Yoga and Prayer: In the Beginning
Almost two years ago I started leading a group of friends in yoga once a week or so. I casually called it Yoga and Prayer, and I often wrote about the routines on this blog. Soon after that I entered a yoga teacher training program. It was so stretching for me (in more ways than one). I had tentatively dreamed about teaching actual yoga classes once the training program was over. But, I found out I was pregnant just as the program was ending and in the whirl wind of that surprise my short-lived experience with leading yoga ended. I was overwhelmed by pregnancy and life and I stopped leading my friends in yoga. As my pregnancy developed my own yoga practice suffered more and more, until it completely stopped after my son was born. But, recently old longings have once again stirred in my heart… and before I knew it I was inviting a group of women to come and practice yoga with me once again. I planned out a schedule for the next 6 weeks and we will be doing yoga and praying through various themes each time. Today was the first one, so our theme was “In the Beginning” and we focused on correct alignment and foundation work for a few of the most common yoga postures. Three women showed up and they were each so beautifully gracious to allow me to lead them in this.
So, here’s our routine from today. It’s a simple routine, and we took it very slowly - really working on each posture intentionally. The quotes are what I read during the time. We also played Sigur Ros () in the background.
Yoga and Prayer: In the Beginning
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was [a] formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Creator God, we come to you this day recognizing our formlessness. Our emptiness, our darkness. We need you. Spirit, come anew and hover over the formlessness, emptiness, and darkness in our own hearts and souls.
Gentle neck stretches
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Lord, you call out light into the darkness and light appears. You speak and it comes into being. Spirit, speak! Speak light into our lives.
Downward facing dog – knees bent and walk feet in place (i.e. “walk the dog”)
“Everything was created through him; nothing – not one thing! - came into being without him. What came into existence was Life and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out… The Life-Light was the real thing; Every person entering Life he brings into Light.
Jesus, you are the true light and life. We choose this day to enter into your life – the abundant, real, resurrection life of your kingdom.
Downward facing dog – straighten knees if able
The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Creator God, you spoke ALL things into existence. All is yours. We recognize that the world we live in and the people we come in contact with are yours. Spirit, we recognize your authority over all living things.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [c] and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Warrior I (on the right side)
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Warrior I (on the left side)
Lord, you are a good creator. You don’t make mistakes. You have shaped us from the clay into your image. Each of us bears the imprint of God. We are beautifully and wonderfully made! What an honor and a priviledge that you have created us so intimately.
Warrior II (on the right side)
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[f] your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.
Warrior II (on the left side)
Creator God, you have created us in your image, but we have blemished your name. You gave us great calling, but we have turned away from you. But, you don’t leave us! You never forsake us! Once we were alienated from God, but now you have called us friends again. This day we choose to align ourselves once again with you. Jesus, make us into new creations – filled with your Spirit and aligned with your kingdom.
Triangle (on the right side)
Triangle (on the left side)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Lord, we praise you and thank you for you have made us new and you continue to make us into new creations every day.
Twists (a few basic seated and reclining twists)
Savasana (corpse pose)
I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus… And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman