Balancing Yoga and Meditation with Southern Baptist Roots
Have you ever picked up your laptop, expected to get to work and realize it’s not hardly responding? I find this usually happens when I have too many programs open and have yet to shut down my laptop in a day or two. It makes no sense, but sometimes I get a little aggravated when I am already to keep it moving and realize that I will have to press pause on what I was about to do because I have to wait for everything to reset. It takes time to reset. You have to close out of all programs and save any work before you can even power off. But, the interruption, though a nuisance, is needed. Afterwards everything comes up at normal speed, with refreshed, renewed energy. When I am trying to keep my day moving and stress has my mind replaying the question: ‘How will I ever get it all done?’ I know I am in desperate need of a reset – lest those around me take cover. I can only usually reset when I am able to take a moment to myself, and restructure my fragmented thinking by remembering that I (am supposed to) have purpose. I was raised that mental/emotional/spiritual resetting came by way of revisiting ‘the word’, prayer and listening to gospel music. I had never heard of chakras, meditation and yoga being able to provide a reset. I didn’t recall one sermon about Jesus in the half moon or tree pose positions. The black women that I knew, like my mama, grandma’s, aunts and any of their friends that visited for cookouts and holidays, focused on prayer, gospel music, the holy ghost and ‘getting the ‘word’, not meditation and energy centers. For me yoga and meditation were associated with Eastern philosophy, not southern Baptist praise and worship. Would taking on yoga and meditation practices mean that I would be less of a Baptist? I mean after all what’s the good in breathing and stretching? Believe it or not there is some good. I have practiced meditation and yoga, more off than on, over the past 15 years. When I am finished I feel a sense of rest or renewal. I agree with science which has proven that breath focus can evoke relaxation or healthier response to reducing stress. Hands down having a moment to myself to pray, listen to ‘the word’ or gospel music have the same effect on me as finding a moment to practice yoga or meditation. I’ve made up my mind that there is nothing wrong with reconciling my Southern Baptist roots with Eastern philosophies. The bottom line for me is that I’ve got work, a husband and three kids. I need all the renewal ammo I can muster. If stretching and a little deep breathing allow me to shut down for a second, reboot and feel renewed I am all for it.