It was my first yoga class. I would describe it as a for us, by us experience because the instructor was a black woman and the class was designed for black women. I attended the class in hopes of sharing my experience on my blog, but instead, I walked away with something much greater.
I sat quietly, legs crossed, and eyes closed on a soft, sponge-like mat. The instructor told us to breathe in and breathe out. She told us to focus on filling our lungs with a generous inhale and a relieving exhale. This simple activity of connecting to my breath allowed me to clear my mind. I felt as if the stress I had encountered during the day was no longer weighing on me. I was able to disconnect from my anxiety. I felt focused and ready to set intentions through this newfound lens of clarity and calmness.
What makes this experience so ground breaking for me is that it changed the way I approach prayer. We’ve all been told that prayer changes things, and it does, but how we create space for prayer to change us matters. If we pray when we’re at the peak of stress, worry, and anxiety, it creates a barrier between where we are and where we’re trusting God to take us. It’s unsatisfying to our spirit to say amen and then proceed back to the same worries that we began our prayers with. Just as God gives us grace, why don’t we do the same for ourselves? Why shouldn’t we give ourselves grace to feel like a hot mess and grace to calm down? Create space for a mind, body, and spirit that is wholeheartedly focused on prayer.
The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.
BeYOUtiful, keep life sweet, & never stop feeding your soul. -xo