Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Inkling Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone.

Today is the first Friday in August and my first day of school, but it’s also time for an Inkling challenge. This month Catherine wanted to give us something easy to write. She thought about sports. I am not all that sporty, but I do have a poem in the anthology Rhyme & Rhythm: poems for student-athletes (Archer Books. 2021). It’s a duplex poem about swimming.

As I contemplated this challenge, I turned to my weekly yoga class. I am going to miss this class during the school year. I love the instructor and the way she speaks to us. I’ve always thought it was like poetry. So on Wednesday, I recorded the class. This poem is a transcription with poetic license. I decided to play with having no punctuation and using space and line breaks to pause. Does this work?

The Sport of Mindfulness

Breathing is healing
brings the body together 
all cells communicate together
Breathe and communicate
into one focus. breath

Notice if your thoughts move
into a pattern bring yourself back 
to your anchor
your breath

Back and forth a tennis match with yourself
building a new skill purposeful
intentional thinking

Lean into the stretch        spread your fingers
press into the palm          open your muscles

Stay with the breath
Challenge yourself
Focus ride the waves
of discomfort Then it starts to feel good

Exhale pose
thank you colon
thank you liver
thank you spleen
gallbladder pancreas
Thank you for all your hard work
Toxins moving out release

Come back to the breath
The sound of the wind sound of the music
Sensation of being in the room  among friends
No responsibilities

Nature is abundant
Bring awareness to your abundance
You are abundant thriving We are all thriving

We all meet at the center

For Susan Grain
Margaret Simon, draft

See how other Inklings met this challenge:
Linda Mitchell
Molly Hogan
Catherine Flynn
Heidi Mordhorst
MaryLee Hahn

Photo by Elina Fairytale on Pexels.com

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It’s Wednesday again and life continues to move forward. May is here and settling in on a warm breeze. Yesterday evening I attended a special Yen Yoga session in Jungle Gardens on Avery Island (known for its production of Tabasco). The evening was beautiful. A light breeze blew through the canopy of oaks, swaying the Spanish Moss. The calming meditation was just what I needed. I took a photo while lying on the mat looking up into the trees. I wish it were higher quality so you could see the moss that almost looked like blossoms as the setting sun glimmered.

Looking up through Live Oaks, photo by Margaret Simon

Moss blooms on an evening breeze
while yogis stretch in tree pose
longing to be held by Mother Earth.

Margaret Simon, draft

Please leave a small poem in the comments and support your fellow writers with encouraging comments.

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

sky writing

During an exercise class, the instructor says, “Don’t forget to breathe,” as if you could actually forget. This seems like a silly instruction, but nine times out of ten, I realize at the moment she says it, I am holding my breath.

In yoga, I am learning breath is the most important thing. The teacher says, “Get in tune with the rhythm of your yoga breath.” I place my hands on my belly and feel it rise. Deep breathing relieves the tensions of my day.

Breath control is used to alleviate pain. I had a procedure done recently that required an IV (no worries, I am fine), and the nurse had a hard time finding a vein. That is so painful. I was using my Lamaze breath. The nurse noticed. It’s been almost 25 years since my youngest child was born, but I still remember how to breathe through pain.

In church, we sing a hymn, “Breathe on me, breath of God. Fill me with life anew. That I may love what Thou dost loved, and do what thou wouldst do.”

I believe in the power of breathing. The calm healing that oxygen brings in. Breath moves within me as the spirit moves. Taking in, I call God, “Abba.” Letting go, I say, “Amen.”

Focusing on a mantra, breathing the words that recall God to me, I can be fully present with whatever the stress may be.

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Click here to read more inspirational posts.

Click here to read more inspirational posts.

I am participating in the Spiritual Thursday Round up over at Holly Mueller’s blog. We are writing from each other’s one little word. Today, we reflect on Ramona’s word, Stretch. Stretch is a synonym for my OLW, Reach. But I couldn’t help but think about yoga class and how Evelyn tells us to pay attention to our bodies so that we will be better equipped to function for others.

Yoga Class

I am tired at the end of the day.
My socks hug my feet.
I stretch and release the tension
resting in my shoulders.

Stretch out on a lavender yoga mat,
listen to the gentle chime
calling me to do a body scan.
What part needs your attention tonight?

