Lenten Meditation II: Tension in Dry Places


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There are times when we find ourselves in dry, deserted places. In the past year, coming to the mat felt like a duty my heart was not into, that because I am yoga teacher I should do this. There was a heavy numbness to these practices. I just could not feel what was going on in my body and the shouts of obligation were loud in my head. Should. Should. Should. I did not know if my practice would ever be the same. It felt lonely there. I did not know when this strangeness in my practice would end. Yet I kept coming to this place that felt so intensely desolate: my mat.

Many figures within the Bible were met with long periods of waiting in places of restlessness, frustration and longing.

Moses had the wilderness.

Elijah had the cave.

Jesus had the desert.

These are important places.

When we awaken to God's pupose for our lives, we realize God puts us in theses places to remold our desires and sharpen our listing to him.

We need the tension in our lives to help us see there is something bigger than us going on. Our choice within the tension is either restlessness and frustration or to get quiet, listen deeper and let our desires and longings be remolded.

How did I find a way out of my deserted place on the mat? I accepted where I was. I accepted who I was — my physical limitations, my unique voice as a teacher, and my struggle to feel real in my practice. I learned how to awaken my practice in a different way physically — to lengthen with from within instead of reaching, to care for my tender wrists, and to feel sensation while working with the physics of my short body. I began to value the individuality of my path as a teacher again and started recording my classes and thoughts for this blog. The Holy Spirit awakened my breath to a new and different reality in my practice. I heard the Spirit whisper new things to me, and his voice was threading its way through my life again.

I abandoned my expectations for these truths. The tension and strangeness in my practice turned into something excitingly unfamiliar. I can't say that this will look the same for you, but be open to accepting the place you are in without giving in to the restlessness and frustration. Accept yourself as unique and special to the Creator of the Universe. That whisper of the Spirit is audible and he wants to lead you from this place into someplace new.

(Enjoy All I Need is Everything by Over the Rhine)


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