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Today I Practiced Yoga

Today I practiced yoga.

I got on the mat and stretched. 

I’ve attended in-person yoga classes but also practice at home following videos on YouTube as a guide. Each time I get my mat out and press play is a unique experience. Sometimes I’m more focused on mindfulness, sometimes on strength, sometimes on breath, sometimes on flexibility. I don’t usually set an intention as I approach the mat. Instead I prefer to show up with no expectations but to move my body in a way that promotes health. 

After a quick 25 minutes, I am aware of my muscles in a new way. I feel my lungs and diaphragm as deep breaths enter and exit. I feel strength in my hands and wrists. I feel the back of my thighs. I am aware of my abs. 

Yoga is such a unique workout because I don’t feel sore or in pain, but there’s a new awareness of my body that comes from moving on the mat. It’s a weird sensation to feel your body without pain or discomfort, but simply an awareness that wasn’t there before. It feels good. I feel strong.

A similar awareness comes when we approach our faith with wonder, especially in seasons of change, questioning, or confusion. Just as each time I do yoga is a unique experience, reading the Bible is, too. Sometimes I’m more focused on learning, sometimes on listening, sometimes on revelation, sometimes on the discipline of reading. I don’t usually set an intention as I open the pages. Instead I prefer to show up with no expectations but to meet with Holy Spirit and invite him to move in me. 

One of the healthiest, most biblically-aligned ways to interact with God is through this type of exploration which builds awareness. For example, the faith of the people of God grew as he revealed his character to them. They became aware of one trait at a time. This awareness built trust in the relationship which led to worship and obedience (sometimes). The starting point for the people and for God wasn’t the law; that came later, after awareness grew the relationship. It came after faith, after trust. 

Exploration and growing awareness is one way we learn in life, and our faith is no different. Wonder, on a yoga mat or in the pages of Scripture, brings a new strength to our whole being. And it doesn’t take long.

Today I practiced yoga. I stretched and gained strength in body and mind. 

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