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