As I’m making my way through this journey into Yoga Faith, I keep hearing the word alignment. And it means a lot. Without alignment, everything goes sideways… Literally and figuratively. And as I’m digging deeper into this practice on my mat– this practice of creating space for the Holy Spirit as I live and breathe and have my being, I continue to hear it- alignment.
And I hear it while I’m at work, at church, going for a walk, in my car, in the shower… Ok, God. I get it. You’re not just talking about my spine.
Lately, relationships have felt askew. My spiritual life- off. My eating habits and my spending habits have been cued by my emotions. The more I think about it, the more I realize a need for some holistic alignment. My priorities are out of order and it shows.
Alignment. In my physical body, this means every vertebrae is stacked nicely. Knees above ankles. Hips above knees. Shoulders above hips. Neck, nice and long.
What does it look like in marriage? In parenting? In friendship? I’m sure it doesn’t come from asserting my own agenda. I don’t believe it comes from putting another person in the position of God, expecting my needs to be filled by this person. How fair is it to put a burden like that on another human being?
Relational alignment, I believe, begins by aligning my heart with God’s heart. When I seek Him and I intercede for the people I am in relationship with, I experience how He gives me eyes to see what He sees. He gives me the capacity to love like He loves, including when (especially when) it’s hard or feels impossible.
If time is spent listening to, rather than talking at God, more space is created for hearing that still small Voice. It becomes easier to recognize it above the noise of such a loud culture. It creates opportunity for my needs to be filled by Him rather than placing that ridiculous expectation on my family and friends.
Alignment. In my habits, how I’m spending my time, my dollars, the reasons I eat… Well, lets just say, when this is out of alignment, this can look like a lot like a Netflix binge while eating junk food and making poor choices while shopping online… Things that satisfy in the moment but leave me emptier and feeling worse in the long run.
I find that these habits come out especially when I feel like my desires and longings feel unfulfilled. Rather than placing them at the feet of the One who wants to give me the desires of my heart, I disconnect. Disengage. Rather than communing with the heart of the Father, I isolate.
I think, for me, really digging in and assessing my innermost desires and longings in the presence of the Father… taking inventory… has allowed for me to hear the Father’s heart and recalibrate what’s happening internally. It’s such a safe place to lay bare what’s in my heart. I know that he wants to give me the desires of my heart and taking this “huddle time” is so valuable in weeding out fleshly desires that hold me back. It renews God-given desires that propel me. I miss out on this when I disengage.
Alignment. This is really hard in my thought life most days. If I do not hold every thought captive (See 2 Corinthians 10:5), they travel all over the place like the world’s fastest moving roller coaster, but not nearly as fun and I’m not buckled I’m not even buckled in. My thoughts and emotions are fickle and not to be trusted.
It’s so much healthier to set my mind on higher things. Taking the time to meditate on His word, being quiet enough to hear his thoughts… To hear his thoughts about me!
This whole pursuit of Yoga Faith begins with me being in the worst shape of my life, with hardly any range of motion or flexibility, and older than I probably should be for just starting out… So why, on God’s green earth, am I trying to be a certified yoga instructor?? Well, when I’m in tune and paying attention to the Still Small Voice, I see how I’m called to teach it because I need it the most. God has shown me how various pieces fit together in this one medium. How many of the little things I’ve been passionate about (for a very long time) all come together in this one beautiful form of worship.
When I’m instead ruled by my thoughts and emotions, I am so insecure about this endeavor, afraid of how I will embarrass myself. All I can see is how far I am from the goal and how much better it looks on people who “know what they are doing”. And I begin second guessing, and wallowing in self doubt. And I don’t enjoy this feeling!
SO, all this to say, God is drawing me into alignment with Him in every sense of the word. I’m so excited to have an outlet to put this into practice physically as well as a place to contemplate this in every area of my life. All I want to do is stand tall. In a regular way and in my spiritual walk.