Thursday, May 8, 2008

More from the Retreat....

Last weekend, while at the confirmation retreat, one of the adults was showing me some yoga moves she learned during a not-so-recent class. She saw me bending over and gave this advice, "Don't bounce." Then she demonstrated a graceful yoga bend, complete with advice on when to inhale and when to exhale.

One move she showed me was a king of a lunge, and it looked a little like a sword-fighter stance, I thought, as I tried to imagine my body between two panes of glass, as she instructed. And again, there was the inhaling and the exhaling, the intentional breathing, in and out.

Now I don't know anything about yoga, (I can't emphasize this enough) but at that moment, it seemed that breathing was really the key to understanding, to practicing.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Intentionally.

And that breathing is really the key to life.

"He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.""

What is the Holy Spirit? That's the question always as we approach Pentecost. This mysterious force, this mysterious third person of the Trinity, seems so hard to grasp, to get ahold of. What is the Holy Spirit? Fire? A mighty wind?

Life. The Holy Spirit is life, God's life, Jesus' resurrected life, in us, among us, working through us.

Can these bones live? O Lord, you know.


mompriest said...

Breathing is fundamental to yoga. In some yoga practice breathing is understood as breathing in the "life-force" and exhaling the "gunk" that blocks the life force. The Postures open up the pathways in the body that enable the life force to move more fully through. The pathways (for lack of a better word) are called "Chakras" and run from the tail bone up the spine to the top of the head and conclued at a point between the eyes. None of that is really all that important. Suffice it to say the postures and breathing work together to help bring a sense of wholeness and wellbeing into the body, mind, and spirit.

And, I do think the Holy Spirit has something to do with it. At least when I translate the Hindu principles into Christian faith (which, by the way is completely OK with Hinduism).

Anyway, probably much more than you ever wanted to know...

Diane said...

no, it was good, mompriest.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

mompriest beat me to the breathing comment.

I really like the way you connected yoga and breathing and Spirit and Pentecost. Good post.

gartenfische said...

Lovely, Diane. Yes, yoga is all about breath.