5.5
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
until
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,
just
breath
heat
gaze
energy
movement

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

May all beings everywhere be happy and free.

Om, peace, peace, perfect peace.

author: Alice Shi Kembel

Image: Carl Newton/Unsplash

Image: Ecofolks on Instagram

Editor: Kelsey Michal

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cindyycshih May 11, 2019 12:36pm

A good poem. Thanks for sharing.

carol.shi May 9, 2019 7:06pm

So beautiful-thank you for sharing!

isa1458 May 9, 2019 5:50pm

May you be happy and free from all the burdens!

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Alice Shi Kembel

Alice Shi Kembel lives in Boulder, Colorado. She is the mother of three boys as well as a speech-language therapist, swimmer, aspiring yogi, traveler, quilter, hiker, and fruity cocktail lover (three boys, remember?). Her writing has been featured in Patch.com, Parenting on the Peninsula, Voices of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Experience, U.S.A. Masters Swimming Magazine, Akashic Books, and was the 2017 Family Narrative Project Writing Contest Winner. She is pursuing advanced degrees in potty humor, Nerf gun classification, and Star Wars trivia while also seeking representation for a memoir that chronicles her experiences as a mother drowning in a sea of testosterone.