What inspired the DevoMat?
The DevoMat was inspired by a prayer my pastor (and father) often recites at the end of service. I find great comfort and reassurance in the words of this benediction:
Let God go before you; He will lead you.
Let God go beside you; He will befriend you.
Let God go beneath you; He will support you.
Let God go behind you; He will protect you. Go with God; don’t be afraid.
One evening during a yoga class, this prayer resurfaced as I was stretching in child’s pose. The words, by themselves, signify that God completely surrounds us, ready to lead, befriend support and protect us. I wanted to physically capture this sense of being enveloped by God’s presence while on the mat. Many of us find solace on our mats and retreat to this symbolic safe haven to connect to our center. For me, that center, the source, is God.
How I use the DevoMat in practice
In large measure, the physical practice of yoga involves “letting go.” Verbal cues like “relax your shoulders,” “release the muscles in your face” and “quiet the mind” are all variations on theme and directive to surrender.
Our practice of spiritual surrender is even more important. By saying “Let God,” we are allowing Him to take control instead of surrendering to stress, busyness, worry or whatever your thing may be. In my own practice, the DevoMat is a visual reminder that I am not in control (nor should I be). When I “Let God,” I am inviting peace onto my mat and into my heart, mind, spirit and life.
What do I hope the DevoMat will inspire in others?
Everyday we are bombarded with external (and sometimes internal) messages that seep into our consciousness that take us away from what we need. These messages can leave us feeling depleted and unfulfilled. My hope is that the DevoMat will serve as a gentle yet constant reminder that God has secured us on all sides and that His unconditional protection allows us to fearlessly forge ahead. “Go with God; don’t be afraid.”