Sacred Posture: 12 Body Prayers
by Reverend Philip Roderick
Exeter: Rev Philip Roderick and The Company, 2007
1 DVD, 45 minutes
To order, contact Rev Roderick at email@example.com
Reviewed by Monique Keffer, MA
The first time I took a formal yoga class, it changed my life. It was right after my first child was born. I was beginning spiritual direction, and I was looking for a way to open up my mind and body to mothering so I could be fully present during this once in a lifetime experience. Since then I have been exploring ways to integrate body, mind, and soul in a rich and meaningful way that incorporates my Christian beliefs too. Over the years I have found likeminded individuals on the same quest, both spiritual directors and spiritual directees who long for kinesthetic connection to God, and those who have walked the path ahead of me in whole-self worship.
One invaluable whole-self worship resource for spiritual directors and those they companion is Sacred Postures: 12 Body Prayers. In this beautifully produced DVD, Philip Roderick continues his mission toward teaching Christians how to involve their whole bodies in prayer. An Anglican priest, percussionist, teacher, and director of the Contemplative Fire movement, Roderick provides simple yet satisfying body movements that absolutely anyone can do, set to the Lord’s Prayer and other traditional Christian prayers. He also incorporates Christian metaphors into body prayers that echo different celebrations of the church such as the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent.
The physical settings, both exterior and interior, are breath taking and beautifully filmed; the background sounds feature quiet music and the sounds of the natural world. Together with Roderick, several other people move through the postures on the DVD. They encompass various ages, body types, and wear different types of clothing. In addition, Roderick’s instruction is calming, straightforward, and easy to follow.
The last section of the DVD features whole-self interpretations of the Lord’s Prayer and the Magnificat demonstrated by a woman named Annie Pickering-Pick. She first expresses herself through sign language and then through a lovely combination of sign language and dance. Although one could certainly learn the simple steps and move with her, just sitting and watching was an inspirational experience that sent me on my way with a strong sense of God’s love for us and our love for God. It is the same feeling I treasured as I left that first yoga class all those years ago. Now, as a spiritual director, when a spiritual directee—especially a kinesthetic learner—comes to me longing for a heightened sense of body, mind, and spirit joined as one in prayer, I will happily suggest Roderick’s DVD, Sacred Posture: 12 Body Prayers.
Monique Keffer, MA, is a spiritual director trained at Sacred Ground in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.