Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

A few weeks ago, my friend Sarah Hutchinson wrote and asked if we could do an interview for her vlog, Yoga Wisdom and Wellness. How do we care for ourselves in difficult times? How do we care for each other? Sarah and I are planning to do a day of poetry and yoga in Grand Junction this fall … more about that soon.

I hope you enjoy our conversation, available on video http://www.yogawisdomandwellness.com/yoga-and-poetry/?inf_contact_key=6e2770c33a8367c40362045ee888fe5a53ff3f8439d2ce904643bbae7ffdc222 or you can download the audio https://www.dropbox.com/s/lt7r58qn97cfwba/Edited%20%26%20Balanced%20Audio%20-%20World%20Woman%20-%20March%202017.mp3?dl=0&inf_contact_key=a6dd7cc93228ef0d842b8eb77085981afabaa0f012dc0998000f24fd4dabc2d0

All the best!



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She says, The first place
you notice your lack of commitment
is in your hands. Are they cupped?
Press all four corners
flat into the earth. Feel how the ground
pushes energy back up through your arms.

She says, The next place
you notice your lack of commitment
is in your elbows. If they bend,
you depend on your muscles
instead of letting your skeleton
support you.


I think about the undersides of things.
How if you lift a rock,
there’s another, dark world
writhing and wriggling
and so full of life.


She says, The next place
you notice your lack of commitment
is in your back, how it bends
like a banana, gets soft like a noodle.

She says, It is easy as standing.

She says, Any fear is a trick of the mind.


Not once
have I found a scorpion
under a stone.
Every time I lift one
I worry.


She says, Three inches from the wall,
plant your fingertips. At the edge of the wall,
fix your gaze. First bring the feet
just beneath the navel.
Then raise one foot.
Then two.


If a woman
stays too long
in one place,
what begins
to grow?


She says, The head
is beneath the heart.

She says, It’s another way
to see.

She says, You must overcome
your fear of falling.

She says, Try.


Upside down, and
my fear falls out
of my pockets. And something else,
falls out, too, I can’t yet say
what it is,
but the tears afterward,
they were not grief
nor loss, they tasted
more like
rain that falls
on ground
that has just been cleared.

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It is awkward
at first, both hands
on the ground,
both feet straight up
in the air.
Still the heart,
as it floats
above the head
pumps steadily
through the fear.
And the arms,
they know how
to hold the weight
though they’ve never
done it before.
But the head
as it hangs, it
vexes and frets
to find itself
so near the floor.
So it tells the arms,
Buckle, and it all
falls down—
the head, the legs,
the breath, the core,
it all falls down
except for the
voice that rises
from somewhere
not in the head
saying, more,
do it more,
please, more.

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Erika on the red mat
tucks her right foot in her groin
and bends forward from the waist

then lowers till she’s hovering
above her left tippy toes.
If you can’t follow

what I’m saying, that’s
because her body’s twisted,
furled and folded as a body seldom is.

But full of grace,
she brings her hands
to meet in prayer in front of her

and for a minute poises there,
a compact bulb with five small roots
and a patient shoot waiting

to push up and through.
It’s beautiful to stand beside
Erika on the red mat

to feel more than see
the rising energy as like
a tulip in the spring

she reaches not just up
but into the quiet balance point
where anything can happen.

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Start on all fours,
placing your hands
below your shoulders,
your knees

below your hips.
Bring your right knee
forward to touch
your right wrist.

Slowly inch your right shin
toward the midline of your body.
Now straighten your left leg
toward the back.

Keep your hips level,
and as they settle
press your fingertips firmly
into the floor.

Now walk your hands forward,
inhale deeply,
and exhale as you fold forward,
lowering your elbows to the floor.

The sensations that flood
your hips might feel great—
or slightly unnerving—
or a combination of the two.

Breathe. Observe
the reactions in your mind.
Let go of them
by relaxing your eyes.

Continue to breathe
into your hips.
Allow your belly to melt.
You’re peeling back layers of tension.

Feel your hips
and your mind soften
Allow waves
to wash over you. 

After the forward bend,
inhale back up.
Press down through your fingertips
and lift your hips.

Take five deep breaths.
Observe how you feel.
There’s no need to attach
any meaning to the sensations.

No need to worry or judge yourself.
Strong as these sensations are,
they’ll soon morph
into different feelings.

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