I started practicing yoga about a year and a half ago, a few months before I got pregnant with Nora. At first, I just viewed it as another form of exercise; a way to punish my body for being overweight and try to whip it into shape with sweat and shame.
I quickly learned that the practice of yoga is wholly NOT a form of punishment or shaming, and should never be used as such. Something sparked in me, and as strange as it may sound, I felt deep in my spirit that I had been “called” to practice yoga. A passion for this practice began to swell inside me and I decided I wanted to become a certified instructor. I read books, I watched online practices, I studied blogs…and then I became pregnant.
My focus and my zeal for most everything disappeared during my pregnancy, and even more so during the first phase of my hideous bout with postpartum depression. I began seeing a therapist (a licensed clinical social worker) a few months ago and after hearing my story, she helped me realized that this dark, heavy weight I was carrying, and had been carrying for many years, was grief. Grief for the loss of my mother, grief for the deterioration of my family, grief for having felt like my body betrayed me in the way my baby had to be delivered, grief for the feeling of having no say or control in where my life was taking me. I’d been trudging through, trying my best to stand up straight and walk forward, but this weight of grief wrapped around me was pulling me closer and closer to the ground until I couldn’t stand on my own anymore.
And then Jesus, in all His might and glory and power, sweetly whispered to me, “Your grief is not for nothing, and it’s not immune to healing. Remember my promises, remember my calling. Return to your practice.”
And so I did. But it’s no longer the same. I no longer practice for exercise, or to try and eviscerate my body hatred.
Now, I practice for strength. I practice for grace. I practice for healing. I practice because I’m called. He has called me to be a Mighty Warrior, and yoga is the avenue in which He has provided for my journey to fulfill this calling.
When I practice, my insecurities and weaknesses are exposed. This allows for fresh, healing air to come in and take over. When I practice, my heart space is opened. When I practice I learn to trust the spirit, build on strength, and most importantly, to be still and surrender when He beckons.
When I practice, my body and soul work together in harmony to help me find my true self. It’s where I learn to dwell and reside in grace. It’s where I meet Jesus at my most vulnerable. It’s where I feel whole and wild and free.
He has used yoga to heal me and me to heal yoga.
Life is so hard and cruel, but He is so faithful. He knows our brokenness and He carries our grief. I understand the darkness and I understand the loss. You have a Mighty Warrior deep inside you and if you ask Him, I promise He will show you the way to breathe life into your heart again.
They will be like mighty warriors in battle, trampling their enemies in the mud under their feet. Since the Lord is with them as they fight, they will overthrow even the horsemen of the enemy. Zechariah 10:5