Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her--that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom. For thus says the LORD: I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bodies shall flourish like the grass.
Theme: Breast Health
The regular practice of yoga can lower the risk of breast cancer, as many poses stimulate the lymph nodes located in your armpits and near your breasts. It's your lymph nodes that are responsible for producing white blood cells which remove toxins from your body. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system has no central pump. Instead, it depends on muscle contraction and manual manipulation to move lymph fluid. Simply put, movement is required for the fluid to spread throughout your body. In this practice we will flow through a series of poses that will stimulate your lymph nodes. Breath deep and feel your body and particularly your breasts flourishing.
Unless otherwise noted hold each posture for five full breaths.
Bear Hands at Heart Center (Cup hands with right palm facing toward chest and left palm facing out then link fingers) - Lift and lower alternating elbows quickly with each breath for one minute
Right Spinal Extension
Right Side Plank
Extended Puppy Pose
Repeat Left Side
Windmill Pose: Stand about a foot away from a wall with your arms by your sides and your palms facing the body. Raise the arm closest to the wall and draw a big circle counterclockwise. Repeat this windmill motion several times. You may move closer or farther away from the wall to increase or decrease the stretch. Note when your arm rotates in the shoulder socket, which will turn your palm to face the wall. At that point, press your palm onto the wall and feel the stretch along your chest and armpit. Release the stretch. Repeat the exercise with your other arm.
Right Side Angle
Right Low Lunge with Warrior I Arms
Right Revolved Side Angle (Modification: Left knee on mat)
Repeat on left side
Right Warrior I
Left Warrior I
Left Warrior II
Right Warrior II
Lie Facedown and Windshield Wiper Legs
Lie Facedown and Windshield Wiper Legs
Cow Face Pose with hands clasped behind back (one arm up & one down)
Backbend with Bolster positioned perpendicular to your body (hold for 3 minutes)
Life-giving God, heal our lives. Open our hearts to see and to hear so that we may heal the world through the power of the Holy Spirit. And help us gather all humanity into life with you. Amen.
Recline onto your back. Let your feet fall out to the sides. Extend your arms down along your sides with your palms facing up. Let go of your deep breathing. Let go of the word or phrase from the scripture. Simply let go and rest in the silence and stillness of a loving God.
Afterwards: Share the word/phrase that you recited during your Moving Meditation or an insight you had during the practice in the comment section below!
Note: The contents of this post are a portion of Ombrella's Liturgical Yoga session for the date specified above. Liturgical Yoga is designed for adults to resurrect the ancient teachings of theChristian tradition through body movement and in doing so experience their bodies as sacred places for dialogue with God. This weekly practice uses scripture from the Lectionary text as it follows the seasons of the church year. The format is inspired by Lectio-Divina, a way of reading the scriptures. Interested in bringing Liturgical Yoga to your congregation? Connect with Michel!