Week 7: The Practice of the Inward Journey
We do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16
Spiritual Focus: "The farther the outward journey takes you, the deeper the inward journey must be." Henri Nouwen
The Reverend Gordon Crosby said in a 1989 sermon, "Faith is trusting the flow, reveling in the view, carried beyond all existing boundaries." How we view boundaries has something to do with our personality type and may inform our spiritual journey. For an extrovert the inward journey may be a challenge because information about the self is more easily gathered and processed outwardly. For an introvert the inward journey may be more easily accessible but remains incomplete unless there is some outward expression of self—something an introvert may find challenging. Neither is better or worse; the journeys and their boundaries are simply different.
Reverend Gordon's words invite us to trust the flow of the journey and worry less about the boundaries. When we come to that place of trusting our inward journey, we find God at the center, renewing us today and every day with God's healing presence—no matter our circumstances. With God as our center we journey outside our self for energy and fellowship—and inside our self for wisdom and renewal.
When we come to our mats as introverts or extroverts, or maybe a little of both, we accept the invitation to be present. We breathe, settle, and ground ourselves in faith and in the knowledge that we are exactly where we are supposed to be, and we let the inward journey flow. The breath and the asana are part of the journey inward toward God. The savasana or meditation at the end of class is the final destination, the place where we experience the mystery of God, where we are renewed and made ready to return to life in the world.
Exhale by Day
Pose Focus: Hero pose, virasana, is a wonderful seat from which to begin your inward journey. If you are new to Hero pose, begin with short practices. Gradually increase your time in the pose, as your thighs, hips, and ankles allow. Don't lose heart. Wait for the peaceful renewal promised by drawing inward into this pose.