INSPIRING POETRY

WITNESS

Sometimes the mountain

is hidden from me in veils

of cloud, sometimes

I am hidden from the mountain

in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue

when I forget or refuse to go

down to the shore or a few yards

up the road, on a clear day,

to reconfirm

that witnessing presence.

DENISE LEVERTOV

“Some Questions You Might Ask" by Mary Oliver

  • Is the soul solid, like iron?
    Or is it tender and breakable, like
    the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
    Who has it, and who doesn’t?
    I keep looking around me.
    The face of the moose is as sad
    as the face of Jesus.
    The swan opens her white wings slowly.
    In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
    One question leads to another.
    Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
    Like the eye of a hummingbird?
    Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
    Why should I have it, and not the anteater
    who loves her children?
    Why should I have it, and not the camel?
    Come to think of it, what about the maple trees?
    What about the blue iris?
    What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
    What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
    What about the grass?

Love After Love

“The time will come

when, with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.”

Derek Walcott

“The jasmine bud is not afraid to be tiny;

Fullness reigns in its heart,

Invisibly.” rabindranath tagore

Falling further and further into deep relaxation

In my exploration of this approach, I discover that it takes infinite  time to let go of conditioning and habit, and to begin again. To work without holding. To give weight to the ground. To breathe out, sensing the invitation to let go. To be simple. To receive from the ground and to grow and expand. To discover the lightness of being. To be open to the new. To trust that the body and breath will adapt and respond in time with their own time. To be nourished, to smile, to enjoy the freedom to express the self through the body, in subtle and delicate ways. To play with the yoga postures, working slowly and carefully, to release tension and create space inside. To feel movement as an exploration,  rather than something to be done. To feel the healing that comes from involuntary movements, pulsations, waves. To invite the unknown. To discover what our bodies can teach us. To unfold on all levels. To feel the deep connection between the breath and the spine, as they continually move each other. To connect with the psychology of yoga, how we are and might be, as our deeper nature is revealed. To find support from the ground, the breath and the spine, in order to fall further and further into deep relaxation.

REFLECTIONS ON THE LEGACY OF VANDA SCARAVELLI

In her book Awakening the Spine, Vanda writes about developing her own way, in order to share the beauty of her approach with her students. She refined the teachings she received from Iyengar, Desikachar and the philosopher Krishnamurti. In order to find it in and for oneself, to focus with light attention on what you experience as you practise. Sensory feedback rather than positioning the body. Yoga as a philosophy. In the dvd "Vanda Scaravelli on Yoga with Esther Myers", you have a sense of her being in the moment, trusting her experience, going with her body, bringing freedom to it, playing, experimenting, being creative. All the while referring to nature, wings, birds, love, breath, gravity and the spine. Being curious about what the practise can reveal , where it might take you if you are receptive and open to the unknown, the new, to your own process. Paying attention to the body the breath and the ground, through feeling and sensing. Noticing the place between the 4th/5th vertebrae, at the back of the waist, from where the spine is lightly drawn up by the space above, and down by gravity. And much more.

INSPIRATION

Books to read, cds, dvds, you tube:

JOHN STIRK:THE ORIGINAL BODY. PRIMAL MOVEMENT FOR YOGA TEACHERS.

DIANE LONG AND SOPHY HOARE: NOTES ON YOGA

DIANE LONG: DVDS OF HER TEACHING AND SELF PRACTISE

SANDRA SABATINI:BREATH, THE ESSENCE OF YOGA (CD ALSO)

YOGA THROUGH THE SEASONS & LIKE A FLOWER

PETER BLACKABY : INTELLIGENT YOGA

YOU TUBE : REFLECTIONS ON THE FUTURE OF YOGA.