It’s been an emotional, wrung-out-dishrag kind of week. As I began to craft this week’s post, my attempts at cohesive sentences, helpful insights and applicable advice felt clunky and forced. So I am falling back on the foundation of asana. Today I offer a love letter to the nurturing embrace that lives inside the poetry of the poses…

Balasana (child’s pose) I am a seedling, soft and new. Limitless potential, innocent, uninitiated, tucked into the warm, moist earth. I sprout from the darkness and reach towards the sun, expectant, curious, fearless, and eager to open.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) I lift my tail and stretch the length of my tired, powerful body, head towards the ground in a prayer and a play bow. I plant all four paws and extend my spine, breathing into the spaces between my bones…almost ready to run.

Uttanasana (standing forward bend) My legs firm beneath me, solid as the columns on a temple, I pour my torso forward. The strength of my foundation holds me as I surrender my head and my heart to my feet, splayed bravely upon the earth, connecting me to its center.

Tadasana (mountain pose) I stand tall, immovable, timeless, and towering. Born of fire or collision, continually softened by the changing winds of time. I root down as I continue to rise, without apology. I can see for miles from here.

I join my hands at the center of my heart and chant the eternal cosmic vibration of “OM.” It feels good to be home.

Surya Namaskara A (sun salutations a) I greet the day with a moving prayer…reach for the sun, bow in gratitude, back, down, offer up my heart, press back into powerful legs, loosen my neck and grow longer, unfurling. My bones aligned, my muscles relax, as effort surrenders to breath. Step forward, bow once more, rise to embrace the sun. Repeat.

Virabhadrasana II (warrior b) I step into the en guard position. I step into my power. Arms extend as shakti shoots from my fingertips. Head held high, my shoulders drop as I relax into my majesty. I am a warrior goddess, soft and strong, born from Lord Shiva’s dreadlock.

Utthita Trikonasana (extended triangle pose) My bones and tissues embody the mystery of sacred geometry as I shift and reach, expanding in all directions. A living trinity of mind, body, spirit. Legs strong, waist long, ribs soft, suspended in space, I mirror the constellations…and shine.

Vrikshasana (tree pose) From deep roots nourished by the earth, I grow up through my center. Strong and supple, swaying in the breeze, bending so as not to break. I expand and reach, sprouting a riot of leaves that blossom, shimmer, catch fire, and finally let go.

Bhujangasana (cobra pose) I am made of muscle…fluid and serpentine, beautiful and potentially dangerous. Legs become tail and ground down. My head and heart rise, hypnotic, as I soften and broaden the back of my neck, fanning out the crowning glory of my hood to announce my peaceful presence.

Ustrasana (camel pose) Knees press firmly into the desert sand as I lift the hump of my heart…up, up, up towards the blinding sun, hands to my heels for support. I am relaxed and unhurried. I can travel for days, bearing heavy loads. I carry my nourishment inside me.

Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold) Legs extended out in front, I reach my heart for my toes. I slowly elongate the back of my body, the west side, where unconscious things hide in the shadows. I am gentle and patient. I have lifetimes to come out of the darkness. My breath deepens and slows.

Shirsasana (headstand) Fingers interlaced, I cradle my head in my hands. My legs reach for the sky as I plug my crown into the earth’s magnetic field. I gather at center and place my feet upon the heavens, my legs awake and alive. I gain a new perspective. I become a conduit of grace, a lightening rod for spirit.

Savasana (corpse pose) My work is done, and I let it go. I release my body and my breath. I become still and drop into the mystery of what lies beyond the unknown. Trusting, I allow myself to be lovingly held by the benevolent force that animates all of creation. I rest at last.