DoxaSoma is the integration of prayer and movement.
That’s the short explanation, the elevator pitch, the tag line. I developed DoxaSoma about 10 years ago in Chicago because I wanted a program like it and because I couldn’t find anything at the time to satisfy that desire. I needed it, my body needed it. I was just beginning to understand the real and true connection between our bodies and our spirit lives and I wanted the connection to include my faith life…and so, I developed a practice to embody this.
The practice of DoxaSoma has it’s roots in the physical concepts of flexibility and strength training and the spiritual leanings of the desert Fathers, contemplative prayer, Lectio Divina.
The word, DoxaSoma is a combination of two Greek words, “doxa” meaning praise or honor and “soma” which means “body.” The words together describe a way of being rather than merely a way of moving, a thing we “do.” DoxaSoma is a practice, both spiritual and physical. What we do with the movement has a prayer component and the way we pray has a connection to our breathing, it all flows together.
A typical class finds us starting with prayer and breathing, drawing parallels as we draw breath. We move into a time of deep stretching and follow that with a series of positions meant to increase strength and flexibility followed by “doxa” in which we link those position together for fluid movement. The class ends with cool down…. listening, breathing and finding the connection between our what we “do” and who we are becoming as people of God.
The best word to use when describing DoxaSoma is “practice” and it’s a word I don’t believe we give a great deal of thought these days.
Consider for a moment this- what do you practice in your daily life?
Think through your day and make a mental list of what you practice-
An instrument, a discipline, a way of thinking or being?
What about Grace? Mercy? Forgiveness? Patience? Kindness?
Pretty much anything worth doing requires practice whether it is physical or spiritual. Practice is a way for us to gain skill and understanding in our disciplines. Practice makes us strong. It requires sacrifice. It requires commitment.
DoxaSoma is a practice in which we make room for Holy Spirit just as we make room for the air we breathe into our lungs. It is a way to become more connected to God’s presence just as we connect to Him when we pray.
The practice of DoxaSoma is the integration of our prayer lives with our bodily selves. We align our movements to embody the Word of God. We practice this integration. We breathe the word, the prayer, the moment and in so doing, we make one more step toward becoming whole.