Yoga with Melissa 341 Poetry in Motion Wild Geese

by Melissa West on July 22, 2016

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Mary Oliver Wild Geese


Perfectionism-YogaYou do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

In our culture, especially in the context of social media, there is a tremendous amount of pressure to perform, please and be perfect. Social media puts the pressure on us to show that we can create the perfect meals, the perfect homes, have the perfect hairstyles, makeup, clothes and go on the perfect vacations. We crave the praise and approval of our followers, looking for likes and comments, believing that when we gain the approval and likes of others we ourselves will feel happy and light up from inside.

In this poem, Mary Oliver reminds us,

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

You do not have to be good, you do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles, you only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves, the world will go on.

As we remember from the Inner Critic series when it comes to perfectionism, there are no priorities, our inner perfectionist will require us to be perfect in all areas of our life. This poem reminds us that our self worth is not dependent on our productivity, accomplishments or outward appearances. We can become aware of negative internal dialogue and practice appreciation for ourselves as the wild geese do. This poem reminds us that the wild geese announce our place in the family of things. We all have our place in the natural world, our place of being, not doing, and our interdependent world is dependent on our being.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Props Needed: yoga blocks, yoga strap, meditation cushion or chair,

Yoga Postures/Asanas: Supported Fish Pose or Salamba Matsyasana, Knee Sways, Keyhole Stretch, Shoulder Release, Cat Pose or Marjaryasana, Crawling, Kneeling Sun Salutations, Tadasana or Mountain Pose, Tree Pose or Vrksasana, Sun Salutation with Cloud Salutation, Goddess Victory Squat or Utkata Konasana, Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana, Gomukhasana or Cow’s Face Pose, Savasana or Corpse Pose

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Thank you for your continued kindness and generous support. It helps us to produce this show and offer a free one hour yoga class every Friday.

Today’s question to answer in the comments is: What is one small way you are going to release the grip of perfectionism this week?

If you would like an infographic of my top 3 benefits of engaging with poetry then scroll down to the opt in box and type in your email address below. We will send you an infographic of my 3 benefits of engaging with poetry.

Today we did some crawling and I shared with you the benefits of crawling. From improving the connection between the left and right hemisphere of your brain, allowing better communication between your brain and body, uniting your sensory systems, integrating your vestibular system (which improves balance), improving proprioception (your sense of self in space), and improving your visual system (including a hand/eye coordination), crawling has a lot of benefits. We have entire classes dedicated to brain yoga in our membership community.

One that comes to mind is:
Brain Yoga for Standing Balancing Yoga Postures – 30mins
One of the things people ask me for help with most often is standing balancing yoga postures. One of the first signs of brain deterioration is when your balance starts to go. Using simple movement patterns on a daily basis, like the rocking, rolling, cross patterns, and crawling shown in this video will help to develop your brain. As your brain is nourished, your body is developed. When you make a movement you make a neural pathway for that movement. If you keep making that movement, you engrave that neural pathway for your brain. The more nerve connections you can make in your brain and your body the more your balance will improve. Try adding this yoga class into your regular rotation if you struggle with standing balancing postures and let me know if you notice an improvement.

However, we also have a whole playlist of brain yoga classes, with 14 membership classes with brain yoga in them

We would love to welcome you into our membership community today. Click here for details

Weekly Yoga with Melissa #341 Photos of Yoga Pose

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