Thursday, June 22, 2017

Poetry Friday: Yoga Poems (Thanks, Linda)

The spare moments of late have indeed been spare. And when they come, I tend to indulge myself with doing mostly nothing within them. Yesterday was almost a full day all to myself. No doctor's appointments or errands to run for my in-laws who have not been well the last month. So I made coffee and settled in with my journal, went for a walk, did an online yoga class, listened to an audio book, and played with my grandson at the creek. Toward the end of the day, I walked barefoot to the mailbox and found a brown envelope addressed to me. Inside was a book of poetry and a note from Linda Baie, who knows the demands of caregiving. 

I have not seen it before, Linda. It was a perfect end to a lovely day. Thank you for your sweet thoughtfulness. 

I had been thinking earlier that I would like to get back to posting on my blog (though I may still be spotty), but didn't feel particularly inspired. As I paged through the book, I found many poems that spoke to me, but thought I would share just this one. 

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
One-Legged King Pigeon

by Leza Lowitz

William Carlos Williams
wrote poems
on a notebook small enough to fit
in his breast pocket
on his medical rounds.

Yasunari Kawabata 
wrote stories
small enough to fit
in the palm of the hand.

The body writes stories small enough to fit
in the tiniest cell.
Every centimeter
has a different beginning
and end.
Day by day
the gap between beginning and end 
thigh and floor
heel and head
closes up,
the narrative writ large
on each small movement.

Start small and the world expands
as Goethe said, but start anyway.
In beginnings 
there is the magic
of yes.

As much as I like this poem, I don't teach this pose in my classes for a number of reasons. I agree with Jenni Rawlings of Jenni Rawlings Yoga and Movement, who recommends modifications for working to strengthen the hips in the pose rather than overstretch those ligaments, over arch the low back or stress the knee joint! 

Check out some alternatives here

Heidi hosts the roundup today at My Juicy Little Universe.


  1. I'm so happy that it is new to you, Doraine. Happy reading, and writing stories with your body! I know so little about yoga, but the poem pleases me in the reflection, just as in writing and I imagine you and others do in yoga. Your day sounds like a lovely one!

  2. I don't do yoga but I love this poem. The idea of starting small. making a start. Yes!

  3. What a true friend Linda is. Love this poem. Starting small is key. Thank you. -- Christie @

  4. Dori, I agree with you--the poem is a wonder, but the pose looks more challenging than it need be! I'm glad you got a day to yourself. My favorite part would be spending time at the creek with a playmate.

  5. What a lovely surprise to find at the end of a peaceful day. I love the poem. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Such a wonderful poem. I like how it mentions all these writers and at the same time the body. I am fascinated by the body and the stories it can tell. thanks for sharing.

  7. Awesome gift from Linda! Random thought triggered by your poem -- you know what would be fun for WCW's birthday? A Poetry Friday devoted to him, like we did that time for Billy Collins. I have no idea when his b'day is, though. (That pose looks pretty tough!!)

  8. I. LOVE. this! The giving and the gift and the sharing. I am determined to begin yoga this summer. And, I would love some recs on online yoga classes! The poetry of a beautiful. How beautiful. I love visiting your site, Dori. I always find peace and joy here. Whenever you can put your life into's a gift to the rest of us. Bless you.

  9. What a lovely gift. Thanks for sharing it with us. I love the poem you selected. I think we do store memories in our muscles, and it's lovely to think of that as poetry.

  10. I love the idea that the body writes small stories!

  11. What gorgeous last three lines:
    "n beginnings
    there is the magic
    of yes."

    So nice, too, to hear of your beautiful day. I hope summer spares you many of these, Dori!

  12. I just got home from yoga class. I love it for so many reasons, one of them being the poetry of it. My instructor speaks as if she is reciting poetry. I may have to get this book for her. Leave it to Linda to find the just right gift to feed your soul.