On either side of the river is the tree of life . . . , and the leaves of the tree are for healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more.
Revelation 22:2b–3a NRSV
“Health and healing are about more than the eradication of disease. Health is related to wholeness and holy—knowing who we are and how we are connected with the world around us.” Dr. Larry Dossey
At a recent healing touch and prayer workshop the healing power of God was shared with a group of participants. At the workshop the attendees learned that the gift of healing is from one source, God. They also learned that each of them has been given gifts of healing to use for themselves and for the healing of others. Most significantly, they learned that all people have within them the healing power of God.
Healing touch, sacred movement, and prayer are ancient faith practices that can be expressed in many ways. As teachers of faith-based yoga, we hope and pray that our breath-centered yoga practice will open our students to the same healing presence of God that we ourselves have experienced. By healing we don’t necessarily mean the effecting of a cure. We learn from Jesus’ healing ministry that healing and curing aren’t the same thing. Healing means being made whole—in body, mind, and spirit. When we practice in the Presence we invite God’s healing light to permeate every cell of our bodies, to make us whole. If God can bring healing to the nations via the leaves of a tree . . . think of how delighted he must be to bring healing to us.
Inhale I Am
Pose Focus: Vrkasana, or Tree Pose, is a pose my students seem to either love or hate, depending on their sense of balance. But we don’t have to put one foot high on our inner thigh and circle both hands overhead in order to experience the full benefits of the pose; a simple “kickstand” foot position on the floor, with one hand on a chair to steady us, will do just as well. The real power in tree pose is not in the physical posture per se but in the integration of our breath and the focus of our busy brains while in the pose. These are key to our achieving balance and wholeness. To find the wholeness in the pose we need to give up judgment and expectations about the pose. We need to find, today, the modification that will allow us to experience steadiness and comfort in the pose. Only then can we achieve balance—only by opening ourselves to the benefit offered by those leaves on the tree of life can we heal.