The house is quiet. The gentle drone of the humidifier fan and the steady pulsing of the clock create the background music or accompaniment for a different sort of song–one without words and without a melody. This song has a flexible tempo marked solely with audible inhalations and exhalations. The song is strophic, which means each verse has the same music, or in this case, the same flow of yoga positions: sun salutations.
On the first day of spring, I watched a video of two yoga enthusiasts performing 108 sun salutations to celebrate the spring equinox. I wasn’t familiar with the tradition, but I later learned that 108 is a significant number in Hinduism and certain schools of yoga. I found the practice intriguing. However, since 108 holds little significance to me, I decided to try 40 repetitions—one for each day of Jesus’ time in the wilderness. (Mark 1:12-13)
Although at first I thought that the sun salutation experience might stimulate deep, meaningful thoughts; I realized I mustn’t try to attach meaning to the exercise. I mustn’t try to create some sort of benefit that didn’t exist at the time. The practice itself was sufficient. The movement became a simple, outwardly expressed song for God. I repeatedly raised my hands heavenward. I listened to my own breathing, and grew increasingly grateful for my body and breath. The experience aligned with the spiritual disciplines that members of my church and I have been exploring this Lenten season.
*Silence *Solitude *Meditation *Simplicity *Prayer *Worship