Scripture Take action, for it is your duty, and we are with you; be strong, and do it.
Ezra 10:4 NRSV
“With a new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Telling stories is one way to teach and learn new ways of thinking. A local church told the story of Jesus’ ministry by blending historical readings of the biblical narrative with music from Godspell and Jesus Christ, Superstar. At the end of the storytelling the pastor posed the question, “What difference will this story make for you tomorrow, or the next day?”
The hoped-for outcome for any storyteller is that the listener might experience the story in a new way, be strengthened in understanding, and proceed to share the story, encouraging others. This new understanding may be subtle or serendipitous: an Aha! experience the listener can’t wait to share with someone else. Still, when we experience something that feels real and new, it takes courage and strength for us to share that experience with another. It takes courage because sharing exposes our vulnerability: our inspiring new idea might be rejected by others. And yet we are so moved by these stimulating, though unaccustomed thoughts that we can’t help but talk about our experience. Sharing takes strength because doing something or talking about our experience makes it real, and living in the real world can be hard work!
When yoga was first becoming popular in the West, people would leave their mats saying, “I’m not sure what happened here, but I feel great!” In our faith-based yoga classes we hear a similar comment,“It’s amazing how one can experience the real presence of God when one becomes still.” Sitting with a new thought, idea, or story that speaks truth to our hearts, and then having the courage to share this experience, is one way of living out our life of faith in community. It’s a practice that strengthens us to greet each new day with joy.
Inhale I Am Exhale New
Pose Focus: Warrior II, virabhadrasana 2, is a powerful, weight-bearing pose that is known to strengthen bones. But it is also a source of peaceful warrior energy that brings courage to help us BE in the world. Enter Warrior II with an eye to alignment: knee directed toward the middle toe of the front foot, opening the inner thigh; hips open to the side of your mat, arms stretching long from the shoulders, front and back; jaw relaxed and neck subtle; feet evenly grounded; and core strong. Draw breath into your core center, lighting up your heart center, and on exhalation feel energy emanating out through your limbs, running down each leg to the earth, extending through your arms and hands from front to back fingertips. As you hold the pose, continue using your breath to draw strength into your core center. On exhalation, send out peaceful warrior energy through your limbs . . . and into the world.