David Swenson on the Growth of a Yoga Practice

“Each practice session is a journey.  Endeavor to move with awareness and enjoy the experience.  Allow it to unfold as a flower opens.  There is no benefit in hurrying.  Yoga grows with time.  Some days are easy and the mind is calm and the physical body is light and responsive.  Other days you may find that the mind is running wild and the body feels like wet cement.  We must breathe deeply and remain detached.  Asanas are not the goal.  They are the vehicle to access a deeper internal awareness.  Create a practice that best suits your personal needs so that it is something that you look forward to.  Yoga is a place of refuge and a soothing balm for the stresses of modern life.   Within each practice find ways to refine your existing understanding so that you continue to grow.”

From Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual 

Christ in Love; Christ in All Things

“Through [Christ]…let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.”  ~Hebrews 13: 15-16

My babies have been scooting

little cars and trucks over the furniture,

have been twirling themselves over the soft fuzz of carpet in the living room;

I sit at the top of my mat giving thanks and praise to God

for my life, family, prayer, and practice;

I cross myself in the name of our triune God,

hop to my feet, fold and roll my mat, and

my babies run, skip, and giggle toward me

holding out the purple velcro strap they know

I use at the very end.

 

My babies snuggle down to the bottom edge of their pillow,

pull the blankets to the bottom edge of their ear

and wait in their bed for a kiss.

I bend, lean, and reach over

tracing the cross on their forehead,

“God bless you, for ever and ever and always,” I whisper.

They pull my face close, small hands on my cheeks,

“God bless you, for ever and ever and always,” they whisper

in soft, tired voices.  They reach out their arms

for the hug they know comes at the very end.

practice

I sit on the floor
and the baby comes close to me;
his hands pat my shoulder,
my back; he says,
“gentle, gentle.”

We are practicing
“no hitting” these days.

We are also practicing
“no whining”
“no screeching”
“no fighting.”

It is difficult to be
each other’s practice boards,
to be the place where someone else learns
how to love, how not to love,
how to apologize, how to forgive.

We all have to practice.
It is one of the things that makes family life
mysterious,
and on the days we finally learn “gentle,”
it makes life miraculous.