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what i say {poetry thursday}

liz lamoreux

Ocean Creation

I find both my feet wondering when last I
noticed how it felt to stand and feel every toe.
Inhaling as instructed, with reaching arms
I seek the space that forms around my heart.
Navel toward the spine, the exhale begins
then my body folds in half, head toward knees.
Always a friend, gravity completes the journey
as hamstrings greet my jumbled thoughts.

“Find the pause, then the breath.”

Inhale, the heart leads as my body rises, all toes
connected, firmly grounded feet retain my balance.
Exhale, movement begins, hands slide down
my thighs, fingers wrap around my calves.
The invitation to hear the body is received;
I stay with my crown to the turning earth.
The struggle as I seek to find a pathway clear of clutter
and boxes piled high with all that I am not.

“Let go of judgment; find the breath.”

A crack in the top of my head, shame, fear,
doubt rush out to form an ocean on the earth below.
I close my eyes and find the breath,
permission to feel the space inside.
Oxygen moves stillness through the veins,
as energy pulsates from fingertips and toes.
Inhale, the heart opens and uprights my view;
exhale, the body settles as the mind finds the quiet.

“Feel the effects of the pose
on the body,
on the breath,
on the mind,
on the heart.”

This poem shares some of the phrases I use when I teach yoga. Over the last two weeks, I have tried to observe myself as I teach, noticing the phrases that pass my lips. This poem also shares what it feels like to have a moment in the midst of a pose, a moment when you realize yoga is about a lot more than just stretching the body. (And the post above is me reading this poem. I am still trying to figure out audioblogger but thought I would give it a try.)


This week, I also brought poetry into an everyday moment when I read a poem at the end of class this evening. After the students rest in savasana, they come back to a seated position and I share something with them. A meditation, blessing, chant, "words of wisdom," a poem. Tonight I read "Threading the Needle" from Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By by Leza Lowitz. This poet is a writer and yoga teacher who shares images of asana poses, moments in her life, how yoga affects the mind and soul through the poems in this book. I highly recommend it.