Course Introduction


This course records the basic contours of how we can explore poetic language and theme through embodied practice. Each week, starting the week you register and for a calendar year, you will find a sequence of movements, breath exercises, and meditations that explores a poem somatically.

Check in as often as you'd like over the next twelve months to find:

-a link to a poem or two chosen especially for the time of year or holiday

-a short reflection on the themes and language of the poem

-ways to explore the poem via the body: movements, breath exercises, and visualizations

-music lovingly selected to create the atmosphere of the theme of that week, with a carefully-crafted arc of grounding to active movement to slowing down to meditative.

These sequences are designed to be accessible for EveryBody - all ages, body types, and levels of practice. We are not interested in analyzing or scrutinizing poetry, but rather allowing the rhythm and resonance of poetic language to seep into the body, a different and much deeper way of absorbing truth and beauty. Poignant images and sing-song phrases from these poems are much more likely to enliven and provide meaning to everyday life when they make their way past our rational "thinky" brain and into deeper, more primal layers of reflection and feeling. This enterprise requires a different approach than we might be used to in "studying" a piece of writing. In short: to absorb language play into body and psyche, less is more. There's only so much we can take in, if we want to take it in to the bodymind. So I've tried to capture only the skeletal core of each week's somatic work: only the most basic, central yoga poses or breath practices, and only the most pared down of "take-aways" from each poem. This skeleton is made to be fleshed out by your personal time on your mat. Sometimes just a simple finger pointing towards, say, a quality of movement aligned with an image can explode in your own practice to something completely new and unique to you. Take liberties with these entries, and feel free to change them, modify, and cut and paste, to play!