In honor of Veteran’s Day, all Veterans are welcome to attend any Yogadevotion class the week of Nov 11 as our guest. Thank you.
The Scripture ~ “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4
The Spiritual Focus ~ “In my soul, I am gentle.” Joe Cocker
The Breath Prayer ~ Inhale, I am, Exhale, gentle.
The Devotion ~ Yoga came to the West most recently as a physical fitness experience. Power yoga, hot yoga, barre, and yoga sculpt are hugely popular in yoga studios and fitness clubs across the country. And that is just fine. But we should not see this as the only way to experience the benefits of yoga. Asana practice certainly has benefits of helping us feel better in our bodies but the word asana in Sanskrit actually means “comfortable seat.” Any asana practice, a physical practice of yoga or a gentler practice of yoga, is to guide us to a comfortable seat so that we may be available to centering prayer, meditation and healing.
Gentle yoga is a style of yoga that guides the body more mindfully through breath and poses. Gentle yoga is typically slower in transitions, softer, more compassionate and less competitive. While it has been a form of yoga viewed as reserved for those who could not do the more physical practices, it has now found its place alongside other forms of yoga that emphasize restoration, resilience and healing.
One population that benefits from gentle yoga is our veterans. The Veterans Yoga Project offers yoga to veterans and their families to help them with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders related to experiences of trauma. There has been such positive evidence to support the effects of gentle yoga with those that have experienced trauma, that now police officers, firefighters and first responders practice yoga in a professional capacity.
As we remember our veterans this week, let’s also remember that we don’t know everyone’s story. Many people have trauma in their lives that they never reveal. Be gentle with them, be gentle with yourself. Our scripture says it best, “It should be that of your inner self (GOD nature), the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”