So yoga pants are a go-to favorite of mine and wearing them feels like clothing myself with gentleness. Yet, the purpose of the "yoga pant"- so soft and stretchy- is to help us stretch past our comfort zone, therefore strengthening our muscles. This seems like a good gentleness analogy; Often it is God's gentleness towards us that helps us enter into hard things and move through pain or trials because we believe He loves us, He supports us, and He understands us.
Seeing as it is Thanksgiving week I will be wanting to wear my yoga pants even more after the big meals! And maybe that will prompt me to exercise. Maybe. But actually this week I will most likely be using any extra energy or time to work on our home remodel. It's going to be a Thanksgiving week of house projects for Jeff and I. Oh the seasons of life. But when all this renovation craziness slows down I hope to find myself doing some yoga or barre classes again.
I've also learned some important lessons about gentleness from a "gentle" yoga class led by my friend and Holy Yoga Instructor, Molly Smith.
So today I am sharing what her class has taught me. Thanks Molly!
5 Lessons We Can Learn about Gentleness from Gentle Yoga
1. Core strength
Though the movements are subtle and slow, they are not always easy. They require the use of core muscles.
Being gentle requires drawing upon an inner strength. Gentleness is after all a fruit of the spirit. We must connect with God first; allowing our inner strength to come from Him.
I can't tell you exactly how this looks; but prayer and Bible reading is a start. Honesty and communion with God helps; writing in a journal helps me connect with God.
2. Patience + Repetition
In class we don't rush through the moves and meditations- we hold the poses or we flow slowly through them again and again. When Molly reads a scripture at the beginning of class, we spend most of the class reflecting on that one idea. Gentleness teaches and trains with patience and repetition.
It involves both stretching and remaining firm by holding poses. The art of both. The art of grace and discipline.
4. Courage + Understanding
Knowing yourself is key. Molly always starts the class instructing us to listen to our bodies as a way of preventing injury. We have to know our limits. This takes courage. It is hard to ignore our pride if we need to sit down in the middle of the class, or do the stretches half way extended.
Being gentle with ourselves means sometimes we may look weak or we may look foolish to others. This is when gentleness takes understanding and courage, but it will lead to healing and growth.
The stretching and exercising during gentle yoga class keeps my muscles flexible and strong, likewise gentleness towards ourselves and others helps create a healthy life and healthy relationships.