Now, before you get all nervous about my eternal soul, I'll assure you that it's not just any weird, new-age-y, kinda hipster yoga.
That's the thing: it's not just any yoga.
It's P90X yoga, make-you-sweat-and-question-life-choices yoga. These instructors don't care about whatever spiritual lessons you can learn from exercise, as those in the East might propose. No, they essentially just want to get ripped.
Let me assure you that my goal wasn't "to get ripped". Actually, my goal was much simpler and more pathetic: I'll do this, I told myself, because it has been suggested to me by someone I trust, and I have no reason not to.
And so I found myself collapsed on the floor of my rented apartment in the middle of July, sweat beading on my forehead and tears running down my face, questioning why something as seemingly easy as holding the Warrior I pose for 15 seconds was actually this difficult.
I fell in love with yoga that night. I was drawn to the simple challenge of it. I wanted to excel at it, to make it my own, to become stronger, and I slowly improved. I learned to accept the fact that I couldn't do these crazy difficult moves yet, and as I practiced, and sweated, and practiced some more, I had a realization: I could use this lesson of patience in the rest of my life.
It's a rather difficult thing, especially when applied to ourselves. I tend to expect perfection of myself, immediately, even while granting a time of grace and learning to others.
It's been hard for me to accept that I don't know, and even harder to admit that to others. But last night, as I told Seminarian 1 sitting to my right that I had taken an unexpected leap of faith in coming here, he smiled and laughed softly. I prepared myself for mockery, confusion, anything, but instead, I received understanding.
"Ah," he commented to Seminarian 2. "We know what leaps of faith look like, don't we?" And turning back to me, he said, "I took one myself in coming here. But it's been wonderful, and I'm sure it'll be the same for you."
The Lord rewards our patience, our faithfulness. For me, He reminds me of that by handing me a job before I asked for one. He sends me Seminarian 1 at dinner to show compassion for following God's will.
And now He turns and says to me, "Love is patient and kind. Will you love yourself through virtue?"