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Mindful Poetry: 3 Poems for Yoga

John O'Donohue Lotus Heart Mindfulness Meditaion Quotes.png

Let’s go back to our roots on this page.

While there might not be a lot of poems which feature yoga specifically, there are quite a few good ones that are reminiscent of yoga and go through some poses.

John O’Donohue was an Irish poet who is known for bringing Celtic spirituality into the world of poetry.

The excerpt of his poem, “A Morning Offering,” I included can be said before beginning a yoga flow, or as a mantra in the morning to remind you to take on the day.

I included another American Poet Laureate in the blogs, this time Robert Hall, whose poem, “Within the Body You are Wearing,” reminds us of our lifelong mates… ourselves.

Who we are at our centers is who we will be with for the rest of our lives, it’s time to calmly face them and take them in.

Finally, Corinne Titus is a particularly exciting poet to include, as she is one of my students!

Her poem, “Morning Ballet” combines both her lifelong knowledge of ballet and classical dance with yoga, which she has just begun to learn.


A Morning Offering (Excerpts)

John O’Donohue

 

All that is eternal in me

Welcomes the wonder of this day.

 

May my mind come alive today

To the invisible geography

That invites me to new frontiers,

To break the dead shell of yesterdays,

To risk being disturbed and changed.

 

May I have the courage today

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.

 

May I live this day

 

Compassionate of heart,

Clear in work,

Gracious in awareness,

Courageous in thought,

Generous in love.


Within the Body You are Wearing

Robert Hall

Within the body you are wearing, now

inside the bones and beating in the heart,

lives the one you have been searching for so long.

But you must stop running away and shake hands,

the meeting doesn’t happen without your

presence . . . your participation.

The same one waiting for you there

is moving in the trees, glistening on the water,

growing in the grasses and lurking in the shadows you create.

You have nowhere to go.

The marriage happened long ago.

Behold your mate.


Morning Ballet

Corinne Titus

 

The sunlight pas de chat’s through my window on soft,

grey, clawed kitten paws to knead my eyelids.

I have always been a fitful sleeper.

 

Joints mumble their complaints to the morning,

their occasional curse word the loud pops

that disturb my mother. She thinks I will fall to pieces.

 

The dance is yoga, but the foundation holds.

My arms content themselves to find fifth position

over my head, then dive towards the floor, a downward dog. 

 

The balls of feet rise in an eleve, the shoulders strain, the body slants,

my hamstrings scream at me. Pressure pools

in my wrists and ankles, smaller versions of past breaks.


Let me know which of the poems spoke to you most! Are there any phrases that stood out to you, or things you didn’t understand?

Let me know in the comments!


If you’re interested in bringing a little bit of yoga or mindfulness meditation into your life, check out the services I provide!

From my home studio in Tampa Bay I offer yoga and meditation classes (both personal and corporate), as well as workshops for MBSR.

If you’re not in the Tampa Bay area I have several online classes available through Zoom Meeting.

Be sure to follow me @lotusheartmindfulness on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more mindfulness inspiration!