The block of energy, the stopping place,
my right shoulder, not pain but tight,
holding in, holding on.
Let go. Stretch again.

Folded into child’s pose,
I am inward like a chrysalis
waiting for the gift of life
waiting for the stretching of my wings.

Help me open up and fly to you, Lord.
Help me to know the limits of my reach
so that I may be the strength
for someone’s grief, the embrace
for someone’s pain.

I am your instrument only
when I am fully present.
Listening to the rhythm of my breath,
I hear yours join in.
I know you are here.

–Margaret Simon

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us to celebrate each week. I have the opportunity to not only share my joys with you, but to reflect on them for myself, a good exercise in itself.

1. Easter Lilies are blooming in abundance this year. Perhaps they liked the extra cold winter and are letting us know all is new.

Easter Lilies

2. Summer Reading #Bookaday: Donalyn Miller challenges us to read a book a day in the summer. I am a slow reader, so I am hoping to read a book a week. Here is only part of the stack I brought home from my classroom to read.

summer reading

3. My husband had cataract surgery this week. He gave me his ring to hold because he couldn’t wear any jewelry. I only had to wear it for an hour. The surgery was a success. His eye bruised, so in his best Cajun accent, he likes to say, “It looks baad, but it sees good.”

two rings

4. Our students presented a big check for $3,711.00 to the West End Park Revitalization Project at the City Council meeting this week. We are so proud of their dedication.

kids and council

5. My friend and yoga instructor, Rachel, led a yoga class at our local plantation home, The Shadows. It was invigorating to stretch outside on the sculptured lawn, looking up into the oaks. If only there were no ants.

yoga at the Shadows

6. I forgot to take pictures of this, but three of my gifted students spent their last day with me. I pulled out a box of science kids, and they made hover crafts with balloons and CDs, and a catapult out of a staple remover and plastic spoon. They were focused, cooperative, and had fun.

It was a wonderful week and now on to the BIG WEEKEND! Happy Summer, y’all!

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Slice of Life Day 13.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 13. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

I want to stay here
in deep meditation
focusing on one word,
letting light dance in my eyes,
letting go of stress.
Let me stay a little longer.

I want to stay here
in this warm shower
with scents of fresh herbs, a hint of rose
rubbing my itching scalp.
Steam wraps me in comfort.
Let me stay a little longer.

I want to stay here
reading in my teacher chair
while kids are spotted all around
with noses in their books.
I stop to read a favorite line.
Can I stay here a little longer?

I want to stay here
in shavasana, toes pointing to heaven,
holding my color focal point
melting away the day,
bowing in namaste,
Please let me stay.

photo by Pierce Martin, labeled for reuse on Flickr

photo by Pierce Martin, labeled for reuse on Flickr

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Another week into the nerdlution and I’m falling behind in one of my promises to myself. Exercise! Ugh! It’s always a challenge for me to fit. it. in. And the cold weather hasn’t helped. But this week has been better; I made it to Curves Monday and Wednesday mornings, Yoga class on Tuesday, and Zydeco dance lessons on Wednesday night. I’m even feeling a little sore. Learning to do the alligator walk does a job on your calves.

My attention to my OLW Open is working out pretty well. I try to attend the Acadiana Wordlab each week. On Saturday, the workshop leaders were two young actresses from an Improvisation Group, Silverbacks Improv Theatre. These girls were amazing actresses! We played the craziest games. In one of the games, we each added a line to a story; In another, we could only add one word. I participated even though I felt absolutely ridiculous and totally out of my comfort zone. As always in Wordlab, the writing was unique to the writer and wonderful.

And that leads me to my third nerdlution: writing every day. This has been easy with Laura Shovan’s daily color prompts. At her site, Author Amok, she is posting different color swatches from Pantone colors to prompt poetry. If we send her our poems, she posts them the next day. I have been feeling so famous all week as she daily posts one of my poems and tags me on Twitter and Facebook. Some other blog-friends are playing along, too. (Linda Baie and Diane Mayr) Please take a look at her post for today as it features one of my poems from my book Illuminate.

Let the nerdlution continue. Thanks to Michelle Haseltine for hosting the nerdlution round up every Thursday. Click here to read more.

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