Tag Archives: poses

Hi Feet! It’s Hands!

It has been awhile since I’ve posted here.  There are so many amazing things happening! I’m all over the place so this is going to be long.  Go ahead and get your coffee.  I’ll wait while you do what you need to do to hunker down and spend some time here.  🙂 I’ve missed all of you!

If you are not following Great Big YES on Facebook or following me on Instagram (@suebidstrup) then maybe you have not seen all the fun yoga that is going on over there.  Please take a look and follow me! Our Holy Yoga community is having a Peace on Purpose challenge for January – we are showing a new pose every day!  I’m trying poses I’ve never done before! I’d love to see your pictures too – remember to use #peaceonpurpose.

I just chuckled to myself thinking my mom is reading that last paragraph as if it’s in another language and thinking, “What are you talking about?!?!” #whattheheckisahashtag

I saw this on Facebook and laughed out loud.  Not at you mom, with you…we are all learning and our babies are teaching us!

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Here are some yoga pictures from Instagram in case you are not on social media.  Join the holy yoga community at @holyyogaministries.

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On the note of being all over the place…I’ve been thinking about all of our different personalities and how God really knows what He’s doing.  My son was telling me the other day how he doesn’t like things loud and crazy, he likes to be chill and hang out with one or two friends at a time, he doesn’t like big parties.  This is confusing to me. He doesn’t like big parties? WHY? I love big parties! But since he’s my third child, I am beginning to be a little bit (a wee little bit) wiser and I realize that hey, guess what? MY KIDS AREN’T ME!!! They are their own people! My job is to love them.  Not to try to make them into something they are not.  God doesn’t make mistakes! He gifted us with everything that we are and each and every one of us is a beautiful and necessary part of His plan.

This brings us to our different roles in the body of Christ.  We are all so uniquely and wonderfully made.  But sometimes, truth be told, we don’t love how we are made.  We might be the hands but we wish we were the feet.  We might have gifts that we don’t fully embrace because we are too busy looking over at the people who have the gifts we wish we had. You know what I mean?

Let’s start with the Word.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 

The Message (MSG)

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.

 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.

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?

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.

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.

AMEN?!?!

There’s a BETTER WAY!

We should walk around saying, “Hi Feet! It’s hands!  I’m so glad we get to do this thing called life together today!  I appreciate you walking me around! How can I help you today? Let’s get this party (not necessarily a big party but a celebration that we both find comfortable) started!”

I especially love this line: If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. 

Who are you in the Body of Christ?

Take some time today to think about your gifts and then embrace who God made you to be.

The world needs you.

©Sue Bidstrup 2014 Great Big Yes ™ All Rights Reserved

If you are in the LaGrange area and want to join me next weekend, I’ll be speaking at the St. Francis of Xavier Catholic Women’s Club luncheon. What an honor! Can’t wait! Here’s the invitation.

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Humble Warrior

surrender

I love yoga.  I’ve been practicing for a long time.  I’m not even really sure how long…maybe 8 years?  I’m being trained to teach and I’m finishing up my certification in April.

So last night, I’m with my husband and another couple.  They are dear, dear friends who have been a constant, reliable, supportive part of our lives for 15 years or so.  I love them.  I just want to say, I love them and I love my husband.  I want to put that out there first.

A little about yoga…

Yoga is about inner transformation.  We use asana (or poses) to help us physically work through some of our internal, emotional stuff.   In yoga, you often find yourself in uncomfortable positions.  This is on purpose.  Yoga is about making the uncomfortable comfortable.  It’s about bringing awareness to the places where we are agitated so we can work through it.

The real work in yoga begins when you are really dying in a pose…when you want to come out of the pose…when you think you can’t do it.  Then, you breathe and surrender and stay…and each time it gets easier…you find freedom…you push past boundaries… you are transformed.

The goal is to practice these things on your mat so you can go into the world and live in that space of breathing and surrendering and staying.  Life can be uncomfortable but we cannot walk around a bundle of nerves, screaming, shouting, judging, and giving up.

