Taking out the Tree: Effort and Surrender

How to balance Abyhasa (passion) and Vairagya (dispassion), with Jane Kenyon's poem on throwing away the Christmas tree

A 60-minute Hatha yoga practice featuring safe, long-held poses and extra-simple transitions that allow the practitioner to reflect on finding their own balance between abyhasa (effort) and vairagya (ease). Jane Kenyon's poem about taking out the Christmas tree moves from the clanging desperation for light and change, towards a surrender to the extravagant darkness of winter. Need a break from a flow practice, to let go of the holiday clutching and clenching? This class is for you.


-a 60-minute Hatha practice

-a Spotify playlist lovingly chosen to capture the ambiance of the chosen poetry (carefully crafted match the arc of the physical practice, so you can choose to practice with music)

-a link to each poem and a short reflection on its themes and imagery

-a distilled skeleton of the sequence (poses, breath exercises, and visualizations) for your reference

*available for 48 hours upon purchase

In an embodied approach to language, the goal is to generate a spontaneous, authentic experience of a poem that you can hold on to (or, if you're a teacher, one you can share)! When we linger with poems not with our rational "thinky" brain, but with a more primal gut layer of our being, we can absorb their truth and beauty deeper into the psyche. When poems live there, they pop up more regularly in our everyday lives, suffusing our days with new meaning and presence. And isn't this the goal behind any practice?

Your Instructor

Katy Hawkins
Katy Hawkins

Katy Hawkins, PhD, is a professor at Bryn Mawr College, Creator of Moving Poetics, and Director of Shiné: Mind/Body/Spirit in Philadelphia. Moving Poetics courses represent the culmination of her 27 years of teaching, in universities (Comp Lit and Gender and Queer Studies) and in her work of the last decade, teaching poetry through somatics. This cutting edge pedagogical inroad to critical thinking incorporates the urgent need for mind/body integration among students today.

Course Curriculum

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