I WENT TO A SHALA By Kathleen Kraft

I went to a shala
to stretch and explore,
bend and let go—uttanasana
let my will become a river
We rose for the sun
then stood on one leg trying
to meet concern with aplomb
—balance—the ongoing desire,
a glimpse of freedom’s soft field—
Are we made in the image
of the Divine?
What is this Divine wobbling—
my spirit supinating?
What is before and beyond
inherited traits?
In the shala we straighten our straits—
I may really be a fish
slapping about my mat.
My mild gift of mild scoliosis—
my curve my body’s creative.
We moved on—I went upside down—
graced at last by less work.
Light lifting me up—my crown in my feet—
breath breathing, shoulders seeing.
Finally we lay back as fish—
I let my throat out long—
Whoever you are, give the beauty
of your lengthened neck. Listen
to what you need to say
then lie down and die for a while.

Kathleen Kraft leads yoga and writing workshops.

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