Yoga and Catholicism

Tonight, I went to Yoga. I decided that this was something that I wanted to do, because I have seen a huge difference in my wife since she started going, and I have always heard it is a great way to de-stress. God knows, I am one of the biggest candidates on the planet for needing to have some stress taken away in my life.

I was happy to be there, and I wanted to go. We got there, just a little late, and that was kind of awkward, right from the beginning. My wonderful bride got me a mat, and we kind of just joined in. From there, I was on my own. Yeah, I could hear the instructor giving out instructions, and there was mediation music playing in the background, but I had no clue what I was doing. It was kind of hot, harder than I thought it was going to be, and yeah, my body doesn’t bend in those ways anymore.  It didn’t keep me from trying, but yeah, trying to feel like not the new person was hard. In the end, I think it will behoove me to go back, but still, that weird moment in the beginning was hard to get over.

I can remember the first time that I walked into a Catholic Church as an adult. It was when I was in basic training for the United States Air Force, the first Sunday that we had there. We marched in formation down to the chapel area on the base. From there, I walked inside. I was very awkward, to say the least… and honestly, had no clue what I was doing. We are up, oh, then we sit, then we sing, then we stand, then we sit, then we kneel, then we pray… oh how many times we prayed… then we stand, then we sing, then we kneel, then… ummm.. o.k., I am not standing in that line of people… I wouldn’t know what to do… oh, we are kneeling again… praying some more. And we are out of there… That is what that first experience was like to me. I know for a fact that I am not the only one. I can speak for myself, but I know there are other converts out there who understand all too well what I am talking about.

That first experience was difficult. It was too much to take in all at once, and not really knowing, or understanding what I was doing did not help. That feeling of not being in the right place kept me from the Church for many more years. I still had an feeling that this is where I was supposed to be, but based on that time period in my life, God and I were not in tune (basically He spoke, I didn’t listen, kind of like my three year old at bedtime). I tried to go at it alone, but in the end, when I finally made the decision to convert, I knew I would need help. As a matter of fact, I still need help with lots of different things it comes to the Mass or being a Catholic in general.  The real question I have is, how many people have we lost because of that same feeling?  Just like yoga tonight, there is someone leading the congregation, however, unlike the yoga class tonight, I did not have someone to help me out. We, as Catholics, have to try to do a better job of teaching our faith to people who are interested. We should all be open to sharing our support for someone who is trying to learn and become a Catholic.  I will let you know how yoga goes in the next few months….


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