Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yoga for Lent

Well, it's Lent, and this year my Lenten observation is to practice yoga everyday. It's pretty much the only regular time in my life that I set aside for quiet and meditation, so when I was thinking about how to observe Lent, it just made the most sense to do so through deepening my yoga practice.

So, even if it's only for 5 minutes in a given day, I will take some time each day to practice, and I may use the opportunity to try some of the more meditative practices that I don't usually take time for. I'm curious to see what the effect will be in my life. "Surrender" is the word that keeps coming to me.

Some passages from "The Athlete's Guide to Yoga" by Sage Rountree, the reference I use most often.

"The philosophy of awareness is what makes "doing yoga" more than merely stretching or gymnastics. Just as workouts become training sessions when you are working toward a goal race, practicing poses or sitting still becomes yoga when you are doing it with a purpose." (p.12)

Hatha yoga uses the tantric approach, which focuses on accessing the universal consciousness through the body. Instead of being something to be denied and transcended, the body is the vehicle for self-realization. Thus the self-improvements that are a secondary benefit of yoga and of endurance sports help bring us toward the ultimate goal of connection with the [divine]. (p.13)

So far, I'm four for four. Forty-two days to go.

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