Let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:51 The Message
Spiritual focus “Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis for humankind’s desire to understand.” Neil Armstrong
The mystery of who Jesus is and how he relates to God is one with which first- and twenty-first-century people alike have struggled and with which we continue to grapple. There are so many questions and so many theories about what happened, both on the cross and in the days following. The Jesus narrative is one of death followed by new life—a progression that seems impossible and is hardly verifiable through our logical, cause-and-effect-conscious thought patterns. This is a narrative with which we can engage only by allowing ourselves to lean in to the mystery of God.
As faithful people who have studied the stories, we’re obliged at the end of the day to conclude that there is much we cannot know or understand. Gaining the confidence to trust in the mystery of God doesn’t happen naturally for most of us. Yet we’re better able to live in to the story of God when we become comfortable with the unknown and presently unknowable. One place for us to find the trust needed to accommodate mystery, a place to which we can come with all our questions, is on our mats. When we invite God’s presence on our mat we create a sanctuary within which we may experience God’s assurance. Our mats become a place at which we don’t have to “know” anything or everything; a place where paradox can be embraced and pondered. It is natural to desire knowledge, but mystery is a part of our story too. When we embrace the mystery of God, along with the story of God, we find not only knowledge but also faith.
Inhale I Embrace
Exhale the Mystery
Pose Focus: Reverse Prayer Pose, pashchima namaskarasana, may seem like a mystery. This iconic pose is often taught from Mountain Pose, tadasana, as a heart opener. There are many variations. Take it in gentle steps, always checking in with your body and breath and coming out of the pose if you experience any joint pain. (1) With breath, raise your hands overhead, with palms together. Bend your elbows, lowering your hands toward your back, fingertips down. Enjoy the upper arm stretch. (2) Clasp opposite elbows behind your back, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and breathe through your heart center. (3) Bring palms together behind your back with fingers pointing down. Imagine your collarbone widening with each breath. (4) From variation 3, on an inhalation bring your fingertips in toward your spine as you