Sunday, June 12, 2016


Yesterday I went to a yoga class for the very first time.  Well, not counting some kind of yoga sort of thing that I went to once at our church where we lay down on the floor for an hour doing a progressive relaxation exercise in the dark for an hour (seriously - we never moved at all - it was a weird experience).  

To help you understand my experience a little, you need some background.

I grew up Baptist.  Now, I can't speak for all churches of this denomination, but I can tell you that I was taught that Satan had his hand in an awful lot of stuff.  Almost anything that came from anywhere outside of our home town was pretty suspicious, and a heck of a lot of what DID come from our home town was for sure hell-bound as well.  So the Catholics were doomed (they had statues in their churches, idols, doncha know! AND beer tents and BINGO!), and Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses for sure. The Methodists might make it even though they baptized BABIES for crying out loud, and the other Protestants might be okay.  I'd never even heard of a Muslim or a Buddist, honestly, but I knew that Hypnosis and Accupuncture and Iridology and Reflexology and most other non-traditional-medical-ologies were certainly dabbling in the Devil, and Yoga was certainly right up there as a doorway straight to Hades.  Namaste, y'all.

Clearly I had some things to work through in my medical training, as well as in my spiritual journey.

But Babygirl's new doctors have literally prescribed yoga three times weekly for her headaches.  So here we are, pushing through yet another rediculous cultural barrier leftover from childhood.  

"Namaste" literally means "I bow" but implies "I bow to the divine in you" as a recognition of the spark of the divine dwelling in all people.  Taken from the narrowest view of my childhood I suppose it could be interpreted as "I worship the divine in you" which would, of course, put this greeting right up there in the 'idol worship' (go straight to Hell, do not pass Go) category.  Taken as my heart has come to understand Christ's call to us all, I would interpret it as, "I recognize that you, as I, are equally created in the image of God, and I honor that image."  

We are called to love others as ourselves.  We are all made in the image of God.  The fact that I was taught to distrust my own theology if it came in a foreign language doesn't change my theology. Namaste.

The class was an hour and a quarter.  I was, somehow, not expecting it to feel like exercise.  This, it turns out, was a serious error in judgement.  My legs are pretty good from all the walking.  My abs? Not so much.  I rehabilitated my right leg after a foot fracture a few years ago so my balance there isn't TOO bad, but the left?  Let's not talk about it.

Before the poses requiring us to stand on one leg, the instructor kindly told the class that we were all welcome to move to the wall if we needed support for balance.  It wasn't until today that it dawned on me that she was actually only talking to ME, the new, grey-haired lady with zero yoga experience.  

We both had some perceptions to work through.  I didn't fall over because of my grey hair, and lightning didn't strike me for growing up Baptist and attending yoga anyway.  I think we'll all be okay.


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