We start by setting our intentions. To be kind toward our bodies. To be gentle. To withhold judgment or expectation in favor of observing where we are in the moment and supporting ourselves where needed, in the weaker places.
I imagine my body, unbalanced in its distribution of strength, the stronger parts coming underneath and alongside to aid the weaker, working together instead of fighting against.
And then come the breaths.
As always, yoga flows from an awareness and direction of breathing. Slow and deep, lower-bellied, rib-expanding inhales, pausing to hold, then drawing-belly-back-inward exhales. After we've directed our breaths, we inhale and push out a resonant aaaahhhhh oooooo uuuummm in unison, three times. It's a gutteral, primitive song, unlike any we humans utter in social interactions, but here it is escaping now, soft and vibrant and liberating.
Our bodies flow with the minutes through this hour, inside this vast sanctuary. Stretching, holding, sitting, bending, rocking, balancing, lowering, lifting, opening, closing. Not only bodies, but spirits, too, flow and hold, rock and rest. I feel the tension in tight places, one side of the body weaker than the other, learning to lean in at gentler angles and roll out of positions slowly. I recognize different parts of my spirit as strong and sturdy, others as tender and tired, not yet capable of bearing my full weight. I'm having a difficult time concentrating. My eyes roam the stone floor with its beautiful cracks and up the walls toward the expansive canopy of wooden beams.
Near the end of our hour, we're holding a balance tree pose and I'm wobbling on one leg. Our instructor gently calls out, "Find a focal point that is not moving or changing," and my eyes latch onto the cross directly on the wall in front of me.
I breathe in. Yes, this.
And just following yoga, my eyes focus in on the table where Eucharist is spread and we all are invited to come.
I breathe out. Yes, this, too.
Let this be my unmoving, unchanging focal point in a swirl of faith upheaval and shifting of balance. None other than this God-feast, this table where all our invited as we are to come and dine on Love. To bring our unbalanced strong-and-weak selves, to taste of kindness and gentleness, to find ourselves in the flow of a more beautiful song.
Joining Kelly and the beautiful community of Small Wonder.