Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yoga, the divine in me - THE POSES

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
- John 3:8

In my understanding of yoga the various poses are to bring about both physical and mental benefits. The diverse positions stretch and strengthen targeted parts of the body. In addition, some poses bring about digestive, neurological, reproductive, or respiratory benefits as well. Often, a pose will gently massage the spinal column, gland or internal organ aiding in the release of toxic waste build-up.

As I explore the spiritual goals of yoga, I come to learn a practitioner moves toward a place of self-discovery and self-actualization. I certainly am aware that a physical posture speaks to me through neural passage ways. Stiff, tense, or sore muscles and ligaments communicate to me the ailing condition of my body. As I perform slight inverted poses, coughing allows me to be aware of the condition of my sinus passageways and respiratory system. If my body is in poor health, I consider these symptoms as an indication of the state of my everyday life. Tension, anxiety, and stress induce tired, weary bodies. A mastery of the health benefits each yoga pose brings about would serve to counteract or release the body from everyday mental anguish.

In the course of my everyday life, the Spirit of God dwelling in me brings about an awareness of the condition of my mind and heart. That is to say, before the consuming presence of the Spirit I was dead. I was unaware of my transgressions. I was blind to my sin (John 3:3).

After the Spirit of God took residence in me, my heart of stone was removed. I now see my evil ways for what they are and loathe them (Ezekiel 36:26-27, 31) because God gave me a heart of flesh. In fact, it is the ministry of the Spirit of God to guide, inspire, direct, teach, illuminate, warn, assure, and intercede so that we turn to Jesus in worship for mercy, compassion, comfort, and healing (John 16:13-14). 

I can recall in the season of my life when I found myself distant and apart from Christ, my focus was on my SELF. Satisfying my comfort, my pleasure, and my success were the pinnacle of self-love. Every action, thought, and deed was centrally focused around bringing the most benefit to me. The actions against my fellow citizen were inconsequential to me as long as they did not defame my name.

One of the main works of the Spirit of God is to convict Christ followers of sin (John 16:8-11). So as various yoga positions bring about an awareness of the condition of our bodies, the Spirit of God brings about an awareness of the condition of our heart and mind.

Are you being led by the Spirit of God? Ask yourself if you can identify one (or more) of the following activities that suggest the attendance of the Holy Spirit working in you.

  • You sense conviction of sin.
  • You accept an incident of divine warning.
  • You determine to take action on a spiritual matter.
  • You receive confirmation of God’s goodness.
  • You get illumination on a passage of Scripture.
  • You take delight in being rebuilt.
  • You celebrate God’s discipline.
  • You obtain an answer to doubt.
  • You put away your striving for God’s plan.
  • You have an overwhelming peace.
  • You rejoice in your salvation with uninhibited joy.
  • You insist on living life set apart from worldly things.
  • You thirst to be in quiet communion with God.
  • You hunger after God’s Word.

If you do not find yourself experiencing the Spirit of God working in you and, you want to, then, come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ so that you too can be baptized in one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13).

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared (in human form as Jesus), He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. [“Wheee!”]
- Titus 3:4-7

 Be sure to read the other postings in this series titled YOGA, the divine in me.



Anonymous said...

I know the Holy Spirit not only convicts me of things that are wrong but also empowers me to do something about it if I let Him. Like the yoga poses that reveal where I'm sore or stiff also help loosen me up.

2Tim1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.