Christ has no body on earth now but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ’s compassion to the world; yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; your are the hands with which he is to bless the world now. – St. Teresa of Avila
When I started to really get into yoga I noticed that the physical cues that the instructor gave me would play in my head, “off the mat”, in my life. The one that most often comes to mind is when (during class) I’d be lying on the floor and the instructor would say “trust that gravity is holding you up and you don’t have to hold yourself up”. If you have taken a yoga class with me, you have undoubtedly heard me say that too. It has brought me rest and relief, and opened new ways of feeling grounded and at ease in my body through stressful, sad, and emotionally messy situations.
This is the mysterious healing potential of yoga, in my opinion. In most yoga classes the instructor is simply giving you directions of how to move and adjust your body to be more fully in the pose – the words are literally all about your body, nothing more. And yet somehow the words and the movement of your body and breath combine with how you understand your body in that moment and it pulls little threads of thought in your mind and changes your spirit. Sometimes it feels like a window opens and let’s fresh air in…you feel the lifting of any old heartache, resentment, or regret…you see an impossible situation from a different angle, now with a glimpse of hope… you see your body in a new strong, vibrant, and more healthy way.
The next Daily Bread Yoga Saturday Morning retreat is Saturday, February 23rd at Philo Presbyterian church, in Philo, IL. The theme this month is about healing. I do not claim that yoga is a miracle cure for headaches, heartache, or love handles. But, I really do believe it will make you feel more alive, alert, and stronger in a mysterious way that maybe you can’t even fully articulate.
One of my intentions for this year is to go deeper into my faith through my yoga practice. Although the retreats have always been quite spiritual in nature, I haven’t really challenged myself to see how my yoga practice might expand my faith and vice versa. So, one of the main points of meditation at this retreat will be a small piece of scripture from the Bible that focuses on healing. Please know that everyone is welcome whether or not you are a church-goer, another faith, agnostic, skeptic, and all other options.
If you have any questions or concerns, write me back on this blog or on the Daily Bread Yoga facebook page.
Peace on your head,