Pastor Nick Hood after the SUN SALUTATION

I would like to share something personal. Yesterday I spoke about listening for the voice of God. Today, I would like to talk about one of the ways I listen for the voice of God. My goal each week is to go to the gym three days for weight training and then alternate the other two days with something for the cardio. On a good week I’m in the gym three days for the weight training, but the reality is that some weeks it just does not work. This week I was able to go to the YMCA Monday Wednesday and Friday. I have a series of weight machines and other contraptions that I use in a sequence. When I finish with the weight training, I go down to the second floor to a small room where I do my abdominal work which is followed by a yoga move called the sun salutation.

The sun salutation is one of the basic yoga moves. I am not an expert in yoga, but I have been introduced to the sun salutation. My version of the sun salutation begins with me stretching toward the sky one arm at a time. Then I lift both arms to the sky and bend slightly backwards. Then, I add a couple of moves that are not part of the traditional sun salutation where I rotate my head from the left to the right and back to the left. I also extend both arms to each side and I squeeze and let go of my grip. Next, I go into the warrior position where one leg is extended before the other and my arms are outstretched to the sides, then together at my front. Next extend one arm to the front and one arm to the back while maintaining the warrior pose. My next move is to bend downwards and touch the floor. Then, I lay down on the floor and come up to a plank type position. After the plank, I lay flat on the floor and come up into what’s called the downward dog position where my head his toward the floor arms outstretched on the floor backside up in the air and feet on the floor. After the downward dog, I return to standing and I repeat the entire process but this time alternating the leg position for the warrior position. I conclude my little version of the sun salutation by returning to standing with both feet slightly apart, arms outstretched to the sky as I bend slightly backwards, touching the floor with both hands one more time, and then I return to my beginning position.

I cannot say that I always find a spiritual inspiration from the sun salutation, but what I do find is that going through that routine seems to empty me of any thoughts except, sometimes, actually often, when I stretch both arms to the sky and then come straight down bending at the waist to touch the floor I hear a little voice in my head that says, Nick, this is the first time today you have made this stretch. Smile. But what I find, is that the process of the sun salutation seems to empty me of whatever cares I have, and prepares me to hear the voice of God. Even if I do not receive a direct inspirational message, I feel like the process of doing this yoga stretch move prepares me for the inspiration God will surely give.

So, now I have shared with you a part of my personal routine. I hope I have not bored you, but the point I’m trying to make is that I look for God in everything and in everyone. I wish you God’s blessings this day on your spiritual journey.

Written by Pastor Nick Hood