July 13, 2009KR BlogKR

8 Ways Yoga is Like Poetry

1.) Breathe in. Breath out.

2.) Turn the left thigh out, towards the ceiling. Keep the left knee over the left ankle. At the same time, the right hip point should be moving back to the wall behind you, and the left thigh turns down towards the floor. Keep the torso level over the pelvis, equal energy in the arms pushing forward and back. Stay here for eight breaths.

3.) The first principle of the first limb of yoga’s eight-limbed path: Non-hurting.

4.) The eight limbed path: Restraint. Positive Action. Postures (Asanas). Learning of breath. Stillness of the senses. One-pointed focus. Stilling of the mind-states. Understanding.

5.) Said Krishnamacharya, “In one set of stories, the horse-god Hayagriva is a thief who stole the Vedic Scriptures from the temple. In another set of stories, he is an avatar of Vishnu who rescues the Vedas from the temple-thief.” While Krishnamacharya was at the mandiram telling this story, a thief stole the idol of Hayagriva from his home-altar.

6.) Two of my favorite chants from the end of a yoga class: “The only real teacher is the Self.” And (This chant is sung over the closing credits of the third Matrix film. The priestess from Battlestar Galactica prays this chant over the bodies of dead pilots in the miniseries movie that launched the series): “Lead us from the unreal to the real. Lead us from darkness into light. Lead us from the fear of death to knowledge of immortality.”

7.) My teacher told me, “The word OM has four syllables: the aaaah, the uuuuu, the closing of the mouth hum, and then the silence which follows.”

8.) What lives between the inhale and the exhale, or between darkness and light, between ocean and air, evaporating and condensing in that place?