Yoga with Melissa 346 Poetry in Motion The First Step

by Melissa West on August 26, 2016

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The First Step


Yoga-with-Melissa-Episode-346Start Close In by David Whyte
Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way to begin
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
Simple.

To hear
another’s voice,
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice

becomes an
intimate
private ear
that can
really listen
to another.
Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

A David Whyte poem from
River Flow: New & Selected Poems
Many Rivers Press

This poem reminds me of the quote, don’t compare your beginning with somebody else’s middle. In the age of digital media, it is natural to compare our beginnings with everybody else’s middle when we decide to start something. We cannot expect to be a master at the beginning. We cannot expect to skip all the steps that our teachers have taken along the path to get where they have gotten.

About a year ago, I started drawing mandalas, this led to an interest in art more generally speaking. I live in a huge artist community here in Victoria, BC and in an age of digital media when there are loads of art teachers online as well. I even had one of my yoga with Melissa students, an artist, step forward and offer to teach me. It was very difficult not to compare my rudimentary paintings to their practiced works of art. I had no experience with colour, shape, values, rules of thirds, perspective, shadows … at the beginning it was all overwhelming. However, I took the first step, everyday I would practice some form of art, painting, collage, sketching, drawing, something. I took art courses, I looked at art. Over time, I learned more and my art improved. I took the first step, I started close in, with the step that I didn’t want to take. My art wasn’t very good at the beginning. I made my own mistakes. I learned from my mistakes. I keep trying and taking the next step, the one closest in.

A similar thing is happening now after two years of having frozen shoulder, I almost have full range of motion back in my shoulder. I want to be able to do everything again, however my shoulder and arms have lost a lot of mobility and strength. The same principle has applied. I was not able to go from nothing to back to doing handstands, I had to take the next step, the one closest, building my strength, mobility and endurance slowly, following the wisdom of my own body.

Reflect on these teachings and how they relate to you. When have you wanted to be in the middle instead of at the beginning taking the first step? What is the first step that you can take right now in your life?

Props Needed: 2 blocks, meditation cushion or chair, wall

Yoga Postures/Asanas: setu bandhasana or bridge pose, Keyhole Stretch, Happy Baby Pose or Ananda Balasana, Crawling, Lunge or Anjaneyasana, Foot yoga, Ganesh Mudra, Warrior One or Virabhadrasana One, ShoulderStand or Salamba Sarvangasana, Fish Pose or Matsyasana, Locust or Salabhasana, Locust Twist, Childs Pose or balasana, Savasana or Corpse Pose

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

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Today’s question to answer in the comments is: What is your first step? Your close in step?

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. We will send you a beautiful infographic of my 3 benefits of engaging with poetry.

Today we focused on taking the first step. To take the first step you start with your feet. We have a lot of classes in our membership community that will support you in building a solid foundation in your feet to take the first step.

Classes for your Feet

Yoga for Anxiety
This class has a very strong focus on your legs and feet to ground and connect you to the earth and includes the foot series.

Intro to Foot Connective Tissue Class
Do you have aches and pains? Are you looking for a simple way to look after your body? Working with your connective tissue will improve your efficiency and performance in your fitness routine, while enhancing your daily life by improving your digestion, sleeping, and reducing inflammation, accumulated stress and chronic pain symptoms.
Props Needed: SOFT SQUASH BALL
Please, please, please do not substitute other balls for this class. You could do damage to your connective tissue. Also, please don’t buy your balls at the dollar store. You are going to be rubbing them against your skin which is a huge organ that can absorb toxins. Splurge and go to target or walmart.

Feet First
Restrictive footwear and shoes that support our arches and cushion our feet create muscular imbalances that are reflected up through the body as knee, low back, hip and shoulder problems. Muscular imbalances in the feet establish distorted alignment in the body resulting in inefficient movement and fatigue. Better posture in the body starts with muscular balance in the feet, creating a body that moves with ease, efficiency and results in more energy. This yoga video offers several yogic and lifestyle solutions for flat feet, plantar fasciitis, hip, knee, low back and shoulder problems. The feet are the roots of the body. Using the metaphor of a plant, this video will spread and deepen your connection to the earth first allowing you to grow toward the light.

Toes Class
Consider this Feet First part 2, but a shorter class

Yoga for Grounding
Lots of action for your feet in this video!

Yoga for Runners
This class has some interesting exercises for your feet and ankles! