I redeemed my spirituality in the most surprising of places-at home in Pittsburgh PA.
Every holiday I find myself dreading the trek home where my spirituality is challenged by the religious beliefs I was raised with and feeling un-inspired by the pseudo-Christian messages around me. Each year-I feel the rift between being obligated to spend time with family to celebrate Christ and spending time on the mat to celebrate my own practice of faith.
So I squeeze in my yoga wherever I can-finding classes close to friend’s houses to piggyback runs -sneaking off into the living room before everyone is awake with my mat to do some Sun Salutations before breakfast. But-with the stress of the holidays-I usually find it less than what I need.
Luckily-this year I found something unexpected.
At School House Yoga my friend Megan and I found a practice on the Solstice to celebrate the elements- Ether-Earth-Water Fire-Air. The practice was super mellow but during the Earth sequence the teacher had us in a full prostration series (prone with hands in prayer position in front -3rd eye on the mat). It reminded me of the raka’ah performed in Islamic cultures where the devotees go through a series of movements beginning and ending with full prostration.
This simple action of devotion-of connecting with the earth and honoring in the most humble of ways the Divine brought me back to the true spirit of what it’s all about.
Afterwards I found it a little easier to tolerate the shopping -the mass consumption-the crazy family that I dearly love but who drive me nuts. And-I realized-maybe the simple daily connection of body mind and spirit was put in place to ground us for the certain hypocrisy that comes with organized religion.
Maybe the Divine Mother is sitting there waiting for you-just like that favorite relative you sneak outside with-maybe to smoke some ganja and chill. And-like that favorite aunt or uncle or cousin-she’s unjudgemental and accepting.
All you have to do is return to your mat-but maybe remove the wrapping paper and glitter first!