September 13, 2013

Yoga as Poetry. ~ Misty Pittman

“The moon has eclipsed
and my hands float through heavy air.
Anjali mudra. They press together in front of my heart. Cool and warm.
Silently I offer namaste. A whisper in my mind.
I disentangle from the roots.
I am new again.”
~ Tadasana

This practice is drunk with beauty. A heady mix of breath and grace. Awareness to keep us grounded. Compassion to keep us light.

When I take a seat on my mat, this becomes my starting point. Everything that has happened prior to that moment drifts away. For me, I am coming home every time I begin this ritual: roll out my mat, snug a blanket under my seat, tuck my legs underneath me. Easy pose. My shoulders immediately let go of the weight they are carrying and my face softens.

Those first few minutes are magic. Just breathing. Breathing into the tight areas. Breathing into the stressed out parts. Breathing into the emotions. Breathing into the spaces. I can stay here forever. Just breathing.

Soon there is the gentlest of movement to remind me that I’m alive. A lazy rolling of my head. A lifting of my hands towards the sky. A soft fold at the hips, bowing towards the earth. It’s here, in these small movements, that I become aware of just how achy and creaky my body is.

My muscles slowly start to give and the release is overwhelming and oh so wonderful.

I send a silent wish to the woman next to me, who is desperately trying to kiss her knees with her nose: don’t try so hard, sweet friend, close your eyes and honor the sensations.

What comes next is a carefully orchestrated dance to open up the body and connect us back to our hearts. These moves are not for the faint of heart. Humor and trust are essential notes that carry me through. There is no room for seriousness and competition. I lift my eyes towards my raised hands and let my gaze take in all that is beyond. Hello sunshine, hello starry sky.

A reminder to breathe and a collective exhale fills the room. A reminder to soften and the energy changes into light hues.

Soon I come back down, closer to the earth in body and spirit. I recline onto my back, subtly aware of the spaces underneath my body. I’m more spacious and a little more in love with everything. I wring out any remaining tension with a twist, closing my eyes and watching the light behind my eyelids.

I encourage myself to take up space in savasana (yoga asana known as the corpse pose). I’m in corpse pose but I’m radiating life. I make peace with my struggles and my successes. The soft sounds of stillness carry me anywhere and everywhere.

Soon I’m back in easy pose. I pause. I reflect. I am grateful. I hold this all within the space of my hands that are connected in front of my heart.


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Asst. Ed: Meagan Edmondson / Ed: Catherine Monkman

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Misty Pittman