Body Prayer—Yoga as Worship & Slowing Down

The world is getting back to being “busy” all the time! Here is an inspirational article to help you slow down and be with God!

Written by Amy Bernier

Life is busy. Isn’t the American way to reply to the question “How are you?” to reply “BUSY!” with a sense of pride? Even our worship time can be penciled in; Church at nine and maybe volunteer here or there. Done. Checkbox- checked. Because of this, true deep connection with our Father can sometimes feel unattainable, maybe even a luxury we just cannot afford.

To help us carve out time for worship we may look to Jesus for inspiration. He was Son of God but also Son of Man; born of a woman, who felt hunger, thirst, fatigue, and an array of human emotions. He had very serious work to do here on Earth; however, he knew when and how to fill his cup and to commune with his Father.

Often, Jesus would walk away from the world so to speak to be alone with God. As a yogi, and one who regularly walks away from the world to connect with God in nature while on my yoga mat, I can see how the Son of Man needed this breathing room. “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” Luke 5:16. And later “One of those days Jesus went out to the mountainside to pray” Luke 6:12.  

The movement of walking to a quieter place allowed Jesus to move his body, giving him the movement he needed and the space to clear his mind so he could be still.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10. The movement of walking or yoga practice for modern day worshippers allows for this deeper connection to God in the stillness. Yoga practice is unique in that the movements of the body quiets the mind, allowing for stillness interspersed through the practice. This happens as we hold poses to simply connect with God in our own way of devotion, connection, and worship; using our bodies to pray.

Life is inherently busy, but sometimes busy is a way to avoid deeper connection with ourselves and God within. There is also the societal push that if we are simply being and not doing and accomplishing, we are not useful!

The beauty of being human and God given is we have choices. In fact, God gave us free will; he does not want to be a dictator Father. He is a loving and patient Father, always waiting and full of joy to connect to and be with his children.  

Today let us choose to find breathing room, in nature, on our yoga mats, sitting in our cars if this is what it takes! To choose to be with God as Jesus did, to choose over and over again, this is called prayer practice. 

Jesus engaged in the world with all the qualities of God. He modeled for us how to be and do in the world embodying the qualities of his Father. This includes things such as patience, humility, forgiveness and in truth and love. Jesus also knew he could not serve the world of his Father with an empty cup.   

So, I encourage you loved ones to use your body to pray. In whatever way serves you. We are all unique, and what serve me may not serve you. I can say for sure my yoga practice has helped me set my worldly ego-self aside. I need to remember over and over again, how loved I am, who I am to him, and move into the world from a place of love, truth, forgiveness, humility, and patience. Let the world have it’s busy!   

I leave you with this final verse. “You have always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all. A lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest.  You’ve always taken me seriously, God” Psalm 61:3-4. This safe- house for breathing room is your body my friends. It is always available when you take the time to be still and encounter God and all his peace, wonder, and grace within you and in his beautiful world. 

Amy Bernier is a child of God. She prefers to be identified more as a be-er than a doer. Her favorite be-ing practices include ambling through the woods connecting to the trees, earth, sky, and God, yoga, and meditation. She tries to sprinkle some being as modeling by Jesus and his characteristics into all of her doing as a mom, wife, yoga teacher/ therapist and exercise physiologist. If you would like to “be” with Amy consider joining her via YouTube in a spirit filled yoga practice. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuJtxF7–Y3JzElAffjAlZA

Published by Tina Russo Coash

Tina Russo Coash is a mom, author, milspouse, yoga instructor, rescue pet mom, and blogger. Coash lives in Illinois with her two children, her husband, USMC Sergeant and Purple Heart recipient Bill Coash, and their menagerie of rescue pets.

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