Yoga and Prayer: Breathe

So, off and on for the past few weeks I have been doing yoga and prayer with a few other women (see Here for more on the original idea). I am still figuring out how to do this and what’s really going to work but it’s been a wonderful experiment for me so far. Over the next few months I will be leading yoga and prayer for women (everyone’s invited, so if you are in Prague and would like to be included in this please let me know). I would like to share on this blog what we do each week and a little about how it goes. So, here’s a little about today…

Today’s yoga time ended up just being me and my good friend, Carrie, which was a little disappointing for me, but God knows what we each need. So, I stuck with what I had planned and we had a nice time of reconnecting with our breath, our bodies and our God.

I started the yoga time by sharing what I’ve been calling God this week, “God who is”. That’s who I needed God to be this week… I needed him to just exist, to be. I needed to know and experience that God is. I needed Him to be with me and in me and with those I love and in them.

Then we watched the Nooma video, Breathe, letting the thoughts sink into our minds and our bodies with each breathe. Breathing in the blessing at the end, “May you come to see that God is here right now with us all of the time. May you come to see that the ground you are standing on is holy. And as you slow down, may you become aware that it is in ‘Yod,’ ‘Heh,’ ‘Vav,’ ‘Heh’ that we live and we move and we breathe.”

After that we did this yoga routine with a the cd Sigur Ros ( ) for music. (Disclaimer: I made this one up and I have no formal training or teacher’s certification. I researched the poses and did the best I could putting together a sequence but if you choose to use this sequence on your own do so knowing that it was not made by a certified professional):

Skull Brightener Breath

Mountain Pose

Upward Salute 

(Repeat mountain pose and upward salute 3 times - inhaling as you come into upward salute and exhaling as you come back into mountain pose)

Downward facing dog

Upward facing dog 

(Repeat downward facing dog and upward facing dog 3 times – moving smoothly from one to the other as you breathe)

Chair pose  

Upward Salute on an inhale

Mountain pose on an exhale   

Eagle Pose (without crossing the legs)

Upward Salute on an inhale

Mountain pose on an exhale  

Garland Pose 

Upward Salute on an inhale

Mountain pose on an exhale   

Gate Pose

Camel Pose

Hero Pose

Lion Pose

Childs pose                                                  

Bharadvaja’s Twist to the right

Staff pose

Bharadvaja’s Twist to the left

Seated forward bend

Bound Angle pose 

Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose with right leg straight

Head-to-knee forward bend with right leg straight 

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose with right leg over left

Staff pose

(Repeat last 4 poses on left side)

Fish pose 

Pull knees to chest and rock back and forth

Happy Baby Pose

Corpse pose

While lying in corpse pose I read this quote from the book With Open Hands by Henri Nouwen:

“The man who lives from God’s breath can recognize with joy that the same breath sinks into the lungs of his fellowman, and that they are both drawing from the same source. At this mutual realization, the fear of another disappears, a smile comes to the lips, the weapons fall, and one hand reaches out for the other. He who recognizes the breath of God in another can truly let another enter his life, too, and can receive the gifts which are given to him.”

Peace be with you.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman