Yoga and Spirituality

Good morning my fellow yogis/yoginis, and HAPPY FRI-YAY! I wanted to start a blog post to extend on the post I made 1 week ago. Stay tuned, be open-minded (I know some things may deter some people – but if you just stick with me for a moment, I think you’ll be surprised. I believe every single person who reads this with an open heart will get something out of it).

If you have read any of my previous posts, you’ll see that I posted about setting an intention. That is the first and foremost thing you must do in yoga prior to anything. Otherwise, you’re just “working out” and it doesn’t really set it apart from a simple workout, whatever it may be. Yoga was designed as a spiritual practice, it is the origin of yoga. Now, while yoga has developed over time and there are so many different types, STILL not one of them removes the art of setting an intention, or making it fully known that this is a mind-body-soul practice. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: SET AN INTENTION. You lose so much and it is meaningless not to.

My goal for this blog is to teach yoga – (as mentioned: mind, body, soul) – help you begin or enhance your practice safely and effectively, and take it to the next level. However, there are many questions that arise on the topic of meditation and prayer, and if they are “oil and water,” so to speak. Many questions arise so often, “Can Christians practice yoga,” or “does prayer even have a place in this practice?” My jaw drops, because the answer is absolutely YES. Even non-Christian yogis have the same reaction. We get too technical when we hear the word prayer.

NOW – I hope you’re still with me. Are you feeling defeated after 2020? Are you at such a low in life through the events over the last year? There has been just so much chaos, destruction, division, that I am certain there is not one individual on this planet that has not been affected. We all have different stories, perhaps it wasn’t just the virus, but political (which I am not going there), or racial, (I’m Native American – so don’t let my blonde hair fool you), the loss of jobs, financial stress, (stress in general), the list is endless. I feel like I am describing this as just a temporary trouble. IT HAS BEEN CATASTROPHIC, and I don’t believe we will be going back to over norm… ever. We have all been affected TREMENDOUSLY – financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually… There is no word to describe the pain and agony we have faced.

We have been though excruciating torture, and under attack – spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally. Have you ever thought that maybe it was because we needed to be awakened and out of our day-to-day blessed life (that previously may not have seemed blessed at all)? I know I certainly did.

This has been heavy on my heart since we have assumedly been slowly emerging out of said torturous season (you know the one that was only supposed to last for 2 weeks, but still destroys). We still don’t know what lies ahead (fear of the unknown). We aren’t out of the danger zone; lovingly, please don’t kid yourselves. The turmoil in fact made us as a human population turn against one another in hate. Did you know that hate and anger are secondary emotions to fear? Perhaps we are so terrified of the unknown that we started to harbor anger in our hearts and project unto others without even realizing it. See the diagram (focus on the top two – primary to secondary); were we not first VULNERABLE?

I want to say if you are reading this, you have been blessed beyond measure. You woke up this morning! Our Divine source has so graciously rescued us from what could have been. For me, that Divine source is undoubtedly God. However, I’ve been in studios who do not at all have the same belief system I do, but they still integrate prayer/meditation/and connection to Creator. It’s one of the first things we yogis learn in yoga school. I do not, however, want to be one who is too scared to say that I firmly believe in Jesus of Nazareth, and I am a dedicated Christian yogi (if you’re new, that doesn’t mean I only teach Christians. There is not a single soul I will refuse to teach). I will boldly proclaim my belief system, regardless if that means I lose followers. I have been cleansed by the blood of Christ and I am so GRATEFUL. If this paragraph deterred you, please, don’t leave just yet. There is a LOT of content and you will get something out of this with an open heart.

Was it not easy to see clearly in the diagram (focus on the blue and orange, top two boxes) that we were first vulnerable, which led to anger, hate, resentment, and so on. I cannot tell you how many times people have lashed out at me, for no reason at all. In fact just the other day a white male about 20 years older than me came in and started calling me a stupid (insert profanity here) for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. I was getting my daughter a Paw Patrol drink. I guess he didn’t like Paw Patrol as much as we do. (One light and airy note to lighten the tone, but this is serious. I apologize if it seemed insensitive because these are topics I DO NOT take lightly).

Back to setting an intention. In yoga, I have everyone first and foremost lie on their mats and clear their minds. Then I ask all to set an intention, in which they will focus on during the practice. GRATITUDE would be a great intention. Thank you, Lord, for running water. Thank you, Lord, that we are seeing some light. Thank you, Lord, that I have a body to facilitate this practice.

Light dims the darkness. When you go to bed you don’t turn on the dark. You turn off the light. <Metaphor for spiritual darkness>

As for prayer – it is a divine means of connecting your heart with the Divine. Doing so allows grace to flow throughout your Earthly being. It allows it also to touch you spiritually. A prayer from the heart transcends all boundaries and has the POWER to DESTROY all bondage. Again, personal side note, I proclaim Psalm 91 over my life and every life…EVERY. SINGLE DAY. I should be more aware an proclaim it every single second.

{To Expand – Helpful commentary} The power of prayer is so intense that it softens the heart, has an unwavering effect on your mind, and can even change your intellectual dialogue into spiritual contemplation. That last part sounds complex, but to better explain, it transforms our EMOTIONS into DEVOTIONS. (Take a second to ruminate on that). If you’ve been longing to devote yourself to something, there is your answer!

VERY IMPORTANT: Prayer and meditation quiets out mental chatter. In a world that we are always on the go with a million things on our mind at all times, to have even just one hour of uninterrupted mental chatter is unremarkable. If you do not like the word prayer, there is also “chanting” which was very much a part of yoga teacher training. (I’ve mentioned meditation, which is really the same thing as prayer, we just get stuck on verbiage that we do and don’t like), Regardless, we need prayer/meditation; we need help to quiet those voices that bring us down. At this time in life circumstances GLOBALLY, we are at the peak of demonic attacks towards our spirit, soul, and even our physical bodies. I like to say, we are spirits with a body, not the other way around. Our body is our soul and spirit’s “tent,” if you will, for this Earthly realm.

We need prayer, we need salt and light. We ARE to be salt and light of this world. If we can quiet our minds, find an intention simply of gratitude (which we should all have no problem finding something to be grateful for. Without, we can connect ourselves to our Creator for a beautiful but dramatic shift in our thoughts, emotions, circumstances, and so forth. If we cannot find that, I see no purpose. Let us be the light.

UNTIL NEXT TIME MY FRIENDS, NAMASTE

For the Christian Yogis/Yoginis: I implore you to EXTEND the National Day of Prayer. Our nation needs far more than a day.

Published by bombyogamom

Yoga Mompreneur with a Twist

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