“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 19 of Spiritual Practices and Reflection:Inhabiting the Body

Astute readers might have noticed that I haven't posted much about spiritual practices and the body. I've posted a lot about practices of reflection, of contemplation, and of writing, but my practice life doesn't include much "body practice." That is to say, I rarely do yoga, tai chi, chi gong, or something else more deeply rooted in the body. 

This morning, though, I did about 10 minutes of yoga. I'm a complete and total novice, so it was just some simple stuff that I know my body likes - sun salutation, pigeon pose, tree, and some downward dog. I loved closing my eyes and focusing on my breathing as I did the sun salutations. It was grounding, the in-out, in-out, as my breath found a rhythm in my body. 

I'd like to do more of this - make it a more regular part of my practice.

I'm curious - in what ways do you inhabit your body as a spiritual practice? What spiritual practices connect you with your body and your breath? Do you walk a labyrinth on a regular basis? (We have a fabulous one at First Universalist, if you're ever interested.) Do you do walking meditation? Yoga? How is body awareness part of your practice or discipline?  


FirstUHeidi said...

Tap dance. Honestly. It can be so complex that I have to pay all my attention to it. It is one of the only times in my week when I am entirely present in one place and nowhere else.

Justin Schroeder said...

@Heidi - nice! That makes sense. You know, your comment reminded me that when I'm riding my unicycle, it really does take all of my attention and focus...and I ride it better when I sit straight up and take deep breaths...it's interesting to feel my feet on the pedals, to feel my body in balance, in motion. If I really pay attention, it does become a sort of "meditative" practice. Thanks for making me think of this.

Arif Mamdani said...

Heidi is reminding me that I keep threatening to join her tap class ;)

FirstUHeidi said...

You'd better, Arif. I keep waiting for you to show up.

Andrea Johnson said...

Running around Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun or home from dowtown minneapolis after work is one of my spiritual disciplines. I either sit with my thoughts as I run or listen to sermon podcasts which I love - especially when something that is said really resonates with me. My favorite sermon podcast is James Gertmenian of Plymouth Church right here in Mpls. His post modern take on liberal christianity is inspiring to me and connects me with my liberal religious upbrining. I also like Marlin Lavenhar and Christine Robinson - UU Albequerque