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Poetry Yoga For the Soul

4 minute read

Poetry Yoga

I’ve always considered yoga to be poetry for the body.

It cultivates awareness, slows us down and brings our innermost thoughts and feelings to the forefront, much like the lines of your favorite poetry collection. Every now and then, my favorite teachers conclude class with poetry to fit the day’s flow. Maybe it’s the deep level of relaxation I’ve achieved or simply the power of poetry, but the words always hit home in the most potent ways. Combining those two calming and soothing activities have made for a truly ultimate due: poetry yoga. 

Photo by Seattle Yoga News
Whether you’re a veteran yogi, new instructor, or just looking to bring more peace into your life, the poems ahead are sure to deliver the zen perspective you need.



“The Guest House” by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

“The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Find yourself in a comfortable position,
lying on the floor
Feel the all encompassing sphere of the earth beneath you
Feel her power
Feel how she holds you
How she holds us all
Watch her vibrant colors slowly desaturate
Until she becomes a black and white photocopy
She is made of Dark and Light
As is everything
As are we
Feel her black and white patterns of motion churn within you
The rising ocean tides
The downward crashing of an avalanche
The slow swirl of the clouds overhead
The eruptions of the lava from deep within her core
These energies live within us
The molten lava flows out of our psyche for us to confront
We must accept the darkness and not just the light
It is the darkness, our Shadow, that brings forth our gifts
Feel the harmony of these dark and light counterparts
They strengthen one another
They bring us balance
They make us whole
Yin and Yang

“When people move on without you” by Morgan Harper Nichols


“for there will be storm clouds
hovering the flower fields
where you were hoping
to watch the setting sun,
and there will be cities
you meant to visit
before the world as you knew it
came undone,
and there will also be moments
when you remember
the small strip
of ocean shore
where the seafoam sang to you
that morning,
“there is more,
there is more.”
and in the end,
you will find
even when you were
carrying so much
on your shoulders,
you were not just getting older.
you were not just surviving.
you were a living, breathing soul
slowly redefining
what it meant
to be thriving.”

“We all wish for world peace, but world peace will never be achieved unless we first establish peace within our own minds.” ― Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Looking for more yogi poetry for your collection? Here are a few of my favorite book filled with lines on acceptance, surrender, and enjoying this beautiful journey!

Photo by Morgan Richard Oliver via Instagram

The Tears That Taught Me by Morgan Richard Oliver







Photo by Samantha Lang via Instagram

Yoga Poetry: Pose Poems to Enhance Your Practice Volume 3 by Samantha Lang