Friday, January 26, 2007

Rev prays and does yoga, too

I thought I'd share the daily prayer practice I have developed for myself. I am pleased that I have created something that integrates body movement (yoga) and prayer (the daily office). Including my body really helps me to be meditative rather than intellectual (which is something that is often a struggle for me and that the emphasis on words in the Episcopal/Anglican church exacerbates). And killing two birds with one stone is great, too!

My practice (based on Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families in the ECUSA Book of Common Prayer):

Sit before my altar
Read the appointed Psalm (Daily Office Lectionary, morning Psalm)
Read the appointed Gospel (Daily Office Lectionary)
Stand on my yoga mat
Tadasana (Mountain Pose), contemplate the Scripture readings
Recite the Apostle's Creed while doing a Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), as follows:
        Urdhva Hastasana (Hands over head)              "I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth"

        Uttanasana (Forward bend)                       "I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord"
        Lunge (right leg back)                          "He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary."

        Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)      "He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried."

        Plank Pose                                      "He descended to the dead."
        Chaturanga Dandasana (4-limbed staff pose)      "On the third day he rose again."
        Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)      "He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father."

        Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)      "He will come again to judge the living and the dead."
        Lunge (left leg back)                           "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,"
        Uttanasana (Forward bend)                       "the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,"
        Urdhva Hastasana (Hands over head)              "the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting."
        Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with Namaste hands     "Amen."
               
Intercessory Prayers and/or Prayers of Thanksgiving accompanied by whatever yoga poses I feel I need at the moment, for example:

        Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
        Various Warrior (Triangle) poses
        Various Seated Twists
Recite the Lord's Prayer while doing a Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), as follows:
        Urdhva Hastasana (Hands over head)              "My father in heaven, holy is your name"
        Uttanasana (Forward bend)                       "your kingdom come, your will be done"
        Lunge (left leg back)                           "on earth as in heaven"
        Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)      "Give me today my daily bread"
        Plank Pose                                      "Forgive me my sins"
        Chaturanga Dandasana (4-limbed staff pose)      "as I forgive those"
        Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)      "who sin against me."
        Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)      "Save me from the time of trial"
        Lunge (right leg back)                          "and deliver me from evil."
        Uttanasana (Forward bend)                       "for the kingdom, the power and the glory"
        Urdhva Hastasana (Hands over head)              "are yours forever and ever."
        Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with Namaste hands     "Amen."

Sit before my altar
Read the Collect for the Sunday of the current week

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