Advent devotions…

It’s that time of year again…we are in a state of preparation. As Christians this is a good time, this season of waiting and hope, to get our focus right. It can be hard to get and keep that focus of the coming of Christ! There are so many things to distract us.

You can help to set and keep the focus by downloading our new eBook, DoxaSoma: Daily Practice of Advent. Follow along with us each day, breathing and finding that focus.

You can get your copy by clicking below and begin your practice at any time!

Daily Practice of Advent

Flintstone car…

doxafit 2013

So much of what we do in life depends on how much effort we put into it. I tell people all the time that DoxaSoma has been a sort of “Flintstone car” for me. If I’ve got my feet on the road, pumping my knees, pounding my feet, then it moves forward.

My vision for DoxaSoma has always been to develop a “practice” more than a “program.” I wanted to make sure that I was paying attention to how people might use this way of movement in their everyday life, how they might make the shift from physical goals into spiritual connection.

After having developed this practice for the last 14 years I can see now how it has edged into the world, slowly, with care and gentleness and I’m pleased. It’s rough, though, I admit, because I’m always thinking I could be doing more, writing more, posting more, advertising more. But it is a kind of arrogance to think that everything depends on my own actions. DoxaSoma is not quite a “Flintstone car” as much as it’s a thing of beauty I’ve crafted and then released into the world. In truth, I have no way of knowing just how it’s touched the lives of people far beyond myself. My best hope is that DoxaSoma and DoxaFit have in some way contributed to the goodness, beauty and truth evident in the lives of those who have encountered it.

I thank you all for your continued interest and prayer and support of the ongoing development of this practice. I will continue to craft these small vessel of beauty and wellness going forward, focusing on the needs of the Christian who is in search of wholeness and healing, worship and hope. I welcome your comments and suggestions on what you’d like to see next in terms of workshops or classes, daily devotions, online presence and interaction.

In closing, the apostle Paul says here every single thing that comes to mind so I will simply offer his words today:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

-Philippians 1:3-11

I pray health, success and peace for all of us in the coming year!

-Angela

Advent Reflections: Christmas Day

When the angels went away from them to heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go, then, to Bethlehem
to see this thing that has taken place,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.
Today, finally, after a time of waiting, of hoping, of being intentional in our journey, we celebrate the feast! Take this day to embrace the Good News! Breathe when things become stressful, remember this time spent anchored in the promise of Advent season! May God bless and keep you this Christmas Day!

 

Advent Reflections: Christmas Eve

Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Luke 1: 67-79

Zechariah was struck dumb after he heard the news of the messenger, Gabriel. He was unable to speak until John’s birth, when he was asked about the child’s name. The moment he acknowledged the prophesy given him by saying, “His name is John” he found his voice restored. As with Mary’s “yes,” Zechariah’s “yes” is followed by a song of praise and thanksgiving, an affirmation of the prophesy and of God’s goodness.

Today, find that affirmation within yourself. What is your “yes” today? Imagine your voice has been restored after a long time of silence. What will your “song” be in response to this?

Our positions today are a celebration of the eve of the feast. We will be cycling through some the poses we’ve practiced. Remember to move smoothly from one to the other, breathing steadily. Cycle through these a few times if you can, breathing the words of Zechariah:

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

Begin Standing, hands to the heart

Move to Standing Cross

Move to Standing Cross

Draw leg behind torso to Standing Dove

Draw leg behind torso to Standing Dove

Plant back leg in Strength

Plant back leg in Strength

Hands come forward

Hands come forward

Scooping forward for Harvest

Scooping forward for Harvest

Step feet together, hinge to Bowing

Step feet together, hinge to Bowing

Bend at knees to Throne

Bend at knees to Throne

Bring fingertips to the floor...

Bring fingertips to the floor…

 

Bring knees to the mat

Bring knees to the mat

forward to Holy Ground

forward to Holy Ground

 

Press back to Omega

Press back to Omega

 

forward to Stone Table

forward to Stone Table

 

Lifting up into Tent

Lifting up into Tent

Drop knees and finish in Elijah

Drop knees and finish in Elijah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advent Reflections: Day 22

Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.

