Day 18: Staff

For the last few months I’ve been working on a sort of daily Advent devotional for my DoxaSoma folks. I wrote one a few years ago and uploaded that, “The Daily Practice of Prayer” ran just for 30 days and was meant to help people integrate some mindfulness in their fitness practice. Prayer and Practice for people who don’t usually associate those two.

Now, as an Orthodox christian I get prayer and movement all the time. The Orthodox liturgy isn’t a static one. It feels fluid to me, constant and moving. For most christians, though, prayer does feel static and perhaps detached from any physicality. In reality, we’re integrated beings- body, soul and spirit working together, God’s good design shining through. He does nice work.

So for today I though I’d share a DoxaSoma position, actually it’s a pair of positions called “Rod and Staff.” They always work together.

The verse that informs this pair of positions is below. I like to try to keep the verse in mind as I breathe into the stretches.

Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,a

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

Ps 23 v4

RodandStaff2 v0700
Rod: In a back-lying position, knees bent and feet flat on the mat, place one leg on the thigh of the other. Press lower back into the mat, inhale and raise bent knee toward the chest.
RodandStaff1 v0699
Staff: Inhale and begin to straighten the bent leg, point toe toward the ceiling. For deeper stretch draw the straight leg closer to the torso.

If you have a moment today, lay down on the floor and find this stretch. Try to breathe into it slow and steady. See if you can take a moment to offer thanks to God for the gift of this body, this breath, this blessing.

 

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