With the start of a new semester, you may find yourself stressed and wondering how in these cold winter months you can work through that stress. At WSR, we’ve got the perfect solution — come do yoga with us! Every Saturday starting this week, we hold a FREE yoga class from 9:30am to 10:30am in the Wilkinson Center. We have an amazing instructor, Allie Barnes, and the class is always great! In fact, here is some insight from Allie about how she has found yoga helps her strengthen her connection with the Lord!
In a fit of frustration recently, I hike/stomped up a local trail for about 10 minutes, releasing the built up energy within me, praying (complaining) to God, letting the sweat form on my skin, breathing deeply, my limbs loosening, sorting everything out within me, and then I stopped. I looked out to the valley below from my perch on a rock pile and I breathed. There was energy flowing through my body. I was suddenly more aware of the sensation of the air on my arms and less aware of the ache of my toes in my shoes. I just breathed. I felt. My body and mind relaxed. I listened, and I received revelation and light.
This is my thing. This is how I process. As I hike, run, move, walk, meditate, breathe, I find I can better process the thoughts in my mind and better cope with the various weights on my shoulders. This is also how I connect to my own spirit and to God. Recall Amulek teaching the people about prayer in Alma 34, encouraging them to pray in their fields, over their flocks, in their houses, over their crops, “…but this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.” This is my wilderness!
A similar process occurs when I practice yoga: as I synchronize my movements with my breath, I feel energy moving in my body (in yoga philosophy this is called “prana,” or “life energy”). I feel more awake, rejuvenated, and calm. When my body and spirit come to this state, I feel more receptive to the Spirit. I can more easily receive personal revelation. I can more easily connect to God. When I teach yoga, I often encourage students to start their practice with an “intention”— a word, phrase, or question to ponder during the practice and come back to with a rejuvenated and relaxed mind at the end of the practice. Try this the next time you exercise, whether it be practicing yoga or any other activity. What do you want to receive from your practice? Say a little prayer in your heart, then move and listen.
No matter what we are doing—practicing yoga, hiking, running, walking, dancing, etc.—we can connect with God. Prayer is a regular part of my physical activities now and it makes that time so much more meaningful and beneficial. Give it a try and see how it changes your exercise experience!
As if this isn’t already a great reason to come, we will be doing punch cards this semester where you’ll be entered to win prizes based on the number of classes you attend! See you Saturday!
PS: For more tips and info, check out Allie Barnes on Instagram! @alliebarnesyoga