And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Matthew 2:12  NRSV

Spiritual Focus

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost


There are several interesting twists to the story of the Magi, the so-called “three kings.” The Magi are astronomers, guided by a star. They express great joy at their discovery of the baby Jesus and bring gifts befitting a king. The Magi are not Jewish or believers in God; they are those other, those uninitiated and unentitled ones from afar. And yet God reveals to these “others” the light of the world, the Christ Child. The Magi in meeting the Christ Child are changed: some translations say they are “enlightened.” And, so changed, they hear (and heed) the warning “in a dream” to return home by a different road.

One might say that an encounter with the living God changes everything. A new path appears, a new direction accompanied by God’s promised presence. When we come to our yoga practice with the openness our faith inspires we invite that encounter. We might practice an asana, a new breath technique or modification of a pose, and suddenly find that our awareness opens to the presence and promptings of the inner Spirit of God. This awareness has the power to change the course of our lives. God not only promises us these little life-changing epiphanies but guides us toward them. When we practice our faith, both on and off of our mats, we become more aware of that different road to which God may be leading us. It is a road less traveled but one that leads to life and love with the One who created us for the journey.

Breath Prayer

Inhale               I Am

Exhale              Aware

Focus Pose: Mindfulness is a contemplative practice that draws our attention to the present. Practicing mindfulness is more difficult than it sounds, as our busy minds are constantly ping-ponging between the past, present, and future. One way to cultivate mindfulness—we might call it presence in the present—is to intentionally exercise awareness. In your practice this week focus your complete attention on one favorite pose. To help keep your busy mind present, ask questions of the pose: Where do I feel tightness? Where do I feel loose? Where do I feel warmth? Where do I feel cool? Where do I feel comfort? Where do I feel discomfort? Observe. Be present. And don’t be surprised if a new path forward emerges. 

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