years, and pretty well know all the Christian disciplines and how to apply them. But I would not have not been able to continually do this save for the practice of Yoga. It has been God’s gift to me in helping me discover a window of sanity during an insane time.”
I wish I could say the times have gotten less insane, but they haven’t. With all praise to God, my Lynn is well and we have a roof over our heads; but our financial fortunes though improved, have yet to be restored, and this uncertain world continues to harbor fears and setbacks around every corner. So Yoga is a powerful tool in my spiritual arsenal to calm my mind and soul, helping me to hear from God, and giving life and strength to my body, no matter what the day or life may bring.
I look forward to pursuing my own time on the mat before my next class, and delving deeper into my body, into my soul, and into God’s Holy Spirit. It has been a good and perfect gift (James 1:17) in these 50 years on earth.