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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

With everything that life has sailed my way the past few months (most notably new work in addition to teaching), it’s been hard to keep this blog current.

Still, the essays in the archives on YLS continue to have relevance. Rest assured I haven’t abandoned the site.

Earlier this week, while enjoying the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, I learned that one of my favorite “end of class” poets, Kay Ryan, has been named the next Poet Laureate of the United States. I call her an “end of class” poet because — as my students know — I like to read a poem at the beginning of savasana. Her short, tight poems, which one critic likened to mousetraps, are clever, thoughtful, and inspiring.

This is what she had to say to The San Francisco Chronicle (read the story here) in the wake of her appointment:

“Poetry should leave you feeling freer and not more burdened. I like to think of all good poetry as providing more oxygen in the atmosphere. Poems just make it easier to breathe.”

How perfect is that for yoga?

Here is an essay I wrote last year about opening the heart center. It was inspired by Ryan’s poem “Chinese Foot Chart”.

Namasté.

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Recently, I heard someone say that living is the only condition with a guaranteed 100 percent mortality rate.

And, indeed, it would be a rare person who reaches adulthood, even early adulthood, without having experienced the death of someone important to them. (more…)

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I think that one of the hardest concepts for new yoga students to get their head around is that asana, or yoga poses, aren’t static.

They aren’t poses to be struck and held; they are a framework for movement, opening, and exploration – no matter how subtle these actions may be. (more…)

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One of my friends recently took a beginning yoga workshop. She has practiced a little yoga at home and decided she would try it with experienced instruction.

I know she has a physical history of childhood heart surgeries and had recently been spending quite a bit of her personal energy healing some emotional childhood hurts. So I encouraged her to go, but suggested she tell the teacher about her medical history.

Not long after the end of the workshop, I met her for tea. She looked happy and relaxed.

“How was it?” I asked. (more…)

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People and dogs have cohabitated for many years. One group of researchers at UCLA thinks that dogs may have been domesticated as far back as 100,000 years ago.

So what does living with dogs teach us? (more…)

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One of the things I love to do at the end of a yoga class, when my students are settling into savasana, is to read them a poem. Sometimes the poems relate directly to yoga, other times, the connection is less obvious. (more…)

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