One of the highlights of 2017 was learning to meditate on the loving care God has for me. The unexpected catalysts this contemplative practice was a yoga class.
The only spiritual connections I have made in yoga are with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am VERY intentional about setting my mind on things above as I enter into each pose. Positioning my body in different ways helps me to open my heart and quiet my mind to focus more fully on Gods goodness.
I have an arsenal of Scripture memorized that comes to mind during each pose as well. I am very grateful for this exercise of self-silence and self-control.
Perhaps this kind of Christ-centered pose and meditation practice might encourage you too! The following is from my Campfire Grace Flow Playlist. Take an hour to ring in this first week of the new year with me. (Follow my Spotify Profile for more other CGrace Flow playlists, including a 30 minute flow and an evening flow.)
If Yoga isn’t your thing, spend some time journaling, sitting in the stillness with a candle and your Bible, or even jogging to these worshipful songs that may just help clear your mind for the new year.
This is the Way God Loves You, by Sleeping at Last
Ease in with slow moving instrumentals. Focus on the deep belly breaths.
*Favorite lyric: none. (But I appreciate mediating on the title as I begin to think about Gods goodness and care for me.)
**Pose: cross legged on the mat, deep breaths **
Touch the Sky, Hillsong United
*Favorite lyric: “my heart beating, my soul breathing, I found my life when I laid it down.”
**Pose: cat/cow variations and child’s pose **
Welcome Here, Chris Quilala
Reaching upward/flowing through sun-salutations are the perfect pairing for this song.
*”Breath of heaven, voice of thunder, in your presence I surrender…”
First, Lauren Daigle
*”Before I bring my need I will bring my heart and seek you first.”
Shadow step, Hillsong United
*”You met me at the sinners table, I found you waiting by the well, unexpected.”
**chair pose, warrior 2**
Simple Pursuit, Passion
*”God take us back to an unswerving faith in the power of your name, a heart beating for your kingdom to reign, a church that is known for your presence again.”
**balance pose, tree pose**
Then the trees of the forest will shout for joy before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth. 1 Chronicles 16:33
When I am Afraid, Laura Hackett
These lyrics share the cry of Psalm 61:2, and empower me every time I hear it. (Claim it and sing along!)
*”There is no peace of mind outside of truth in Christ!”
**boat pose, floor work for abs/core**
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13
Closer to Your Heart, Kari Jobe
*”Holy, I get lost in your love. Holy, Full of awe and wonder. You keep drawing me closer to your heart.”
**Hip openers, figure 4″
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Lay It All Down, Will Reagan
This song may be my most powerful mantra, and by this point in the yoga flow, my emotions are ready to encounter this kind of surrender.
*”Carried on but your heart was tired, feared the worst and felt the fire. Lay it all down. Lay it all down. Filled with all those anxious thoughts, all your doubts became your god. Lay it all down at the feet of Jesus.”
**Biggest inhalation yet, Side twists with a flow**
In the Name of Love, Kari Jobe
*When there’s madness, when there’s poison in your head, when the sadness leaves you broken in your bed, I will hold you in the depths of your despair and it’s all in the name of love.”
**Plow, Shoulder stand, legs up a wall, happy baby**
Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone. Psalm 33:22
From the Belly of the Deepest Love by Tow’rs
Don’t let the trumpets at the beginning throw you off. When I first heard this song, I listened to it 3 times to fully grasp the beauty of its poetry. I am consistently astounded by the imagery of dogwood flowers representing how Jesus took our blame in his own body as he died.
*“I tried to get to you, but you came to me instead. With the dawn, the grave is gone. Oh how you wish to be with me.”
**any final poses I missed, alternate nostril breath**
House of God Forever, Jon Foreman
This song is my signal to begin a savasana (corpse pose). Rest in the calming guitar strums and occasional harmonica. These lyrics are a lovely recitation of Psalm 23.
*“He makes me rest in fields of green, with quiet streams.”
Come to Me, Bethel Music
A bit of contemplative instrumental to zone in deeper to the love and care God has for me.
*Sometimes I recall the lyrics to the original worship song as I breathe: “come to me, I’m all you need.”
Note: I have zero professional training in exercise, mediation, or yoga. This is just a little bit of what I do at home to connect with my creator and Heavenly Father through poses and meditation on His goodness.
Feel free to share it if it encourages you too!