hot yoga and walking with jesus
Let me start by saying that it was never my intention to start this blog and go four months in between each post. Life is a tad crazy, to say the least. Since my last post, I have started a brand new amazing job with Proverbs 31 Ministries, planned the rest of my wedding (which is 25 days away!), and arrived at my last week in Clemson. How did all of this happen? It's like the Lord took all my hopes and dreams for work and my future marriage and had them collide wonderfully all at the same time.... But how glorious.
To keep my mind in a good mental place amidst the crazy of this semester, I have continued my love for hot yoga. I love hot class for many reasons. I started going because I thought working out in a 95+ degree room had to be the best workout, but it's become to much more than that. I have seen my body do more in that heated room than I ever knew possible. Because of the heat, your body has more chance of moving deeper into poses, learning to breath deeply through intensity, while releasing tension in the body all at once.
Most classes begin with the teacher telling the class to set an intention for their practice. I never really thought much of setting an intention other than hoping this helped my body in physical ways, but one day I decided to. My intention was simply to appreciate this body that I'd been given and to see the Lord in this practice.
Over time, I have seen so much of how hot yoga parallels with what life looks like when following Jesus. The Christian life is categorized with overcoming affliction and being under fire, all the while learning to breathe, trust, and grow stronger in Christ and in yourself. Yoga teachers often say the key to yoga is training your body to breathe deeply when your body feels the pressure of the more intense poses, because this allows growth in the muscles in the body and deeper movement. The same is true of our walk with Christ. The key is learning to surrender control, trust, and breathe through valleys in our life to know God more and grow stronger in our faith.
The Lord intentionally allows us to sit in these hard spots so we are prepared for what's to come. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says this, "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
Yoga teaches you to create space in the hectic and crazy of everyday life to come and simply be. Be tired, be strong, be still. The best part of hot class is the last five minutes of laying still with a cool cloth. Each class sets apart time to reflect on what your body did, and to appreciate the body you have. The same should be true of our walk with Jesus. When we create space to be with him, to hear from him, and to learn from him, we come to appreciate the valley and look forward to the growth.
Go sit with the Lord today. Reflect on the heat and the glorious growth.