Sunday, June 20, 2010

Poetry in Motion

Poetry in motion is all around us in subtle and dramatic forms. We can see it in the dance of leaves in a soft breeze and we can feel it in the performance of top athletes. The dance of butterflies, the synchronised movements of a teeming school of fish, the acrobatic play of otters, the explosive sprint of a cheetah, the flight of the hummingbird, and the spinning of a spider web are examples of poetry in motion.

Years ago when I was sailing in the Atlantic, a handful of dolphins began to play in the bow wake of our boat. The dolphins were jumping, curving back and forth, turning on their sides and grinning from the sheer joy of movement. Their feelings were contagious. We all felt their playfulness and rapture of living in the moment. Their poetry in motion left an indelible memory in my heart.

As we transition from pose to pose in our yoga practice, keep the movement smooth and engaged. There is a tendency to end one pose and let go of the feeling, intention and form before we come into the next pose. But if we move with integrity, intention and awareness our transitions can be poetry in motion. Our whole practice becomes a poem with rhythm and meaning. It transcends just being a workout or stretching exercise. The poetry in motion comes from keeping the feeling of gracefulness active and full from the first inhalation to the last exhalation of our practice.

If we open our hearts and awareness, we can find poetry in motion in the ordinary things in life: in the wag of a dog's tail, the stretch of a cat, the crawling of a baby, and the dance of light through the trees. It is easy to become distracted with the complexities and demands of our daily lives and forget to notice this gift that is so freely given. When we connect with the divine energy that lives within each of us, we will see more of this beauty of motion around us, and it will naturally flow through us as an expression of grace and ease.

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