Scripture ~ Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for [hu]man, not [hu]man for the Sabbath. So, the Son of [hu]Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:24-28
Spiritual Focus ~ “A great benefit of the Sabbath keeping is that we learn to let God take care of us – not by becoming passive and lazy, but in the freedom of giving up our feeble attempts to be God in our own lives.” Marva J. Dawn
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale – Free, exhale – to BE
Devotion – Sabbath is often thought of as a time of rest away from work, a time for worship, and a holy time. In the Old Testament God rested on the seventh day in the creation story. The fourth commandment asks that we “remember the sabbath and keep it holy”. In today’s scripture, Jesus broadens the definition of what sabbath means and opens the door for us to explore sabbath in our own way, honoring the intention of God’s command. An emotional sabbath is one way to rest our body, mind and spirit.
Emotions are driven by our state of mind, that is, our thoughts relative to our circumstances. A spiraling of anxious thought affects our whole being, in particular the adrenal glands that produce the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that we need for the fight, flight or freeze response. When the adrenals are fatigued, a whole host of symptoms can be experienced. When adrenal fatigue occurs, taking an emotional Sabbath can bring things back into balance. An emotional sabbath is understanding and using the freedom we have to identify circumstances that trigger emotions that are exhausting and strategize how to manage those emotions in a healthy way. We trust God to show us ways to manage and balance our emotional responses. Some people pray, some people exercise as a way to regulate their emotions. In these unprecedented times, people are also carefully regulating what they watch, how much, and where they get their news, especially scrutinizing social media platforms.
Yoga philosophy has a three-pronged approach for managing our emotional state that includes the body, mind and spirit. Scientific studies have shown that a regular yoga practice can significantly balance cortisol levels. Several poses to consider for your home practice that balance cortisol levels are child’s pose, forward fold, legs up the wall and savasana (relaxation pose). For our mind, yoga language has changed to suggest that the best way to deal with anxious thoughts is not to try and block or release thoughts, but to practice non-attachment to the thoughts. With a balanced body and calm mind, yoga allows us to yield to our True Self, alert and aware of God’s presence. Integrating our faith and yoga practices in these ways frees us to BE and allows God to take care of us.