In sanskrit, yoga translates as unity or to join, with connotations of discipline. I believe we can utilize this tool of using our bodies as bridges from heaven to earth to create access points of unity with God through the fundamentals of yoga- postures, breathing and meditation. We utilize the physical aspects to prepare our bodies, hearts and minds for meditation.
Through the Lord's breath we are given life and are now honoured to carry new life within us. An allegorical manifestation of the gospel within us. As mothers, we are privileged to a physical experience that deepens our understanding of the character of God. From Mary Jean Young's study, Knowing God by Name, we discovered that, "Yahweh is the most personal, intimate name of God given us in Scripture. God revealed his name to Moses at the burning bush by naming himself I AM. In the original language, I AM is written with four Hebrew letters..."
Rob Bell shares in his Nooma video series, "These Hebrew letters are pronounced YOD, HEY, VAV, HEY, which is where we get the pronunciation Yahweh or Yahveh... The ancient rabbis believed these letters were essentially, kind of breathing sounds and that ultimately the name is simply unpronounceable because the letters together are essentially the sound of breathing."
Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr explains that, " Many are convinced that its correct pronunciation is an attempt to replicate and imitate the very sound of inhalation and exhalation. Therefore, the one thing we do every moment of our lives is to speak the name of God. This makes the name of God our first and last word as we enter and leave the world"
This is so thrilling to consider that as mothers we get to witness the very first breath of our children. Also consider that a proper breath is sustaining and powerful, let alone if we are inviting the Lord into that space. It is the foremost restriction of our physical boundaries and essential in mastering through labor and a beautiful tool for our every day life. As we begin, let's set our intention to focus on our breath.
"FOR THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS MADE ME + THE BREATH OF THE ALMIGHTY GIVES ME LIFE"
- job 33:4
As we breathe, consider using scripture to focus your breath, falling deeper into postures and unity in Christ. On our inhale: the breath of God / and exhale: gives me life.
" LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH PRAISE THE LORD" - psalm 150:6
"The breathing of all life praises your name, for the breathing of all life is your name." Through awareness of your breath, we have access to a deeper worship. In the very name of our Lord, in creation and our response. They are intricately linked. Not only do we get to worship him through our breath, but are given a macro perspective on his character through speaking his name. His very name is life itself.
Young further explains that, " Yahweh, translated I AM WHO I AM in Exodus, is derived from the Hebrew verb meaning to be, to become, to live or to have life and implies continuing, unfinished action. This name stresses existence... Because He "is", Yahweh is the God who is always present and near." This is our God. He is here, yesterday, today and tomorrow, dwelling among us. He is our breath of life. By practicing his presence through our breath and scripture, we are sustained physically but also spiritually. Simply in filling your belly and releasing, there is comfort. That God is present in delivery of your baby, his new creation and all else that follows.
" The notion of Yahweh as the breath of life accords with a deep sense of God as intimate and transcendent at once. If we have no breath in us, we die." These are promises we can cling to in the suffering, trials and joy of labor and delivery. We are designed to be entirely dependent on our breath, on the Lord. Let us give each one to the Lord and as we respond, slow down, offering our dependence to him.