In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Stretching the Body and the Soul, Part II

Today, I started what I hope will be a new habit. The college where I work has offered free yoga and tai chi classes for a few years. It's for one hour each week. I decided that this would be a good addition to my exercise routine. I'm still pretty good about doing fifteen minutes of stretching every evening, so this will be something a little more strenuous.

I went to the first session today. I quickly changed in my office to sweats and an old t-shirt. Then I ran over to the room where the class was held. Obviously, I will need to work at this. I'm not a very flexible person. My muscles are very tight. I've never been able to touch my toes without bending my knees quite a bit. Today, I got through it without a lot of pain, but I noticed how much I was shaking. Just trying to hold the poses made my arms and legs tremble something fierce. I'm trying to not be to self-conscious about it. Our teacher is pretty good at reminding us to work at our own pace. However, it's still intimidating when I see the guy in the "judo" t-shirt doing these graceful moves.

I've talked about doing something like yoga for a while now. I knew that stretching would be good for me. I know that it's roots lie in eastern religions, but I'm not afraid of the practice. I mainly want the medical benefit. I also think that it reminds me of some more serious forms of liturgical dance. These movements could easily be shaped into a prayer.

After a year of experimenting with a chiropractor and physical therapy, I'm recognizing many of the moves used in yoga. I see how they all benefit my sore body. Now I need to turn off my brain and be still as I go through these movements.

Yoga will be good for me!


Blogger Michael Dodd said...

One yoga series that I attended some years ago always incorporated quietly intentional prayerful movement as part of the process. Since it was at a Christian institution, the non-Christian instructor had taken several traditional prayers (Our Father, Prayer of St. Francis) and worked them into her movements. Graceful, gracefilled. Enjoy!

9:45 AM  

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