Whether you’re a yoga teacher or a student, you know exactly how special it can be to open or close a class with some heartfelt words like a poem. As a yoga teacher and a writer myself, I’ve had the humble pleasure of reading some of my own poems from my collection, I Am We: Poems at my local yoga studios in Rhode Island.
So today, I’m sharing some of my favorite from my book with you for free.
I hope you enjoy them, and if so, feel free to share them with your students!
May they guide your students to experience their own definition and understanding of “yoga” within.
Pssst… hey yogi! Did you know? All subscribers to my reader-loved newsletter get a surprise free download of these poems and the rest in my book I Am We: Poems. Enter your email address below subscribe and your free PDF book will arrive in your inbox tomorrow:
I Will Be Your Sun
You carry a whole world with you.
A planet rests upon your shoulders.
You may not see it, but I do.
There is a Universe Within that you carry wherever you go.
Ecosystems of passion and romance. Warring nations of worry and fear.
A billion living ideas, stories and experiences that make up a whole history
Wherever you go, I promise to be your sun.
It’s not that your life revolves around me.
Think of it like this:
Whenever you come to me, I will do my best to be quiet and still
and shine nothing but kindness and light upon you.
An Ocean, A Fish Bowl
The ocean would seem a burdensome place
to a fish whose only home was his bowl.
My bowl has shattered.
I’m not sure who nudged it off the table.
But I do know that Two Strange Hands scooped me up
and saved me.
They gave me freedom by tossing me into the waves
that nearly caused me to drown.
That’s what I mean when I say we tend to spit at life and curse
this world for their unjust doings.
Some fish just prefer the bowl.
The Flow Has Found Me
The flow has found me. The surge. Divine union. Aliveness. Alignment.
Victory, I shout. Yes.
My veins broaden and pulse with the force of Creation, the booming Om from which countless everything became Its One Whole Self.
In this state, I could surely face Death, and defeat Him. I could kill Death. He’s never too far away.
I move to Death’s doorstep through hours, like minutes.
I sweat and tear up, I burn and I swell.
Chills race down my spine as I inch closer and closer.
Every step takes great force. I thrust one leg-trunk forward, and drag the other behind me
like staffs of lead through swollen molasses.
I’m breaking open.
Skin splinters into dust.
Ego shatters like thin ice.
I reach his doorstep and my hovering heart is all that’s left.
I know that, just standing there—
a soul, an essence, a white light of silk shroud—
I have already defeated him.
I have faced death, and won.
I open my eyes and the world rushes back.
The ceiling stares back at my savasana, the pose of the corpse,
prostrated and vulnerable, sweating and love-numb,
lying, once dead, now awake again,
on my pale green rubber mat.
I Remember You
I remember you.
That’s nature’s howling rhythm.
What the surging tide whispers to the moon.
What spring flowers say to the sun.
What heat is lit between lovers’ hands when they
at last embrace.
I remember you.
What Could Pebbles Know?
Whatever could pebbles know?
Fractured from their whole.
Distant. Longing. Punitive. Small.
Kicked about. Stepped on. Crunched. Thrown.
Their Mountain called Home, it must feel so far away now.
Here lay little pieces, once great, once watchful from on high.
Now trampled. Kicked. Pushed with every gust.
Dear One, does the life of a pebble
really sound so unfamiliar?
Though Stones Shall Crumble
My life belongs to me. No one else.
This spirit within my walls is mine and mine alone.
You cannot have it, Power.
You cannot touch it, Judgment.
This soul is mine and it is free, and I honor it by seeking my freedom and truth,
so long as I am alive.
Don’t get me wrong, stranger.
I want to share what I have—all of me—with you.
But it is important, now and again, to look towards the sky and tell the Gods
“I am here, I am my own, I want what I desire.
Though stones shall crumble, and so too shall flesh,
I mean to indulge life I’ve been given
with joyous, exuberant wanting.
If You Forgot It All
What if, today, you forgot it all? What freedom would you feel?
What newness? What depths of experience might you discover?
The air, smell it!
A sky so blue, throw your hands into it.
A face, that stranger, is it your One True Love?
Embrace him! Kiss her. Don’t just fall in, leap!, hurl yourself into that love!
Imagine if, today, you forgot it all.
Would old habits become bold adventures? Might boring be a guise of mystery? The mundane, an invitation to wonder?
What if, today, you renounced all that you knew?
Celebrate the little things. Precious moments. Small victories.
A joyous chill down your spine; a smile you can’t stop with a frown.
Allow yourself to feel so bowled over, as if an angel has given you a shove,
see the sight you’ve seen ten-thousand times before,
today, so new, so unfamiliar, so Preciously Present.
That’s what makes life’s journey a miraculous string of happiness throughout the weeks and years.
A beautiful face you’ll never kiss. Dance with a stranger!
Relish little moments of victory; of success; of smart work, well done.
Honor the now.
Celebrate the instance of total peace, looking out upon that most beautiful landscape — you know, friend,
that scene the Mother painted with perfection;
the one you’ll surely never forget.
Look around when all is right, and say it aloud:
“All is right.”
Look At You Now
You used to say that life was linear. A straight line, confined by two events: A birth, a death.
Look at you now. You died ten times before you began to really live.
You’ve become reborn to yourself one-hundred times over.
You have been born, yes, and you will die.
But amidst the years of living, you’ve died and risen and shown you know
the path to fly and fly and fly again.
Now, even Death seems petty.
Drink In The Quiet
Rest your head upon your pillow, love. Drink in the quiet that’s deeper than the sky. Rich with peace.
Ten million harmonious chords fall weary like your eyes, now.
They wish to rest with you.
Reach and pull that blanket of star-specked cloud across your chest. Seal in your warmth.
A little drool won’t be a problem.
Just Remember Your Heart (How Lost It’s Been)
Take a look at that ‘tween on her cell phone.
Watch the evening news; look at that chaos.
Talk with your lover about That Friend who can’t stop struggling to fight his same, same,
same old battles.
…Is everyone lost?
Just remember your heart. How lost it’s been— how lost it seems, more days than not.
If you can remember that everything is an Expression of Desire for Purpose,
judgment dies. Your opinions suddenly don’t matter.
Those same observations? Not gossip. No longer.
Thinking with your heart becomes a holy act,
a soulful practice,
in undyingly-compassionate living.
That’s all! I hope you enjoyed these poems!
Don’t forget, all subscribers to my newsletter get a surprise bonus download of this WHOLE book of poems, free! Sorry to ruin the surprise, I figure you’d like to know so you don’t miss the offer! ;)
Thanks again! And, happy reading.
From my heart to yours,