21 October 2012

the apologetics of yoga

sundays are a day of ritual and rest for our family. but on this sunday, i was running. late. downtown parking eluded me. i managed to find a spot. swung my gigantic vehicle into a spot. parallel parking is a feat i perfected after attending a small private college. i often boast to passengers, "my father spent a small fortune for me to learn to parallel park." 

when i arrived at the yoga studio, the classroom door was already closed. the incense spilled through the cracks. a woman was looking at me as i kicked off my shoes. i could feel her gaze. i was annoyed. in a hurry to...to...to... practice yoga! i looked up. she smiled. i smiled back. "hi!" a very familiar tone from her voice. i returned the pleasantry. "how are you?" again she spoke to me like we knew each other. i was distracted. i had one thing on my mind.must.practice.yoga. the stranger paused and sighed. "you don't remember me do you?" my blank stare was a dead giveaway. "i am so sorry," i confessed. she reminded, "i was in a bible study that met at your house when you lived downtown. gosh it's been over a year. how was your move?" shame. this woman remembered my name. she remembered my life. i didn't even remember-her. 

we found a spot next to one another in the crowded class. i whispered, "have you been coming long?" she told me, "i have. yoga literally saved my life." she went on to share, "i went through a period of deep, dark depression. yoga pulled me out of my cloud." i smiled. she continued, "i practiced for a while. some of my friends told me that yoga isn't christian so i stopped for a while. then i prayed about it and really felt like it was okay. you know to do." i sat on my mat and considered. is THE creator of the universe not also glorified in the yoga studio? is He not bigger than the idols that are within my glimpse in this room? when jesus died, the curtain was torn in the temple. we enter into the holy of holies freely, dear ones! and He is not contained in the temples made by men. hallelujah!{read more at: matthew 27:50-51 or mark 15:37-38 or luke 23:45-46}

the class began and our voices were silenced by mantras. our arms raised. we knelt. we bowed. we moved. we looked up with hands raised. 

eric liddell once said he felt god's good pleasure when he ran. i know that feeling. i feel that when i practice yoga. a feeling of preciousness. a feeling of gratitude. a heart overcome with love for my maker. brought to tears. i worship god when i practice yoga. i bow down in adoration to the Creator of my body. i thank him for a body that works and moves beautifully, by His design. never have i been injured from this gentle and exceedingly challenging ancient movement. it has been nothing but faithful to cure all that ills me{and leave me feeling quite amorous}. i adore how it has shaped me physically and spiritually. i cannot say that about many other things in my life.

sacred. the music. the incense. the incredible welcome like coming home. no shame. the feeling of complete acceptance with the reminder to "be who you are". the cooperative voice. the ancient language. so many aspects of yoga remind of my other sunday ritual-church. both places point me to something bigger than myself. both places compel me to worship god. both places leave me feeling glad to know that at the end of my days there will be Somebody waiting. with arms outstretched. welcome.

when i consider my journey to the yoga mat, it runs parallel with my journey to jesus. a few years of shy experimenting. a few years of intentional forgetfulness. and like the prodigal son, a reverent return with much humility and enthusiasm. a reward that is palpable.

solely i belong to the One who made me. and He made yoga. and He created me for yoga. i feel it in my bones. for that reason i can enjoy the creation whilst worshipping the Creator. and in that i feel His good pleasure.


a good song to add to your yoga playlist. the words are enough to evoke a heart of love and gratitude. 

No comments: