Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yoga, the divine in me - BIOFEEDBACK

But the counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.
- John 14:26

I often hear from the yoga instructor to “listen to my body.” She implies that I am to practice yoga today in response to the feedback my body gives me. The amount of sustainable energy I have will vary as will my physical response to inverted poses, stretching poses, and balance postures changes.

Listen to what, you ask? Do I become light headed when I rise up from a standing fold? Is my spinal column cracking or tender? Are my hamstring or calf muscles extra tight? Are the muscles and ligaments surrounding my hip stiff and unresponsive? Is my temperament anxious and distracted or acquiescent and focused?

Do I act in response to the appropriate signals my body is sending me or do I set aside the all important clues? And, what is the consequence for my delayed response? Injury, exhaustion, defeat, annoyance are possible outcomes.

What inhibits my willingness to respond to the gentle nudging of my body’s biofeedback? Motivations of pride, self-actualization, comparison to others, self-condemnation push me to accomplish tasks beyond the physical limitations of my body for that day.

In a similar manner, I have to wonder if I properly listen to the promptings of the Spirit of God in me. How about you? The everyday attendance of God in the person of the Holy Spirit should be the most realistic facet of a believer’s life. The participation of the Spirit acting on our behalf for God’s purposes should be evident and visible to each of us. So, what kind of “biofeedback” should I expect to experience? Guidance, protection, warning, illumination, assurance, intercession, testimony, teaching, and conviction reveal to me and to you the power, the intimacy, and revelation of God.

But, not unlike how I inhibit the promptings of my body in yoga, I wonder how I inhibit the promptings of the Spirit of God? I find if I simply look to character traits I have adopted and examine the condition of my heart, I will see obvious inhibitors. Examine the following list and decide if you see a little bit of yourself.

  • I am overbearing, unyielding, stubborn, demanding, insensitive, or impulsive.
  • I am manipulating, impatient, not focused, pushy, shallow, foolish, showy, or unrealistic.
  • I am fearful, lazy, indecisive, with weak conviction, or overly cautious.
  • I am critical, inflexible, controlling, avoid risk, legalistic, or rigid.

If I allow any of these traits to consume my spirit then I leave little room for the Spirit of God to reign in me. But, if I take on a mindset to “Listen” to the promptings of the Spirit not unlike how my body gives me clues, then I will experience God acting on my behalf to illuminate truth, faith, grace, and holiness.

To learn more about the Spirit of God, read chapter 6 of The Whee Factor by Edy Sutherland (watch the promo video)


Anonymous said...

People crave spiritual experiences. We see this in forms that range from Zen like meditation to Native American sweat lodges. What can we as believers do to improve our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and increase our ability to hear Him when He speaks?