the yoga of poetry

mindfulness taoism yin yoga zen&yoga Feb 15, 2024

In this week's exploration of yoga practice in my podcast (and continuing from last week), I delve into an often-overlooked aspect that harmoniously blends with movement, meditation, and a wholesome diet - the ancient art of poetry.

Poetry is one way (there are many more, see the bottom of this post for a few more)....out of the thinking mind.

Prose is rooted in the Zen Buddhist and Daoist traditions, where the expression of the ineffable through poetry is as vital to spiritual progression as any physical or meditative discipline.

A famous example in Zen (Chinese: Chan) Buddhism happened when the fifth patriarch chose a successor, not through physical prowess or meditative endurance, but through the a poetry competition (an illiterate kitchen worker won). But mostly, the poetry is beautiful, powerful, achingly simple hot gas that the meaning of life cannot be conveyed through words.

Here's one poem I like (not the winning one):

"The moon's risen, birds have settled in.
Now sitting in these empty woods,
silent, mind void of the clutter of life,
I tune my essence to simplicity."

These lines magically encapsulate the essence of finding peace and stillness in the natural world, and notice the profound tranquility that lies IN us too.

Our practice, our poetry is a reminder of the importance of pausing, reflecting, and appreciating the simplicity and depth of our existence, aligns perfectly with the contemplative aspects of yoga practice.

Just like that 60 second chatturanga dandasana?

In our modern quest for constant improvement and transformation within our yoga practice, this episode (like last week) offers a gentle reminder of the value of doing the opposite - stillness & simplicity - untouched by the external whirlwind of change.

A quiet rebellion against the noisy machine of modernity.

Poetry is (for some) a refuge, a space of clarity and tranquility where we can reconnect with the steadfast, compassionate aspects of ourselves we forgot was there.

ğŸŽ§ Tune in now:

 - Dhugal.


- To start your journey (to yin yoga masterdom) with me, come take my free program:

 P.S. A few other ways to leave your mind: Handstand, Holding Plank for 2 minutes, watching the sunrise, walking into a room with your eyes shut... kissing.... and yin yoga ;)

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