Embrace Your Individuality: 50 min. Arm Balancing Christian Yoga Flow

strengthen your body + calm your mind + open your heart + connect with God

Flow Description

Fire up your core, strengthen your upper body, embrace your uniqueness, and learn to take flight in this 50 minute arm balancing practice. Whether you’re brand new to arm balances or you’ve been building them into your practice for years, you’ll find something to challenge and encourage you in this practice.

We spend a lot of time working our core strength and play with two arm balances: Tolasana (Scale Pose) and Bakasana (Crow Pose). Having two yoga blocks, or a couple stacks of books nearby will be super helpful in exploring these poses, so make sure to grab them before you hit play.

Our theme for this practice is embracing our uniqueness and the importance of you and I running in our own lanes in order to best reflect God’s love to the world around us.

In an essay titled The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis writes, “Each of the Redeemed shall forever know and praise some one aspect of the divine beauty better than any other creature can…Each has something to tell all others – fresh and ever-fresh news of the ‘My God’ whom…all praise as ‘Our God.’” 

This is why we must stop the comparison game and choose instead to embrace our individuality…even (and especially) on our yoga mats.

So no matter where you are on your yoga journey, no matter what physical or emotional challenges you’re walking through, have grace for yourself and embrace the beautiful and unique calling on your life.

Scriptures

{1 Corinthians 12:12-31, emphasis added}

12-13 You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive.

14-18 I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

19-24 But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

25-26 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

27-31 You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. You’re familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his “body”:

apostles
prophets
teachers
miracle workers
healers
helpers
organizers
those who pray in tongues.

But it’s obvious by now, isn’t it, that Christ’s church is a complete Body and not a gigantic, unidimensional Part? It’s not all Apostle, not all Prophet, not all Miracle Worker, not all Healer, not all Prayer in Tongues, not all Interpreter of Tongues. And yet some of you keep competing for so-called “important” parts.

But now I want to lay out a far better way for you.

 

Questions

C.S. Lewis wrote that “Each of the Redeemed shall forever know and praise some one aspect of the divine beauty better than any other creature can.” What aspect of God’s beauty do you resonate with uniquely? What part of his character do you find yourself constantly soaking in and encouraging others in?

What truth do you need to remind yourself of today, to help you run in your lane, to sing your unique song?

Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams Yoga, PO Box 323, New York, NY