Words are only black characters on white pages, but there are ways I can feel a poem speak truth deep within my body. For me, that is what poetry is. Words that speak to feeling and to knowledge that is deep. The words are few, sparse, and there is intention in each one. Poetry has been mostly private for me as an adult, but through teaching yoga, I have found a way to share some of my favorite verses that speak to my practice and hopefully my favorites will resonate out into other hearts. I love the ways my practice allows me to visit and revisit the inspiration of poetry and I adore how my yoga notebooks are filled not only with class plans, but with pages of poetry.
Here are some of my most favorite verses I shared in the January yoga teacher training and a few more from my yoga journals. Although wonderful verses are found on the internet, I urge you to go to your public library and take out the actual books they are from. They are full of treasures. Read a few paper pages before bed or in the morning as you take a sip of tea or coffee. Sit in a window and read a poem or two. Or better go outside!
I am so inspired by the reports of of Pavones Yoga Center graduates teaching classes all over this world. I hope you all share your voices, your wisdom, and also your favorite poetry as you teach. It is a true honor to share with you. Please keep in touch and share your favorite poems and words that illuminate your own paths. I’ll be posting an image of each poem in the upcoming days…
“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver is from the book Dream Work
“The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver is from the book New and Selected Poems
“In the Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver is from the book American Primitive
“The Invitation” is by Orion Mountain Dreamer is from the book The Invitation
“Self Portrait” is by David Whyte” and is from the book River Flow
“Poem of the One World” is by Mary Oliver and is from the book A Thousand Mornings
“Kindness” is by Naomi Shihab Nye from the book Words Under Words
“The Sun” by Mary Oliver is from the book New and Selected Poems
The prose quote is from Wendell Berry from The Unforeseen Wilderness