Molly Hahn is an illustrator and author of children’s books who hosts a Buddhist-inspired comic on Huffington Post.
This morning during our Sun Salutation flow, as we came from Uttanasa (forward fold) to Ardha Uttanasa (flat back) our teacher reminded us to lead with the sternum. He said, “Lift your heart.”
He did this every time we went through the vinyasa. Lift your hearts. And my brain called back, “We lift them up to the Lord.” It was an automatic call and response drilled into my brain from years of childhood Sundays at church.
I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious family, and I came to yoga and spirituality only into adulthood. There’s some chatter about whether yoga is a practice, a philosophy or religion. Some worry that you can’t cross the streams.
But as this call and response came back to me, it struck me that it’s all the same. The dressing is different, the ambiance, some of the rules and regulations have their distinctive cultural flavors. But worship is worship. We lift up our hearts.