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Extra Grace Required - Our Blog


"Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures." Genesis 1:20

When I was young, my favorite summer outing was an entire day spent at the beach. My mother would pack a picnic lunch, and while she watched the younger children and wrote letters under a sun umbrella, I played in the waves with the “big” kids and built sand castles with large moats that filled with seawater as the surf came in. Our favorite beach was not the wide sandy swath near the boardwalk, crowded with well-oiled sunbathers sprawled on their towels listening to transistor radios, but the partly rocky beach further along the coast where we had found tide pools. As a child I typically spent half the day playing in the water companionably with my siblings, and the other half of the day, belly down on a large rock, staring into a tide pool, watching small crabs scuttle about, poking my finger into sea anemones, and intently searching the pool with my gaze for starfish and sand dollars, content to be still and watch the activity in the miniature water world beneath me.  Read More 

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Holding Opposites

Compare: to examine the character or qualities of especially in order to discover resemblances or differences Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Hot and cold, hard and soft, tight and loose, dry and wet: these are just a few of the many contrasting sensations that abound in our every day life. We humans, in the face of contrast, are notorious for judging these differences. Admittedly judgment is sometimes needed to evaluate or discern a particular situation, or to ensure our safety. But often judgment occurs as a reflex, a bad habit that unnecessarily highlights differences and obscures similarities. In our faith-integrated yoga practice we work to replace the knee-jerk habit of judging, especially judging our own bodies and effort, with comparison-- observing differences, but without the value judgment.  Read More 

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Listen: Prepare for Centering Prayer

It has been said that prayer is talking to God, while meditation is listening for God. In faith-based yoga we practice listening to our bodies, as a first step towards sacred listening. Supine poses are wonderful positions from which to listen. In our book's practice of Listening to our Internal Teacher, the Soul we show the practice embodied in Legs Up the Wall pose. Supine pigeon (sometimes called Figure 4) is another lovely pose to considering adding to this practice, as it helps prepare the body for seated meditation.

Pose Focus: Supine Pigeon
Begin on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Bending one knee, bring your ankle to rest on the opposite thigh, with the foot flexed to align your knee. Modify the pose as you need to for safety and comfort. If it feels good on your body, deepen the pose by lifting the anchoring foot, off of the mat. Hold the pose for at least 5 full, slow breaths. Return to the starting position with knees bent, both feet on the mat, and compare the amount of space that you now feel in each hip. Repeat the pose on the opposite side and when you finish, return again to the starting position and pause. Compare the sensations on both sides of your pelvis. Listen to what your body tells you.  Read More 

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EGR: Creating Grace Space

Have you wondered why we named our book’s blog, Extra Grace Required? Here is the back-story. In my first year as an ordained pastor, I found myself shocked one day by a tirade from one of our church's most faithful and supportive members. The topic of his ire is not important, that anybody could say the things he said to anyone, let alone a group of pastors and church members who had walked with him through many tough situations, left me speechless. All I could do was pause and breathe. The war within me was: 1) should I respond with my well honed psych nurse voice, 2) should I default to my Welsh/English upbringing and not respond in kind, or 3) should I dig deeper for the pastoral voice? While I was sorting through my options, the man stomped away and the lead pastor standing next to me simply smiled and said, “ Well that was an eager situation.” Not understanding what he meant I looked at him with a quizzical expression and he explained, “ Extra Grace Required.”  Read More 

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Yogadevotion: Getting Started

Happy New Year! What a perfect time to begin a devotional yoga practice—and commit additional space in your life to be present to God as you attend to the wellness of your body, mind, and spirit. We suggest you start slowly, perhaps simply read the devotion for the week, bring attention to your breath by synchronizing it with the breath prayer or your own sacred word, and then add some breath-centered gentle movement—as embodied prayer. Ten minutes per day to begin with will get you on your way, increasing the time when and if it is right for you. We are here to support you develop a devotional yoga practice so please contact us with any questions or comments you may have at

Peace be with you! Cindy and Heidi

To view Week 1 The Practice of Freshening Up click  Read More 

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