In yesterday's class, I used the following two Mary Oliver poems to incorporate into an expression of our practice on the mat. The first one, The Humpbacks, pertains to our asana practice. It goes like this:
Listen, whatever it is you try
to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you
like the dreams of your body,
longing to fly while the dead-weight bones
toss their dark mane and hurry
back into the fields of glittering fire/where everything,
even the great whale,
throbs with song.
When you are exploring movement through the poses on your mat, the spirit becomes dazzled with "the dreams of your body." Often, we do feel the "dead-weight bones" inhibiting us from moving into poses as fluidly as we would like. Maybe they stop us completely from trying a pose. But, Mary Oliver writes, "everything throbs with song" and that includes your heart and your spirit. How do they want to flow on the mat? Neither of them are held back by your physicality; you shouldn't feel held back, either.
And the following poem, Sleeping in the Forest, reminded me of svasana. I love the last line, "By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better." Does that not describe corpse pose?!
Sleeping In The Forest I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.