thank GOD for yoga

My wife and I get up a few days per week and go through a 20-45 minute “yoga flow” together. Typically 30. I received free access to the Peloton app with my previous healthcare provider, and I’m grateful. I’ll be sad when it expires. But I may keep paying for it! I don’t have any Peloton equipment currently, however in another month or so I’ll start looking for a bargain on used equipment. I’m very interested in getting a Peloton bike, as I enjoy cycling and spinning. I was part of a really fun spin class for a long while and before moving a few months ago, but don’t have anyone to do it with now and miss it a lot! But…there I go, chasing rabbits as is my usual. Or did I? We’ll see. Anyway, back to yoga.

I just typed in “is yoga…” and the first few auto-completed questions included

…a sport
…a sin
…anti christian
…good for you

And there you have some reasons for this blog post.

I won’t try to answer all those questions outright. I don’t think it’s my place. I will share a little of my experience.

My original experience with yoga was being goaded into it by a well-meaning member of my aforementioned spin class. This lady is more advanced in years than I am, yet she seemed to be pretty committed to it. Honestly, I thought “well, if she can do it, then maybe I can too”. I started going twice a week after spin class (I always have been a bit masochistic). And my wife started coming with me not long after I started. We were there pretty much every Tuesday and Thursday without fail. I was pretty much the only dude in class most of the time. But I’ve never been all that apprehensive about “how I look”. And gratefully, the instructor was great about keeping the lights pretty low.

Here’s what I can say I noticed, even within the first few sessions. I physically felt better. More limber, more at ease in my own body. I even started to feel more graceful. Not ballerina-level graceful, but there was just a lightness in my step that I hadn’t noticed before. I was working on my feet for 8-10 hour days during that time. I became less tired, even with the long days. And that’s just the physical part. Mentally I started noticing differences as well. I felt calmer, more at present, more aware. And for someone with lifelong ADHD, that’s a pretty big deal!

Today, our Peloton yoga instructor was Kirra Michel. She is a 36 year old young lady who definitely knows her stuff! She started out immediately by saying “be gentle and be kind with yourself as you’re moving through class. Then she followed up with “check in with yourself. meet yourself with a lot of grace and compassion, and for me right now, grace is just taking away a lot of the judgment, and allowing yourself to be who you are, right here right now”.

We started with some butterfly poses, and Kirra shared about how she’s working on the idea of “divine timing”. “I have the way that I want it to go, and then there is the way it will actually go”. She quickly pulled out the illustration of how butterflies begin a caterpillars, but then must go through “The dark night of the soul” before emerging as butterflies. Oh, wait…did she just make a reference to a very spiritual idea, as written about by people of many faiths, including Mother Theresa? Yes, yes she did.

I won’t bring out everything she said…this post would get really long. I think she eluded to a scripture found in the New Testament when she said “there is more to it that what you see. You see a very very small glimpse of the total, of the whole”. That seems very similar to Apostle Paul’s words recorded in 1 Corinthians 13:12.

What I’ve noticed in my yoga classes is that these instructors have done their own spiritual, emotional, and mental work. Yoga is not just a way to stretch and tone the body. Though, I’ll say…I can’t believe how much I sweat just doing these various poses – even with the heater off and A/C blowing in January! Yoga is exercise, ya’ll. I’ll answer that one! But yoga has also been so healthy for my mind. I think that “other muscles” with the 66% above is all the mental muscle! In yoga, while doing all these physical moves with really cool names, there is a lot of mental gymnastics happening as well. Here’s some things I’ve noticed:

– continual emphasis on pressing a little deeper to find more release
– getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, or “be with” discomfort
– checking in with the body frequently
– learning to step into hard spaces rather than pushing them away
– the idea that problems, struggles just get bigger when we fight them
(I just wrote about this one)
– paying attention to how body movement affects the mind
– being kind to myself
– replacing negative internal narrative with gentleness, compassion
– working toward progress, not perfection
– modify, modify, modify – do my best
– life is a continual curriculum
– it takes strength to be gentle
– meet yourself with forgiveness, acceptance, trust
– take a breath, take a beat and return back home to stay grounded
– notice my wandering mind, even judgmental mind, and speak truth to myself
– it’s okay to fall, to be wobbly – just regroup, refocus, and keep going

Honestly, I could keep going for a while here. But maybe you see the point? I’ve paid for therapy sessions that were not as therapeutic as 30 minutes of yoga! I enter my day more integrated and regulated after 30 minutes of yoga. And let me just define those two terms a little. To be integrated is about connection – mind, body, spirit. Also self and others. Regulated is about being self aware and able to stay emotionally stable. Capturing every thought so that my mind stays in a place of peace, regardless of what’s going on around me. That’s pretty spiritual stuff.

I think I’ll close by saying repeating the title. Thank God for yoga!

6 thoughts on “thank GOD for yoga

    1. David Post author

      I have not… yet! But since you mentioned it, I’ve already looked it up and found a few videos I could use. If you have specific suggestions, please do share!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LA

        It’s sooooo relaxing and when I can do it I find that I sleep so much better for almost a week. My one suggestion is use as many props as you need…it’s all about being gentle with yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. David Post author

      Hey “Jane” 😊. No, I don’t think I want to dedicate the time for training to become an instructor. Not even sure I’d consider myself a “student” at this point. But I’m grateful for the benefits I’m receiving from it!



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