By now, I'm worn out on Dr. Mohler, Jr. and angry Christian yogis and the opinions of every blogger on earth. All I feel like writing about today is what yoga has been for me, for Abi the Lutheran.
When I first tried yoga, I was studying theatre in college. Never having been very athletic, acting gave me the first real opportunity to understand my body as instrument. I grew fascinated with my instrument, with the way it could move and communicate with my emotional and mental selves. I have never been very flexible, but the attitude and movement of yoga came naturally to me. By focusing on my body, I cultivated respect for it, and I effortlessly let go of the useless worries and obsessions that clogged my brain and weighed on my limbs.
A Sunday school teacher once warned our class about the dangers of meditation. "If you clear your mind," she said, "the devil will enter it."
I accepted this as a child, but as I grew older, I began to wonder if maybe God wouldn't want a nice, clutter-free mind for himself. I understand the value of meditating on scripture, but who says God operates best in obsessively spinning minds?
The first time I lay in shavasana, I prayed. It was a semi-wordless prayer that washed over me, a prayer that was made up mostly of praise and connectedness, rather than the pleas that are standard for my impulsive prayers.
I am among those "so-called Christians" Dr. Mohler discusses who considers yoga a gift to her spiritual life. I care very much if my practice of a westernized yoga (or use of the word) is an insult to the Hindu tradition of a yoga lifestyle, but I'm not concerned if a few of my own think that if I were a real Christian, I'd pray for God's mercy the "right way." No matter what anyone else believes about my faith, I know where I stand. I know Who my God is and where to find Him. And yes, I have found Him on the yoga mat.
Unless that was just my crazy female hysterics again. I don't know, it may have been that time of the month.
Let me love You
Let my intellect adore You,
my body understand You,
my heart envelop You.
Teach me to open entirely,
that I may learn to reach for You
with more than my words,
for I am made
of more than words myself,
and I am made
to commune with You.