This week I prepared for my Holy Yoga classes and it never ceases to amaze me how God shows up and changes my message as the class goes on. I walked in with “A cheerful heart is good medicine!” – Proverbs 17:22. As I began talking I felt God leading me toward the idea of Wabi Sabi.
Wikipedia defines Wabi Sabi as
Wabi–sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
The visual representation of this is broken pottery repaired with gold.
In a world where we watch other people’s lives through the scope of social media, we get accustomed to seeing people’s highlight reels. This begins to distort our view of what beauty truly is. As a Yoga instructor I post exciting new poses or pictures of me doing Yoga that I feel are beautiful, but my Instagram highlight reel is not my process. It leaves out the many times I fell or failed in that pose before I eventually found it! When I teach, I want people to see the beauty in the process. When we wobble and fall in a balance pose or struggle and shake in a strength building pose. When we get nowhere near reaching our toes or feel that our bodies just don’t twist that way. These are examples of the process. They are beautiful because when we try something new for our bodies, we are going to struggle. It is in the consistency, the persistence, the hard things, that we find God’s beauty! In these moments, we learn not only to strive, but also to surrender.
A quote by Eyse Murphy says “Growing closer to God is not the result of ‘trying harder’ but of surrendering more.” I love the beautiful parallels between my Yoga practice and my faith. In any pose, there are muscles that are working and muscles that must surrender, in our faith there is a certain amount of work that we must do but there is also surrendering to God’s beautiful, grace-filled love. And when we fall and fail, we get back up, dust ourselves off, learn and grow. In this we are like the broken pots being filled with God’s beauty (gold).
Isaiah 61:3 NIV
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
To you who feels you are not strong enough to practice yoga – come and let God teach you something about strength.
To you who feels you are not flexible enough to practice yoga – come and let God teach you something about surrender.
To you who feels you are not enough or less than – come and let God show you His eternal, unfailing love.
God bless you, beautiful children of the most high!!!