Yoga Theology: Why We Show Up

The toughest part of yoga is showing up.

Since the discipline became a part of my life 19 years ago, I’ve managed to accomplish some of the aspects we might deem “tough.” I stood on my head (and wrote a blog or two about the experience). I flew without a face-plant (and wrote a blog about the experience). However, I don’t consider individual yoga poses the most difficult part of the practice, no matter how much balance, strength, or flexibility they may require.

The toughest part of yoga is getting on the mat.

Once we’ve arrived on the mat, or at the studio location where we lay down our mats, the rest of yoga usually falls into place. Whether self-guided or group-guided, we are easily led through stretches and movements. Getting to that point requires work though. We have to secure a babysitter for the kids. We have to put off cleaning the bathroom. We have to ignore Facebook.We have to put on appropriate, comfortable clothing and take off our shoes.

Preparation takes time—time we think is “better spent” elsewhere.

The toughest part of church, too, is showing up.

I’ve heard the same story on repeat. Folks have honestly shared with me that while they can show up for work or school five days of the week on time, the same discipline to show up for church is far harder. Consequences for missing school or work are immediate; like yoga, consequences for not setting aside time for worship are not as immediately present. The toll on our bodies, and on the Body, are slower to see, but they are present.

If you’ve read this far into the musing and feel the need to insert an “eye roll” emoji, I get it. I serve as the pastor of a church, and of course I advocate for God’s children to gather weekly for worship. However, once again, I get it. I get why it’s hard to show up. We are a tired, overcommitted, busy people.

Let us focus instead on why we show up for worship, why we show up for the work of the Church throughout the week.

We show up for Jesus Christ.

We show up to encounter the power of God the Father.

We show up to join the work of the Holy Spirit already in progress.

One of my favorite songs to play during yoga is “Here For You” by Matt Redman. It’s a worship song, a prayer that I wish we’d sing at the opening of every worship service. It is not a prayer full of requests; it is a prayer of humble acknowledgment.

We are here for YOU, Lord.

We are only here because of YOU, Lord.

Showing up is tough when our focus is on self, but it is easy when our focus on Jesus.

As hard as it can be to show up on the yoga mat, the benefits outweigh the challenges to get there.

As hard as it can be to show up to church, the presence of Jesus Christ outweighs the challenges to get there.

Let us be intentional in our preparations to show up for worship, to show up to serve our Lord, to show up in awe and wonder of the One for Whom we are here.

all good things to each of you,

Pastor Darian