Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Yoga and Poetry

Today after class I had an interesting conversation about poetry with my yoga teacher, Jib.  She mentioned that after showing Dom one of her poems he had told her that her approach to poetry resembled mine in that it was consciously crafted with attention paid to rhythm and rhyme.  She said she noticed my practice showed similar tendencies (in fact it was noticing this that prompted her to make the connection that I am Dom's wife as she is probably the only teacher at yoga elements who hasn't seen us together).

I restrain myself. I strive for accuracy of alignment at the expense of pushing myself deeper.  This sounds like a polite way of saying I am lazy, but I understand what she means.  Some people work very hard to go deep into poses before they are flexible enough to handle them and in so doing they compromise their posture.  We all do it sometimes - out of a hungry desire to improve quickly - but sometimes I know when to hold back and indeed to enjoy holding back.  Jib was gracefully letting me know she noticed and (as a self-confessed precision junkie) appreciated my restraint and respect for the details.

I will examine at how I became this way in another post.  But for now I want to consider poetry and yoga.  Reflection on Jib's parallel between yoga and poetry led me to think more about how I write poetry.  The crafting for me is more than just matching rhymes and aligning rhythm, I also try and get deep meaning into a small number of words.  This is also, I think, the essence of yoga.

Consider the title of this blog.  I named it "in balasana" rather self-deprecatingly because that is how I spent so much of my first few yoga classes, resting... in child's pose. But it is also a play on "in balance" and "imbalance" because when I cam back to yoga a mere two months ago I did so with some very deep imbalances, emotional and physical, which I am slowly and carefully, through my practice, bringing into balance.

In balasana, imbalance, in balance; three meanings, all very significant, layered deeply over each other.

This is poetry is yoga.  This yoga, poetry.

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