Sunday, January 10, 2021

Christ’s Baptism – the Elements and Dosha

I cannot eloquently write.  I don’t consider myself to be a wordsmith.  Nor do I consider it my job here to produce a piece of art in the form of writing.  My job as I see it is to inform on the subject of how I find Christianity in my life as a yoga therapist; Or how do I rectify these two things that to many seem like opposites. My comments on the scripture readings will be below the reading as usual.

I have no words for the events of this past week.  So, I will let a friend and member of my church, Spencer Musick, speak through his sermon that begins at minute 29 here…

Readings for the Baptism of Jesus

Collect of the Day

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Genesis 1:1-5

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Psalm 29

1 Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, * ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his Name; * worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; * the Lord is upon the mighty waters.

4 The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; * the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor.

5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; * the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, * and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the Lord splits the flames of fire; the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; * the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

8 The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe * and strips the forests bare.

9 And in the temple of the Lord* all are crying, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned above the flood; * the Lord sits enthroned as King for evermore.

11 The Lord shall give strength to his people; * the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

Acts 19:1-7

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied—altogether there were about twelve of them.

Mark 1:4-11

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”


Christ’s baptism has always felt very elemental to me. And by that I mean there is water present in the river, earth in the mud Christ stood in, and fire-air-ether as the Holy Spirit came down. If you look through the tags on the left of the blog for “Holy Spirit” or “Gross Element” you will find two earlier entries that also comment on this.  I find it interesting that they are from Ascension and Pentecost, whereas today we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus.  They serve as bookends of his ministry, beginning and ending in God the Holy Spirit.

Elements are present in yoga as well.  In a class we may focus on grounding into the earth or expanding through our air, ether, or breath.  There are practices that build heat or fire. We often sweat out water.

In yoga’s sister practice of Ayurveda, or Indian Medicine, these elements are a focus.  One can learn their body (physical and emotional) type via the three Doshas: Vata (space [ether] air), Pitta (fire water) or Kapha (water earth) and all the possible combinations of these.  I am Pitta – Kapha.  The ultimate is to be tri-dosha.  Here is a quiz to learn more about your own dosha: .

People are different. Certainly, our Doshas are all different, but all people are necessary.  People are to be respected. Decorum is important.  We don’t have to agree.  As we begin this new year let us renew our baptism in the hope of a brighter future.


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