Yoga and Prayer: Centering
Sometimes I have a hard time staying focused. Sometimes I am easily distracted. Sometimes I run from one thing to the next barely stopping to breath. Sometimes I feel like I’m always giving. Sometimes I feel off center and unbalanced. Today’s yoga and prayer class was all about getting off that roller coaster. It was about stopping, focusing, centering. Here’s what we did:
We started the time with a prayer Labyrinth (walk labyrinth into the center). I made a labyrinth on the floor of our living room using duct tape. We slowly, meditatively walked the labyrinth while I read a centering prayer I wrote for the occasion:
We move in towards you, Lord, the Center of All. We leave the worries of the day, And draw near to You. We leave the external things that fight for our attention and allegiance, And draw near to You. We leave the struggles, the tears, the heart-ache of this life behind, And draw near to You. We leave the joys, the triumphs, the little pleasures, And draw near to You.
You are the Center In You is Life All things come from your hand
You are the Center We orbit around your Son To Him be glory and honor both now and always
You are the Center In you we find our home Center us in Your spirit
You are the Center We let go of all else And grab hold of you.
I had Four Tet playing in the back ground. Once we got to the middle of the labyrinth we all grabbed our mats and did this practice:
Easy Pose – while in easy pose make large circles with the upper body stretching out and working the core. Lotus hand throw – still sitting in easy pose place hands in lotus shape at chest, then extend arms straight out to the side. Bring arms back to lotus on the exhale and extend arms on the inhale. Do this for about 2-5 minutes Cat/Cow Pose Table Top with leg lifts and arm lifts Child’s pose Sphinx Locust Cobra Child’s pose and child’s pose with upper body twists Downward facing Dog Child’s pose Bharadvaja’s Twist on both sides Seated forward fold with belt Bridge Reclining half lotus Reclining leg stretch with belt Reclining twists Savasana
I read this prayer from the Celtic Daily Prayer Book while we laid in Savasana:
All that I am, Lord, I place into Your hands. All that I do, Lord, I place into Your hands.
Everything I work for I place into Your hands. Everything I hope for I place into Your hands.
The troubles that weary me I place into Your hands. The thoughts that disturb me I place into Your hands.
I place into Your hands, Lord, the choices that I face. Guard me from choosing the way perilous of which the end is heart-pain and the secret tear.
Rich in counsel, show us the way that is plan and safe.
After Savasana we again walked the Labyrinth this time moving from the center out to the beginning again. As we walked I read this prayer from the Celtic Daily Prayer Book:
We will journey with the kind-hearted Savior.
Give us the courage to say: Leave me alone with God as much as may be. As the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore, make me an island, set apart, alone with You, God, holy to You.
Then with the turning of the tide, prepare me to carry Your presence to the busy world beyond, the world that rushes in on me, till the waters come again and fold me back to You.
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman