“You shall therefore lay up these words of Mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deuteronomy 11:18

My massage therapist Mary also teaches “Soma Yoga,” which is “slow, gentle exercises that re-educate the nervous system and allow the release of tight, restricted muscles, thereby promoting healing” ( During the pandemic lockdown, Mary recorded herself giving several soma yoga lessons and provided them to her clients online for free. On one video, I saw her performing both standing moves and some lying on a mat. Since I can no longer get down on the floor and back up again without a forklift involved, I needed to adapt the exercises. Thus, I turned off my computer and ate several chocolate chip cookies. The next time I talked to Mary, she said, “Lie down on your bed with your laptop and do the session there.” But her recorded voice was so soothing that I ended up taking a ninety-minute nap. By now I was beginning to doubt my commitment to soma yoga, as well as my efforts to stop gaining weight during the lockdown. I could easily blame it all on the pandemic, along with my inability to balance my checkbook, my failure to write consistently in spite of a looming literary deadline,  and my desire to binge watch Star Trek reruns with my Treckie husband.

One thing I did not let slide during the lockdown was the maintenance of my spiritual “fitness.” I continued to read my daily devotions, recording my reflections on how the Scripture passages impacted my life. I collected ideas for these devotions which I later compiled into usable 400-word iterations. And I participated in our church’s prayer chain, praying for congregation members, the community, our nation and the world at large. There was and continues to be much to pray for. Moses recounted to the Israelites Yahweh’s orders for them to wear His Word as a sign on their hands and between their eyes (Deuteronomy 11:18). “Phylacteries” were small vessels containing Scripture, forerunners of spiritual practices we keep today. Keeping “fit” in the Spirit helps me live for Christ, and I might just try that soma yoga soon too!

Lord, we thank You for Your Word which keeps us spiritually fit. Amen

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