Listening to my husband read a poem to me just now, it occurred to me how much poetry is like yoga. Or is yoga. Yoga initiates a conversation with the body while patiently seeking access to the mind and spirit; poetry sequences words for the mind to mull while its meaning melts directly into the heart.
Yoga may feel like a neatly organized parade of postures; we move this way and that, we stretch, we balance, we manipulate one side and then the other. We may wonder why some postures feel difficult for us and seem so easy for others. And as much as we try to leave our normal-life commentary off the mat, it often finds way to snuggle in next to us.
Unless. Unless the poetry of our movement succeeds in tapping into what lies beneath (and above, around) our well-entrenched, orderly consciousness.
Last Monday, Third Island Yoga students celebrated the summer solstice with the traditional practice of 108 Sun Salutations. Not exactly 108, but, after employing a sort of yoga-handicapping system, we got close enough—28, actually.
In each class, after the first fifteen or so repetitions, I saw the transition from prose to poetry begin to evolve. Even for those modifying with a chair, as the movement became intuitive, flowing grace replaced “reach the arms overhead, fold forward, lengthen, step back...”
Bodies were quietly conversing, minds were quiet, spirits engaged. The movements of individuals synched energetically to create a seamless whole.
It was poetic.