May 7, 2019

Ode to Yoga. {Poem}


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This poem was inspired during my brief stint practicing at The Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, a renowned Ashtanga studio founded by Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor over 30 years ago. Sadly, the studio closed in March 2019 because the building it was located in was sold to a developer. While I was new to Ashtanga yoga and completely inflexible compared to everyone else who practiced there (I can barely touch my toes), I felt nothing but welcomed into the community. I am glad that I captured my experience of community there by writing this poem before the studio closed.


In the silence

the breath begins.

The supple figure
is lit
as dawn
creeps through the slats,
casting a shadow
on the saffron-colored wall.

Fluid, bending,
a sacred, flowing dance
between body and soul.

At first,
a solitary essence
more figures, more breaths
begin to join the chorus,
crescendo-ing into a symphony of sighs,
individual and collective,
a living, undulating creature,
formless yet defined.

No time,
no place,

slowly, slowly
the sighs recede
the animal quiets
the figures still,
and all that remains
are the
buzz of a fly
the ticking clock
the echoes of
the closing prayer:

May all beings everywhere be happy and free.

Om, peace, peace, perfect peace.

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Alice Shi Kembel  |  Contribution: 270

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