In yoga class, we do a lot of postures we call heart openers. I have struggled at times in my life to take this stance with God and with people. So recently every time the instructor offers the option to do this in a pose I take it. I use it as a mental reminder and an invitation, because opening my heart is an action and a posture I choose with intention. Open my heart. No matter how much it hurts. No matter how uncomfortable it feels.
So if you don’t do yoga, for the purpose of keeping it simple, just imagine clasping your hands behind your back. When you pull your shoulders back and your shoulder blades closer together, it opens up your chest.
Some of the poses that yoga refers to as heart openers are what we call bind poses. For the non yogis, binds are usually some variation of trying to grab your hands behind your back, the easiest one I can think to describe is a deep squat, feet pointed out, and you place the right arm around the outside of the right leg, right under the knee, and then the left arm wraps back around the back of your body and tries to grab the other hand. I hear the word bind and in my mind it has a negative connotation. God however has used it to teach me something really quite beautiful and refreshing. In yoga, “Binding, when done correctly, allows the body to relax, deepen into a pose, and hold for a longer period of time.”
God nudged my heart while in this pose. Let’s talk about this. (haha. Great timing. I feel uncomfortable and unfocused on anything but what I’m doing, but I say ok.)
He was helping me to realize when I “bind up my hands”, (my works, my dreams, my desires, my plans) and open my heart to God (His works, His dreams, His desires, His plans), it allows me to relax, to rest, to abide in faith. Binding my hands doesn’t mean that I’m trapped or imprisoned by God. It means that I’m free, because it’s not my job to control and work for everything. When I think about this, I think about my dad, a man was drowning and my dad went in to help him, but the man was flailing and flapping and almost drown my dad with him! Sometimes the best thing for us to do is to let God help us without trying to save ourselves. When I bind up my hands, I let God be God and take steps in faith.
Binding my hands allows me to go deeper with God because it opens my heart for intimacy. It allows me to open my heart to truly know him and to be known. Binding my hands and opening my heart allows me to have perseverance. It allows me to not just survive as life goes on around me, but to actually thrive. He empowers me to live a righteous and pure life, no matter how uncomfortable. And the more you do this the easier it becomes and you begin to take this posture in more than one area of your life.
This is painful at times. And sometimes we do this in faith and feel sore from it afterward. But connection is always worth it. I urge you to choose connection with God and the people around you today and every day.