I love practicing yoga, but it can be a pain in the you-know-what.
I don’t buy into Eastern theology, mind you (I worship the Creator, not the created), but there are wonderful physical benefits from the practice. When I first began attending classes several years ago, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I was sure I was going to die. Within the first few minutes of practice, beads of perspiration formed on my brow, and an hour later my clothes were drenched. (Have you ever tried to peel off a sweaty sports bra and leotard?!? Good grief!) This weird thing happened: because of the slow movements and sustained positions, it was a great workout, but when the session was over, my body felt as if it had been given a relaxing massage. I was a new woman! That was enough to keep me coming back.
But it didn’t take long before I realized there were several spots in my body where I held a lot of tension, making it painful to perform certain poses. The tension was caused by moving incorrectly in my daily activities, overburdening certain joints, and a misaligned posture. My body hurt so much because I had become so accustomed to carrying myself the wrong way!
Then I came upon a treasure of instruction. “Take your focus to where the pain is and breathe into it.”
Wincing and grimacing, it hurt like the devil, but as I incorporated “breathing into the pain,” I experienced relief, and as a result, the muscles found freedom in movement, even becoming stronger.
I have realized prayer can be that way too. I have a desire to be in deep relationship with God, but there are specific issues in my life and not-so-good attitudes that I keep holding onto. I become comfortable with the discomfort and the dis-ease, accommodating my misalignment with God. My human nature shies away from exposing the darkness to the Light and examining it. Because … ? I might need to make some spiritual adjustments … correct my attitudes … surrender what isn’t mine to control … peel my clammy hands off of things God didn’t intend for me to cling to! And God, being the gentleman He is, graciously waits for me to desire spiritual relief, but it will not come until I completely lean in and breathe through that pain.
A friend suggested praying through the last verses of Psalm 139 …
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (v. 23-24)
When I dared to approach God with humility, our Physician and Healer gently exposed to me the lies I had been believing and corrections that were necessary in my life. He lovingly helped me work through them, changing my heart, realigning and placing myself in a Christ-honoring and life-giving posture.
Will you dare to pray these verses? God will hear your prayers as you breathe into the pain and surrender the tension to Him.
And you won’t even have a sweaty sports bra to contend with.
21 DAYS OF PRAYER IS FOR YOU
If you sense God has more for your life, 21 Days of Prayer is a great place to start believing Him for all that He has for you. As you practice seeking Him first, He will move on your behalf like never before. You will start to see the power of prayer impact your relationships, work, family, and every area of your life. Whether you join us in person or online, we would love for you to be part of 21 Days of Prayer.
Pam Freitag Weyant traded the harsh Midwestern winters for the sunny South. Her best friends are her steno machine (she works as a freelance court reporter), her aged but adorable cocker spaniel Jake, and books. She is grateful for time spent traveling, writing creative nonfiction, and working out. Her goal is to share her story with others so they may also find freedom in a redemptive Savior. Read more of Pam’s Breath on Paper bio here.