How This Catholic Flows

Recently, I’ve come to realize the similarity between my yoga practice and my Mass attendance. On my mat, I flow. I become present to what I am doing. I listen to what the teacher is speaking, and I move. I connect with those around me. Yoga is called a moving meditation.

At Mass, I flow. I listen to the prayers and scripture being read. I sit, stand, and kneel when appropriate. I connect with others through song, prayer and the sign of peace. I am (mostly) attentive to the knowledge and experience the priest shares and I meditate on the readings.

In addition to the Catholic foundation of my faith, I have come to appreciate the beauty and wisdom of other religions.

For example, I love this description of God and the gifts He gives of Himself from the New Testament:

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23

But I also love this description of God in the Bhagavad Gita:

“In pure water I am the sweet taste. In the sun and moon I am the radiance. In the very center of human beings, I live as virility and courage. I am the sacred word Om, which designates the Divine, and I am the sound of it heard throughout the universe. I am the slight, delicate scent, the sweet fragrance of the earth. I am the brilliance in both fire and sun. I am the light of Divinity in all beings. I am the subtle spirit in spiritual practices that gives them their existence – I am the love in the devotee, for example, or the austerity in the ascetic, or the sweet sense of charity in the giver.” Part II, Chapter 7

Written at different times and in different cultures, these sacred texts both describe the path to an eternal, everlasting God through love and devotion. I find more significance in the similarities than the differences. Reading passages like this one only serve to strengthen my faith.

Sometimes while I’m on my mat, I thank God for the beautiful morning He has given. Sometimes I pray that I’ll make it through a challenging practice, or a challenging day. While my time on my mat is important to my well-being, when I step off my mat I want to step into something bigger. I hope that by teaching and assisting yoga practices, I can be of service to others, which has been the emphasis of my faith in action for the past several years.

"Do small things with great love." On the side of a building in Honduras.
“Do small things with great love.” On the side of a building in Honduras.

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