Ps 80:15-16

When we are feeling most vulnerable, most tired and most overwrought what we really want most is to be tended to, cared for, lifted up. As we come to the end of the Advent season now is the time for us to see the fruit of our labor, the gifts will be unwrapped soon and the feast will be consumed. We are in the waning days of the long road of a joyous journey. From where we sit today, weary and maybe a little overwhelmed, we can see the end of the road, we can see the celebration ahead and we may even get a second wind in our sails that will get us to the goal ahead.

As you contemplate this today we move into a complementary position to Stone Table, it is called “Tent.”  The verse that accompanies this position is:

“I long to dwell in your tent forever.”

As you move from Stone Table, into Tent, breathe this verse, knowing that this is where you will find the tending and care you need for what lies ahead.

Tent

Tent

From Stone Table lift at the midsection, pressing out through the hands and working your heels toward the mat. Feel the stretch through the back of the leg and the arms. Keep your head aligned with the arms, ears in line with the elbow and back “hinged” at the hip so that the lower back is flat. Breathe evenly here and then shift back to Stone Table. Pay attention to the feel of the movement as you go from Stone Table to Tent. There should be a sense of “relief” as you move from one to the other as they are complimentary positions.

Advent Reflections: Day 21

Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Luke 1: 46-56

Every long journey finds us in a place of doubt from time to time. The road is dusty, the weather turns cold, the stars and the moon hide behind clouds that threaten rain and we are in the dark. In moments like this, especially when we are coming to the close of a long journey, a time of waiting, we see a great unknown looming in the distance and the best way to move past the fear and the doubt is to remind ourselves of how we began. We remember what we had to overcome, we remember how we were sustained and we remember where we place our trust. In this passage for this 21st day of Advent Mary reminds us where we place our trust. She reminds of the great things God has done, she proclaims the greatness of the Lord and in this way, she bolsters herself for the next part of her journey and in turn, she bolsters us as well.

Our position today is called “Stone Table.” It is a position of strength. Over time, strength is built in this position by increasing the length of time it is held, by remembering good form and when we become tired, by re-committing to the position, keeping even breathing and pressing through for just a little longer. While holding this position, remind yourself of where you have been, how you have been sustained over the last few weeks and where you place your trust.

Stone Table

Stone Table

 

From Omega move forward to hands/knees and straighten legs keeping shoulderblades pressed together, head aligned with body and pelvis in line with body. Breathe steadily in this position, be sure to keep your elbows soft at the joint, never locked and press out from the mat.

Advent Reflections: Day 20

Mary set out in those days
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

Luke 1: 39-45

Between now and Christmas eve be reflecting on those final days of waiting, being open, ready for the blessings, the divine appointments, the new life coming to greet you around every turn.

Between now and the feast to come it will feel difficult to steal away and find those moments of quiet and reflection but make time, choose at least 5-10 minutes to breathe in that promise of new life, that promise of hope, that promise of beauty.

Your position today is the compliment of “Holy Ground” and it is called “Omega.”  The emphasis today is on opening up at the heart. By keeping ourselves “open” we guard against the damage that comes from the defensive posture we tend to develop when things get stressful. It takes trust to open ourselves when all seems to be closing in on us. Today, as you move through Holy Ground and Omega, find those moments of trust. Breathe the words from Elizabeth to Mary,
Blessed are you who believed
what was spoken to you by the Lord

Omega

Omega

 

From yesterday’s position of Holy Ground (or from kneeling) draw hands behind the body just past your feet. Turn palms toward the body and open at the heart. You may straighten the arms or, to intensify, bend slightly at the elbow and lift backside from your heels, pressing hips upward. You may let your head drop back or bring your chin to your chest. If you let your head drop back be gentle when you release the position, bringing hips and backside to heels first, bending at elbows and guiding your head back to a neutral position.

 

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