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Extra Grace Required - Our Blog

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 godbreathbooks@gmail.com.

Peace be with you! Cindy and Heidi

To view Week 1 The Practice of Freshening Up click

Scripture
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without God’s unfolding grace. 2 Corinthians 4:16 The Message

Spiritual Focus
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.” Gandhi

Devotion
During the Great Depression bathing was a luxury. The phrase “don't throw the baby out with the bath water” was born out of the practice of family members sharing the same bath water. Since the babies were last to bathe . . . well, you get the idea. Because of the high value placed on water for bathing, the value of freshening up was understood. Freshening up was a way of preserving water while still coming out feeling clean and renewed. Today freshening up is a way of identifying what is still usable and good—as well as what has served its purpose and we may let go.

In the New Year we encounter many invitations to let go of the old and usher in the new. A subtle variation occurs when, while honoring the old ways that have served us well, we recognize the kind of newness that will improve our quality of life. In this continuum of transformation we find balance: we can embrace the new without fixating upon or regretting the loss of the old. The newness spoken of in our scripture is found in God’s unfolding grace; this newness to which we are drawn constitutes a“freshening up” of what God has done and continues to do. In yoga we often encourage participants to let go of what no longer serves them. There are some old ways of thinking about life, faith, and relationships (even yoga) that have worked for us in the past but need at this point to be put aside. We honor what God has done in our lives and lean in to God’s continuing grace as it unfolds, new and fresh for this day.

Breath Prayer
Inhale I Am
Exhale Refreshed

Focus Pose: Knees to chest pose, or apanasana, lengthens the lower back muscles as light pressure is put on the belly. It brings blood flow to the lower torso and abdominal organs, encouraging the release of blockages. Begin on your back or in a chair and on exhalation gently squeeze your abdominal muscles as you draw one or both knees toward your chest. On inhalation, return to your starting position. Repeat for three to six cycles of breath before holding the pose, knee(s) to chest, if it serves your body. If not, let it go.

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