I take yoga at the LA Arboretum. We lay our yoga mats on the grass and gaze at the beauty of nature while we stretch our muscles. It brings me great delight and peace. I remember the first time I attended. I was so nervous. I didn’t know what Down-Dog was or Warrior 1. I figured I would be laughed at or told I was doing it wrong over and over again. Thankfully, my instructor explained every position in great detail so I could follow along. I felt comfortable at day 1 of yoga and have continued with it ever since.
Every session, we attempt a balance pose. An example would be when you put your foot on your opposite thigh or in your hand stretched out to the side. It can be as complicated as it sounds. The process involves us getting into tree pose then we find a spot on the ground in front of us to focus on. Our instructor will say “fix your gaze.” Then we go into our balance pose. We usually can keep balanced if we keep focused. For me, whenever she says “fix your gaze,” I am reminded of a simple worship chorus written by Tommy Walker.
I fix my eyes on You, the author of my faith
Casting aside every sin and every weight
I fix my eyes on You, I lay my burdens down
Letting the cares of this world now fade away
During my yoga practice, I am in constant communication with God. I am praying requests, praising Him for the beauty of His creation I can see right in front of me and listening for His responses. If I haven’t yet focused my mind on God, the balance pose always gets me there. I fix my gaze. I usually sing the song above and relax into His peace. I use my yoga time to focus on God and let the cares of the world fade away. It’s an hour of pure worship and connection with God for me.
There is an old hymn that says something similar to Tommy’s worship chorus.
Turn you eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
When you are overwhelmed with the cares of the world (the busyness of the holidays, the deadlines, the stress of daily life, the financial burdens, the health concerns, etc.), turn your eyes upon Him. The cares of the world fade and grow strangely dim when you are fixing your gaze on Him. I encourage you to fix your gaze this week. Take time, daily if you can, to focus on Him. When you find you are carrying a load, fix your gaze. The cool thing is, you can be at yoga, in the line at the grocery store, at your dinner table or sitting on the couch when you fix your gaze. He’s everywhere and always ready to receive your attention and return it with His peace.
Dream Big! Pray Big!