Pastor Jean Newell, Sun Lakes United Methodist Church
Yoga is said to be relaxing. Soft music. Dimemd lights. Soft-spoken instructor. However, is the body really supposed to bend like that?
Remember the old adage “use it or lose it?” The older I get, the more I understand the truth in that statement which is why I’ve tried to be intentional about exercising. I live close to horse property which includes paddocks or exercise areas and stables close to homes where owners live. I loved walking along the road that parallels the fields and watching horses, cattle and sheep graze. Occasionally, a car would pass me, but the road is never as busy as nearby major streets. Sometimes someone would ride by on a horse, but for the most part, I enjoyed the solitude of a little piece of country only a few blocks long! My intentions were good, but my schedule being what it is, my options were to walk early in the morning or late in the evening; neither option of which, in this day and age, was the safest for a woman walking alone. On weekends, I could walk during the day, but with triple-digit summer heat on the way, a daytime walk wasn’t that appealing.
As a result, I ended up joining a gym in 2016. It was a 24-hour gym, so whatever time of the day or night I wanted to exercise, I could do so in a temperature-controlled, safe environment. Recently, a gym opened up closer to where I live, and this gym offers classes which is how I ended up in yoga class with my daughter Dawn. The bad news is I found muscles I didn’t know existed! The good news is I didn’t embarrass Dawn by falling splat in the middle of class. It helped that our yoga instructor frequently assured us that learning yoga, like exercising, is a process, so we were not to compare what we are able to do to what others are doing.
The same might be said about one’s faith journey. Life experiences vary. Each of us is in a different place in our relationship with God. What’s important is not to compare where we are in our faith journey with where someone else is in theirs. What is important is to remember growing in faith is like exercising not a “one and done,” but a life-long process.