Posts Tagged ‘folding’



We sit with legs crossed and shins stacked

and attempt to bend forward.

The yoga instructor waxes about the benefits

of forward folds—how our ancestors bent

to pick sustenance from the earth

and how forward bends create

so much space in the spine—and

the whole while, my hips

are opening into red-petalled agony.

I have heard, of course, of how

forward bends lead to introspection—a

literal folding in on the self.

How they calm the nervous system

and quiet the mind. I also remember

my father’s advice when I came to him

with a sore thumb. Well, he would say,

I can drop a rock on your toe and

you won’t think about your thumb

anymore. No wonder the mind is quiet

when doing forward folds in knee-to-ankle pose.

It’s because the hips are throwing such a hissy fit

the mind can’t get in a word.

The instructor moves amongst the mats

and calls what we are doing research.

She invites us to get curious about what seems

to be holding us back. One more lesson,

I suppose, in how the obstacle is the way.

I lean deeper into the blooming red ache.

And the mind gets very quiet. And the folding

becomes an unfolding, and I feel

as if I am harvesting something—release,

perhaps, or insight—from right there in front of me,

something I can almost touch

the more I get out of the way.

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