by Peggy Hahn, LEAD Executive Director
It is noisy in my head. When I worship, I am struggling to silence the noise. When I pray, I interrupt myself with thoughts that keep bubbling up. I know one of my flaws is endless thinking that leaves me with less space for being. I want to grow spiritually, but my brain wants to sort everything out.
Then I started going to yoga.
It is addictive because as I move, I pray. As I pray, I feel God moving in me. It’s the breathing. My brain gets quiet and my body relaxes. I could do this all day long.
I’ve come to understand that my spirituality is kinesthetic. Maybe this is why I loved walking the Camino de Santiago or hiking the Inca Trail so much. I need the space that only happens when movement halts my usual over-thinking self. I can forget myself which creates the space for me to feel God’s presence.
I have friends who are alarmed about a Christian being so attracted to a Hindu practice. Admittedly, I am attracted to my Hindu neighbor too. (Isn’t it wonderful to know interesting people?) But, for me, yoga isn’t about a Hindu practice. It isn’t about exercise. It is about creating space in my life to feel closer to God.
Gena Davis, an Episcopal priest, founded YogaMass that she describes as embodied spirituality on the mat, sharing Christ’s sacred meal. I have been in retreat with Rev. Davis and the experience is still in me.
I am not saying this is for everyone, but I am saying, engage in spiritual practices. Like most things, they feel awkward when you first start, but, over time, they become part of you. Enjoy raising your awareness of God moving in your life. This is what we were born for.