As an ex-gymnast, I remember what it was like to be extremely flexible. I can still feel what it was like to do “over splits”.
There weren’t many ways that my physical body could be maneuvered that would really hurt.
Except for in seated pike. (Or known as “seated forward fold.”)
Because of my childhood scoliosis I had almost no ability to sit with my legs straight out in front of me and touch my toes. The pain that would shoot into my neck was almost unbearable.
Many years have passed since I stretched in such intense ways and I have regretted letting my flexibility get away.
About five months ago I tried my first Holy Yoga session (Jesus-centered yoga). I was completely blown away.
One of my first online practices with HYTV, I remember the instructor challenging us to breathe into the tight spaces in our body, because as we rest there, we are growing from them.
She went on to say that as we breathe in the presence of God into these tight places in our bodies and in our lives, we release him to work, and us to just be.
This was also new to me. In the past when I wanted to achieve greater flexibility, I pushed my body to the limit, straining my muscles to cave to force.
Through this Holy Yoga journey, I am learning that it is in breathing through those tight spaces that I see growth. Not in fighting the pain, trying to escape it or rush it.
In a beautiful way I enjoy holding a pose that is tight and challenging while purposefully breathing through it.
And in the same way when I’m in a tight and challenging place in life I am now breathing through it, accepting the opportunity to grow in the grace and love of Christ.
To take it a step further, when I wake up I am often out of alignment and in pain. But when I sit in the tight spaces, and breathe through them, my body comes back into line, and I experience freedom of movement in my physical body.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
May you be at peace, resting in the tight spaces and breathing through the trials, knowing that our hope in Christ will not disappoint and that he who has started a work in you will see you all the way to the finish line!