This brings me back to my husband and my friends. (Whom I love dearly)

They are all successful, intelligent, generous, reliable, trustworthy and loyal. They are also Type -A, over- achieving, super regimented, scheduled, aggressive, determined, goal setting and goal reaching warriors.

This is can be helpful and this can be…shall we say…limiting.

Last night they told me when I teach yoga, I need to make sure no one comes in late.  They want me to send people packing if they are not there early.  They said they don’t ever want to hear me asking them to move their mat to make room for a few more people.  They feel that if they get there early and set up, then why should they have to move for people who are coming in late?

I tried to explain that we never know what it takes some people to get there and just being there sometimes is half the battle.  As a teacher, we want to make sure all feel welcome and encouraged.

Yeah, no.  That wasn’t going over.  They want to know for sure that I will never ask them to move their mat for the “late people”.  Now, let me point out, they admit some of these people are just “on time” but since they (my husband and friends) arrive early, they should have dibs and should not be asked to move.

Now at this point it is sort of becoming funny.  I break out my phone to record them because I have to admit, it’s kind of perfect.  It’s a clear indication that these three people (whom I love dearly) need yoga.

I explained the part about being uncomfortable and working through it.  But I’m afraid it was falling on deaf ears.

Here are some of the best quotes of the night… “Why did this hot girl have to take off her sweats and wear boy shorts? It’s distracting. I couldn’t stop looking at her.  I couldn’t focus, that’s just not right.” “Some guy didn’t wear a shirt…gross…you need to wear a shirt.” “Yeah and some girl farted next to me and it was nasty and the whole time I was thinking everyone thought I did it.”  “I just want to be in a corner and be left alone.”  “I can’t have people touching me.” “I don’t want to stagger my mat, I want space…I need my space.”  Imagine them all egging each other on with supportive head nods and spoken and unspoken affirmations.

I tried to explain that your mat is your island.  You have your space.  But they want space around them.  They don’t want to make goal post arms when they are supposed to do a full out swan dive.  They don’t want to be limited.

But here’s the thing.  They are limited.  They are limited because they are grasping so tightly to the way they think it “must be” in order for things to be “right”.

Moving away from those limitations is yoga.  This is why I practice (because I’m limited too) and why I want to share my love of yoga with others.

People come away from yoga with fewer limitations on themselves and that translates to being more accepting in the world.  It’s about dropping expectations and the notion that there is one right way.  Having to make goal post arms is practice for the times when we have to adjust in life to different circumstances.  We realize there is beauty and grace in the adjusting.

I remember someone telling me once that Savasana (corpse pose) is the most difficult pose for them.  I found this to be really surprising.   I mean, how hard is it to lay on your back and relax?  Well, for some people it’s absolute torture.  They need to move.  But in time, with practice, they learn to surrender and they are no longer limited by their “need to move”.  They are transformed.

I’ll admit that someone farting next to you is not ideal and I’d recommend you don’t eat a burrito before class.  I would also recommend you arrive early to find your space and to unwind a little before class begins.

I’ll also admit there have been times when I have been irritated and upset by other people.  I’m not saying I’m a perfect, loving, accepting person at all times.  I’m not.  That’s why I keep practicing yoga.

And that’s why I will always welcome anyone who wants to practice with me.  It would be an honor.  We will move mats and adjust our arms and stagger the way we stand.  We will accept that there is not one “right” way and we will surrender to what is.  We will smile and laugh and celebrate that we made it to our mats and that whatever is going on “out there” will not seep into our sacred space “in here”.  We will recognize and honor the teacher and student in each of us.  We will be beginners together – open to grace and transformation.   We will breathe together and we will say Namaste and mean it.

And on those days when we don’t mean it, when we don’t feel it, when we are mad and annoyed…on those days we will go through the motions, we will show up and we will be uncomfortable and we will muddle through together…because there is learning in that.  There is grace in the muddling through.

Yoga teaches us that perfection is a lie.

I’m so blessed to have found it.  Because it accepted me… a Type -A, over- achieving, super regimented, scheduled, aggressive, determined, goal setting and goal reaching warrior and showed me how to be a different kind of warrior…the kind of warrior that shares grace with others…even if they show up a few minutes late.

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
photo http://pinterest.com/mandukayoga/