In the years that followed the uterine cancer surgery, my body became a place of unrest. Going through “the change” 10-15 years earlier than my friends meant that I was in menopause at 40 while they were still blossoming in motherhood. I resented having a body that looked and felt older than my spirit.
As I began to lean into the call of Growing Grace Farm, I wanted my body to feel at peace just like my spirit. That is when I discovered yoga.
Yoga taught me the relationship between spirit, breath and body. Meditation and contemplation taught me center head and heart and yoga completed the mind-body-spirit connection.
As a part of my yoga reading, I came across the philosophy of bhakti yoga. Bhakti is one of the six systems of yoga and is considered to be the yoga of devotion. Bhakti is a Sanskrit word meaning deep faith, love, and devotion. As you practice asanas, or poses, the bhakti path connects you to God through love and devotion. Yoga then becomes a body prayer–another way of communicating with your Creator. Bhakti practice includes nine principles that parallel Christian prayer practices, including surrender, thanksgiving, purification, love, and praise.
Bhakti yoga, or yoga in general, is not a practice that replaces Christian prayer; rather, it is another form of prayer that integrates body-mind-spirit.
Interested in learning more about Bhakti yoga? Bhakti Flow Yoga by Rusty Wells has been my favorite resource, but I strongly recommend that you consider taking a yoga class. While practicing on my own is very centering, I have gained so much spiritually, emotionally and physically from practicing corporately with others. Hmmm, sounds a little like what we are told about prayer, doesn’t it?