Tuesday, September 09, 2014
What I learned from yoga today
I do yoga sometimes. I mean, I PRACTICE yoga. that is the proper Yogi way to say that, my bad.
And every time I do it, I think, man this is good, I need to do this more often! And then I don't, but that's a topic for a whole 'nother blog!
Point is, today, aside from my usual "epiphany", I realized that throughout the whole 90', I was really receptive to what the instructor was saying, and learning. And I paid attention, and what do you know? I remember most of what I learned, so here it is:
1) breathe. so simple right? I don’t know about you, but from the moment I wake up, I am rushing, pushing, and moving about frantically. Sometimes it’s because I have somewhere to be, but I swear more often than not, I realize it’s a habit, a state of mind that automatically takes over once I get up and out of bed. a little voice that YELLS “come on, get going, hurry, you have places to be and things to do!”
So…breathe. what a concept. Take a SECOND to ask yourself why you’re even running and rushing and stressing everybody around you. And take a few deep breaths.
2) Relax your face.
This one made me chuckle. I can picture myself saying this to a stressed out friend. “relax your face!!” like…"keep your pants on!”
This one is cool literally and also metaphorically. Just relax, it goes well with breathing. Much of what we’re rushing to and from is relatively inconsequential in the eternality of things, i promise.
So relax your face, and your throat, your neck, your chest, your arms, well..you get the idea.
3) Let go of what you don’t need.
This one hit me hard and much more deeply than it was probably intended. For me, the theme of the season is shame. Let go of the shame and the lies found therein. Although I know a huge part of the process has to do with what Jesus does in my heart and I cannot will it anymore than I can will my dog to STOP licking the carpet (ok maybe I do have more power than i think in that scenario), I consciously have to exercise my will, and say, I won’t. I won’t keep carrying this baggage that doesn’t serve me, I won’t keep holding on to the end of this rope that is choking the life out of me. I will ask Jesus and the Spirit to fill me, but I will make room.
4) Ask yourself, what do you need?
The folks that wrote the book "Truefaced" say that you can’t feel love until you accept and admit that you have needs, and identify what those needs are. I was reading that this week and had been thinking about it So when the Yogi said “ask yourself, what do you need?” I thought she’d either read my mind or maybe I was meant to be there today and hear her ask that same question i’ve been asking myself all week.
Initially it seems so self indulgent, and so unchristian to be spending time trying to figure out what my needs are. But as the Truefaced authors explain -and I agree-, you can’t give what you don’t have. and you can’t receive love unless your needs are being met, and you can’t have your needs met if you don’t even know what they are. Bottom line, if you want to be able TO LOVE others, you have to first make sure you are capable of receiving love. It goes well with letting go of what you don't need, because it makes room for what you do need.
None of this is truly news, it just happens to be what I was already thinking about, pondering and considering, and chewing through this week, and it was so helpful to find it in the context of my work out.
And it has made me curious about people, and how we experience love, and whether we even realize that having needs is ok, and God-given, and that it would be good to get in touch with who God has made us in terms of our needs, and how we receive and give love.
So, I'm wondering, what do YOU need?