I went to yoga for the fourth time in two weeks.
Okay, one of the times was a relaxation/stretchy/destress-y thing and not so much a strength building thing. It was my favorite of the four.
When it comes to actually doing yoga, I strongly resemble a walrus on a tread mill. It is just not pretty. Seriously, I cannot now, nor have I ever been able to touch my toes while my legs were straight. The only way I can put my palms on the ground is sitting on my rump.
Midway through every class I have absolutely no idea what in the love of all that is sane I am doing there.
Something is certain, however, and that is after 4 times at yoga I am not stronger. My clothes don’t fit better. I don’t love it.
CLEARLY it will take more than this to achieve my goals.
At the stretchy/relx-y yoga thing I loved, the instructor said the foundation of her life is her relationship with her Lord and Savior. HE spoke directly, through this perky teacher, to the nagging voice in my head whispering yoga and Christianity were not compatible.
I can assure you, as I am holding my aging body in Downward Dog AGAIN, I am praying to the Lord. When I am breathing at the beginning of class, I am praying for His will and strength to become.
I am overwhelmingly convinced that for my life to move forward I must become who HE wants me to become; and exercise is part of the discipline in doing that.
This morning the instructor mentioned over and over that yoga is a practice. I hate practice.
I love to do things that come naturally. I don’t want to have to work hard or get better. This is likely why I am middle aged, soft around the middle and less affluent than I wish I was.
Lying on the mat, my mother on one side and my daughter on the other, I must face that life is often delicate and sometimes broken. My mom (who has been losing her ability to speak clearly from a yet-to-be-diagnosed issue) and my daughter (who has not yet learned to over come her disability and still can’t speak) remind me time is fragile. So is hope.
I want 4 times to be enough with every fiber of my being. Enough to get my mom’s brain to start sending signals to the right side of her body; enough for my daughter to fully engage in the practice because an amazing speech therapist once said, “What you see in the body, you see in the mouth,” which means that becoming proficient at yoga poses may help her learn to talk; enough for me to be comfortable in my own body.
Although it may not be enough to arrive, today was a step forward. Forbidden from evaluating results for 6 weeks, I am focusing instead on breathing in His grace. I am practicing focus on Him. Breathing deeply I am praying silently, asking and listening, when conviction washes over.
Slowly the thoughts create an unmistakable picture in my mind, showing me a pattern desperate for change: Rather than asking God what His plans are for my life, I am coming to Him asking for blessings on my plans.
Sigh. Of course four times is not nearly enough. I have to keep coming back…to yoga, to prayers, to listening, to a place of repentance…and remind myself that God’s ways are better than mine.
THAT is going to take practice.