Learning to Eat

bible and mat

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8

The closest I ever came to doing Christ-centered yoga before my Holy Yoga training was listening to Christian music while practicing yoga, and it was good. I felt connected to God and refreshed in body, grounded and peaceful. Little did I know of what was in store.

One of the things I have been introduced to through my training is lectio divina, which is translated “divine reading.” It basically means to take a short passage of Scripture and read it slowly three or four times. The idea is to meditate on the words, to listen with the ears of the heart, to give space for the Spirit to breathe and speak and impart.

I’m also required to read Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson (and yes, I’m eating it up; It is so good). By “this book” Peterson means the Bible, and by eating it he means to read the Scriptures so that they “enter our souls as food enters our stomachs, spread through our blood, and become holiness and love and wisdom,” that the Word of God would be “tasted, chewed, savored, swallowed, and digested.” Peterson argues that the Bible is more than just an intellectual pursuit, guide for ethics and morality, or spiritual pick-me-up, but that Scripture is to be read so that it changes us, from the inside out, that God is revealed through His word.

I want this. I want to read the Bible and savor every word. I want to take my time studying the Scriptures and let them breathe into my being, to leave room for God to speak and reveal Himself. So often I read with the intent to finish the chapter so I can finish the book, so I can get through the epistles or gospels or whatever, so that I can get another read-through-the-bible under my belt. Not that I’ve not paused to ruminate on things I’ve read, but many times I’ve treated the Bible more like fast food than a sit-down, home cooked meal. This is humbling.

So this past week I started practicing Holy Yoga. I got on my mat, opened my Bible, phone nearby for music and writing. I began in child’s pose, breathing deep, offering that time to God, praying that He would reveal more of Him to me. And I started with Psalm 103, reading the first stanza aloud and waiting, breathing. I moved through a flow while I listened to worship music, and then I came back to the text. I read it again, prayed it out loud, paused and waited. And so this cycle continued—flowing, breathing, praying, resting; moving to music and sitting in silence; sometimes writing. The time on my mat this week has been so sweet and life-giving, each day an encounter with God, receiving more of Him.

Little do I still know of what is in store, but I’m certain that this practice of Holy Yoga will prove deep and life-changing.

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