Wind, Clumsy Yoga and the Soveriengty of God- Prose

Dappled white on a wily brown. I saw the bright, wide eyes and flinching ears of a deer. We

crossed paths in the forest, the meeting terrifying both of us. Her breast thumped quickly while

the rest of her stood perfectly rigid.

I noticed her breathing, shallow and staccato, as we stiffly examined the other. She was afraid,

and I was spellbound. Frozen in the moment, my breath and hers both racing, my fear melted into


I open my eyes abruptly. The yoga instructor’s smoothly spoken direction to “Examine my

breath” had shaken awake that memory, without warning. But this time, it is my breath that feels

quick and flighty, waiting in shock for whatever happens next.

I close my eyes again, calling on the Holy Spirit. Calm surrounds me, like a wave of warm air.

My breathing, however, did not change, as my mind sunk to doubt.

Have you ever felt that God was toying with you, using His divinity to create slapstick with your

life? The nervous thought had crossed my mind, bringing a bitter taste in my mouth and pulling

tighter this dull knot in my stomach.

The instructor says something about a new pose. I watch everyone else around me and copy

them with clums. How did they all get to be so strong and graceful? Falling back into thought, I

struggle to keep my muscles from shaking too obviously.

Lately, stability has taken flight, floating and riding the unpredictable winds that come. In the

original Greek, the word for wind is πνεῦμα, or pneuma, transliterated. All my best plans have

been scattered, all my directions are spinning. First it is one thing, then another, then another.

My health, my family’s future, and my career are all uncertain. Maybe things will go as planned,

maybe they will not. Maybe we will take this step, maybe the step will disappear into thin air…

And what, I wonder, will vanish with it?

“Try to wiggle your toes… and now lets challenge ourselves with a little more depth, and when

you are ready, lift one leg up off of the floor…” Lift a leg? Seriously? How is her voice so low

and soothing while she’s doing this stuff? I suck in air and try to balance.

Air, wind, breath- in the original Greek, the word for breath is also πνεῦμα. It starts me thinking

about my inhales and exhales. Who knows why the wind comes and goes? It does not seem like

my slow-loading weather app has any good idea when it will, at least.

But it blows, and we do not understand it.

When God spoke words, the air He blew out became all things. To bring life to dust He carefully

gave us wind… breath… life.

In Acts the Scripture says that God’s Spirit came in a mighty, rushing wind. I know the warm

breeze that moves on me when I enter the presence of the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, I have a


I pause a moment to readjust my feet on my mat and take a deep breath in.

I do not know where the wind goes, but I think that I might be smarter than my smartphone’s

weather app. Wind and breath come from only one place; life originates in One Holy Being.

I may never understand the science of where wind begins and where it ends, or what causes air to

take active energy of its own. I may never really understand the reason why my body endures

pain at this time or that, or why the ground we were standing on caved in today.

Understanding these things is not the point.

How dare I question that He is good, the second my knowledge fails? How dare I, with this

breath of life He gave, whisper assaults on the nature of His love?

I fold down with the rest of the bodies in the room to finally rest on the mat, exhausted in every


A God who allowed His own life to be stolen, so that I can breathe today, will not laugh at my

distress. He knew it Himself and even more so, but He endured it for justice and truth and grace.

Breathing in… and breathing out. Holy Spirit, Breath of Life- I was not made to understand

every intricate working of the universe. Humility washes over me, and I am filled with wonder

again. Wonder like I knew once, standing in the forest. Mountains surrounding me, and life so

beautiful, wild and beyond me.

The lights come back on and it is time to face the loud and confusing world again. Walking away

I know two things are certain:

That I should focus more in yoga,

And that my God is loving and sovereign, whatever my circumstances.

By Erin Rain Gautier

Photo by Natalie Grainger on Unsplash

Erin Rain Gautier