On vacation my mom, sister-in-law, and I will often do yoga together. My mom goes to yoga classes a couple times a week at home, and she is a good sport about trying my routines.  Our exercise time in Yellowstone last week was mostly devoted to hiking, but we did squeeze in a quick yoga session.

 

In the doorways of our little rooms, I read a daily prayer from Celebrating Common Prayer that I set at the top of my mat. After I would read a section, I would call a new pose. Later as we drove through the breathtaking mountains and canyons of Yellowstone, my mom asked me to write down what we did.

 

 

I often practice yoga and liturgical prayer near one another, but that was the first time that I combined them. In college I took a modern dance class that ended with a moving meditation of the Lord’s Prayer.  And I had done enough liturgical dance during my charismatic high school days that it felt rather natural to combine movement and prayer.

 

So, below is a belated mother’s day present.  It is a liturgy I wrote a few months ago focusing on trees. It’s organized in the style of Phyllis Tickle’s Divine Hours. I have added the yoga poses that I added last week in Yellowstone along side pictures from the trip and local hikes.  I chose poses that keep my head near the top of my mat so I can read the prayers from my kindle or prayer book that I set at the top of my mat.

 

I still enjoy, normally, a longer yoga session and a separate prayer time. But I often will skip both because I don’t have enough time to do each “properly” (or perfectionistically). This five-minute set is short enough that I don’t make excuses that I can’t do it, but long enough to get me out of my own head and into more grounded space.  Of course you could do it more slowly or repeat it several times for a longer set.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Begin in Silent Prayer

 

 

 

 

 O sing to the Lord a new  song* sing to the Lord, all the earth. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Psalm 96:1 & 13b

 

 

 

 

The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, *the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

In them the birds build their nests *the stork has its home in the fir trees.

These all look to you to give them food in due season;*when you give to them, they gather it up; When you open your hand* they are filled with good things.

Psalm 104:16-17 & 27-28

 

 

Blessed are those whose delight is in the law of the Lord,* and on his law they meditate day and night.

They are like trees planted by streams of water,* which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.

 In all that they do, they prosper.

Psalm 1: 2-3

 

Jesus said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

Luke 13: 18-19

 

 

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and food to the hungry, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55: 10-12

 

 

Jesus said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

Luke 13: 18-19

 

 

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;* praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon;* praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens, *and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord*, for he commanded and they were created.
He established them forever and ever;* he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

Praise the Lord from the earth,* you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!

Mountains and all hills,* fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,* creeping things and flying birds!

Psalm 148: 1-10

 

 

Jesus said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

Luke 13: 18-19

 

<Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:7

 


 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen.

 


Almighty God, you have grafted us into your righteousness through the death and resurrection of your own-begotten Son. Grant that as He abides in you, we my abide in Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory now and for ever. Amen

 

 
Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the Holy Name of Jesus to be a sing of our Salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savoir of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, in glory everlasting. Amen


 

End in Silent Prayer

 

 

 

 

 

How do you see the connection between movement and prayer in your life?

 

4 Responses to A Moving Meditation, yoga and prayer

  1. Deb Rogers says:

    Thank you for the lovely meditation and inviting me into your thoughts and reflections.

    Love,

    Deb
    P.S. I appreciate the belated Mother’s Day present!

  2. Lynn Lee says:

    This is awesome Amy!

    To be honest, the only consistent connection between movement and prayer has been when I run. A few minutes in, I do breath prayers something along the lines of, “God help me!”

    I have been trying to start each day with both stretching and prayer though, so I’m going to look forward to starting off my day with this tomorrow! Thanks Amy. You’re a breath of fresh air in my life!

    • Amy Rogers Hays says:

      Thanks Lynn! I really want to take a yoga mat out to the forest sometime and appreciate the tree imagery! Yesterday Julie told me that Church of the Rez Wheaton had done a women’s retreat focusing on the tree imagery of psalm 1. I’m hoping to listen to it soon : http://churchrez.org/sermon/the-tree-rooted/ (I think there are several parts, I’m not sure if this started or ended the series). Your words of encouragement are much appreciated!!

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