This past weekend I tried a Hot Yoga class for the first time with a my friend and brother Wesley. First all, if you know me, you know that heat and me are not friends…AT ALL. I would rather live in the Northwestern Territory than be above 90 degrees at any time in my life. However, when a good friend tells you that it will be good for you and keeps bugging you to go, you go for that friend (and yourself).
So I walk into a room of 20-30 people, the temperature slowing rising to HEAT OF THE RISING SUN or 105-115 if you don’t want to be dramatic. The air is heavy with heat and humidity, it feels like a struggle to breathe, to take that breath in and out burns down to my lungs. I am dripping sweat everywhere after about 5 minutes. I can feel the heat seeping down into my gut and my heart. I think my interior organs are frying, or at least, steaming within my body.
But I keep going…
After awhile, I begin to view this sweat as a prayer. Each drop, a song to my creator, thanking Him for forming me. The heat began to feel like the love of God, the refining and purifying Love of God found through Christ. Each movement, each position, was an act of surrender to Him, to Him placing me in the furnace to be renewed again.
I met God on Saturday in my practice on my mat as an individual and with a group of people who were of mixed ages, races, genders, political affiliations, and religious backgrounds. Most of them probably didn’t recognize the grace that comes from the heat, but I felt it, and I came out of it different.
I have found yoga to be the manliest activity I can do, not because yoga is in and of itself “manly,” but because I am being taken down to my base parts to be made new by Christ. I am learning that I do have my own strength, but that I am made more of a man through Christ’s strength working in me. It has taught me to be a more peaceful father and husband, to see all things as working together for God’s good will and purpose.
So as I leave this evening to go and be tortured by the heat, may I continue to see Christ’s love coming to me through my practice so that I can become more fully in line with His Grace & Love.