Summer has all but arrived, and around us everywhere we see the newness that Spring brought about. Lush green colors, bright beautiful flowers, baby birds learning the ways of the world chirp by chirp. These examples of new life also carry spiritual significance for us. They can invite us into moments of pause, to notice, to appreciate, and remember that in Christ, we too, are made into new creations.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”

One way we like to teach this “new creation” to our young people involved in youth group is through specialized yoga flows. Last year I was introduced to an incredible yoga instructor named Cece who practices at YogaSix. She’s incredibly skilled at teaching yoga to all ages, meeting participants where they’re at. Additionally, she’s been able to incorporate faith themes that our group has been focusing on into the session. The photo attached here is from her latest class with some members of our high school group. During the beginning of this session, she taught us a way to connect with our outdoor surroundings, and to calm our minds and bodies, called the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. Here it is, maybe this will bring a new freshness to your day. We experienced this outdoors in the Cloister, laying on yoga mats on our backs with our palms down touching the grass, taking deep breaths.

5: Notice 5 things you see around you. It could be a bird flying, a tree branch, anything in your surroundings.
4: Acknowledge 4 things you can touch around you. It could be the grass, your yoga mat, the ground beneath your feet.
3: Acknowledge 3 things you hear. Listen for any external sound. Focus on things you can hear outside of your body like birds calling, a plane soaring, or leaves rustling.
2: Acknowledge 2 things you can smell. Maybe you have a fresh cup of coffee near you, or freshly cut grass nearby.
1: Acknowledge 1 thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like—gum, the cup of tea you had this morning, or the sandwich from lunch?
May this exercise bring you the peace and calm it did us.

One fun final note about this particular yoga flow. Just after Cece read our scripture from 2 Corinthians and while we were seated and doing sun breaths with arms up and rainbow down, a huge gust of wind blew through our circle, as if the Holy Spirit was adding the exclamation point that in Christ, everything has become new!

Pastor Christian