On Thursday evenings I lead a 1 hour stretch and prayer time at my church. It’s a helpful exercise for me because Thursday is usually a rest day (from running)…and the day after a hard track workout. This hour helps me to recover for Friday’s easy and Saturday’s long runs. I also include a bit of strength (bridges, planks, and others) as well as balance work in our time together. For balance we usually spend a few minutes attempting the Tree Pose.
Over the past few months we’ve gotten better at this, difficult for us, balancing act. I can usually find a point of calmness and stand as a one-legged tree for 10 nice, deep, calming breaths. Those who come to my little class are still a bit wobbly but getting better each week.
Last night we all struggled. Arms flailing, legs swinging, there was no calmness here. We usually do 2 sets…standing on one leg, for 10 breaths. Last night we needed a third set with a bit of instruction.
So, addressing, me and those with me, I emphasized calming our minds. Don’t try to stand, or to balance because you’re just fighting yourself. But rather take those deep breaths and think of them as water on the beach, washing away distractions. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse your mind. Allow it to empty as you calmly and strongly relax into the pose.
It worked. Maybe with the week we’ve had we all need to spend some time cleansing our minds.
Today I am personally thankful for: the mental and spiritual health benefits of exercise; for a great track workout on Wednesday and an nice 10 miler this morning; for the trail run I’ll do tomorrow with my daughter; and for God who loves us, even when we mess up.
Have a blessed Friday and weekend everyone.