Growing up, I always said “yes” to believing in god because that was the “right” answer. Through confirmation, through being questioned by friends, through college, it was always too taboo to say “no” or “I don’t know.” Despite my unequivocal “yes,” I never really knew that yes was the right answer. Do I believe a white man with a long, flowing beard and semi-magical powers is floating around above the clouds? Isn’t that what my teachers told me?

Catechism (holla to all my CCD homies!) taught me that god had rules and if you broke those rules you should feel guilty. Catholic guilt is so real! I remember seeing The 10 Commandments on TV around Easter and being absolutely terrified of god. The power! High school history taught me all monotheistic religions followed the same god somewhere in the sky throwin’ down laws that were all pretty similar. Yet, I still pictured the old man with his sparkling robes. In college, I started to understand some differences in beliefs among religious creeds, but still thought the correct answer was “yes” no matter the nuance of the question. To me, I thought god had to be a person who set guidelines for our life. I thought that was the correct answer.

Yoga changed that for me.

In yoga, god is everywhere. In yoga, god stopped being a thing and became all the things. Yoga helped me see the connections between all of us- the om. Traditionally, yogis believe that everything in the universe vibrates to the sound of om (pronounced ah-oo-mm). That’s god to me. The connection between everyone, everything, every one and every thing.

There’s not a lot of good news lately and it’s easy to feel bogged down in the hopelessness of it all. I’m trying to remember the god, the om, the connection in those moments. Despite the suffering, in spite of the suffering, we are all connected. I feel the pain of others, I hope others feel my empathy, compassion, and love. I pray for them- in my om, in my meditation, in my being.

Has yoga affected your spirituality or faith? Share with us below!