There are 13 of us gathered in a long narrow room, 7 along one wall and 6 on the opposite side of the room.

Two of us are men. We range in age from early 20’s to 60’s.

The teacher sits at the top of the room, except when she walks among us.

She is soft-spoken and emanates a focus and steadiness that creates a sense of openness and welcome. Despite the unfamiliarity of this environment and the practice I am here to experience for the first time, I feel almost immediately at ease in this room.

The practice is Yin Yoga. I have never been to a Yoga class. Our daughter has brought us to this Yoga studio for a drop-in class to celebrate my wife’s birthday.

I am not known for my flexibility, proficiency in following complex instructions for physical poses, or deep connection with my body. But there is a gentleness in the leader that helps dissolve my apprehension.

She speaks of connection, opening, attending to your breath, and a Life that is bigger than sensation, breathing, or practice.

At the end of our 90 minute session; we are instructed to bring the palms of our hands together in front of our heart and bow in reverence. She encourages us to carry this attitude of practice out into the rest of our lives.

To conclude the instructor rings a small meditation bell three times.

I am familiar with the sound of a meditation bell. I hear meditation bells several times every day.

As the tiny brass sound rings through the studio, I feel an irresistible urge to follow ancient Christian custom and make the sign of the cross on my forehead and chest, as I do at the beginning and end of my regular meditation practice.

Following this peaceful Yoga practice with people all but two of whom I have never met before, has caused something deep inside me to stir and awaken.

I have become conscious of that force/power/presence I call Christ.

The day before, on Easter Sunday, I told the congregation that, whenever we choose to open to love, beauty, truth, and gentleness, Christ is risen in our hearts.  I wonder how sincerely I meant my statement.

How far am I willing to open to the possibility of resurrection? Am I willing to acknowledge the presence of the risen Christ in a Yoga studio? Can I see love, beauty, truth, and goodness in the person beside me on a Yoga mat?

When Paul preached to the people of Athens in the Areopagus he said,

‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.”

Paul then affirmed that,

What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

Who is this God Paul proclaimed to the Athenians? Paul explained this is

The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth. (Acts 17:22-24)

This “Lord of heaven and earth” is present everywhere, even where I may find it difficult or challenging to discern the outline of the Divine Presence. There are no boundaries that contain or exclude this God of whom Paul speaks. The possibility of resurrection is everywhere.

I was touched by the presence of the Risen Christ in a Yoga studio. It seems to me I need not be frightened or challenged by this fact, but can rejoice in the Presence Who is alive in unexpected places.

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