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March 16, 2019

How It Feels To Practice Yoga (a poem to inspire practice)

Stepping onto the mat.

Did the air just change?

It makes me wonder

is time linear?

Sometimes it feels as if time does stop,

when I slow down my breath,

Finally my mind slows down too.

There is now only feeling.

Feeling and breathing.

And being.

 

Over time, I’ve developed this relationship.

It started out awkward.

It started out so external,

worrying about what was going on around me.

It started out as just another place of worry and

“am I doing it right?”.

Even behind all of that,

I felt the small tug.

Despite awkward confusion,

I felt the pull of bliss.

 

The bliss of letting go

of the world

and saying hello to yourself

for the first time.

And now, my practice, my safe space, my movements,

become a blissful dance

The only thing I’m dancing with

is the sound of my breath

and the movement

of my muscles.

 

A beautiful rectangle of safe space where I feel like anything is possible.

Free to express, change my mind, sit still, or move.

Free to feel. Simple. Easy.

Only feel and breath and move and feel again.

Enjoy the breath lengthening my legs

and allowing me to make shapes.

Enjoy the strength of my core,

the center of me,

guiding me gracefully.

How slow,

how slow can I drip

my arms above my head

Lengthening, reaching stretching.

Until suddenly I melt into another breath

and my body moves with it.

How much longer can I make this breath last,

I never knew my legs were so long.

I’ve been breathing and suddenly my body is balancing on my hands

because it feels right.

 

By now, I’ve been here in my practice so many times,

I’ve been in this pose, in that pose.

My cerebellum remembers them all.

And blends them together

in breath and movement.

All I need to do is get out of my way,

don’t let the rest of my brain get involved.

I allow the practice to take me,

I surrender to whatever is there

and whatever is not there.

If my body is ready, it will tell me.

If my body is not,

my breath becomes ragged, shallow.

 

Soften, soften more. Relax your jaw.

Move and soften.

Search for the edges.

Come home and rest.

Appreciate and respect.

And rest.

I step off the mat and the world continues.

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Kari Nietert

Kari is a 200 RYT, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Level 1 Reiki Practitioner. She is currently working on another 300 hr certification with Authentic Movements. She recently relocated with her tiny home on wheels, fiancé, and 2 pups to Tucson, AZ from a small beach town in Delaware. She has been a practitioner for 7 years and a teacher for the last 4. She found yoga after the end of a relationship and a lot of self-study “what am I doing” questions. She is grateful for yoga introducing her to a relationship with herself and providing a framework for a more well-rounded and health-minded lifestyle. Her mission is to continue spreading the practice of yoga while contributing to her community. An artist at heart, she also sketches, writes on a personal blog, and has an online store coming soon.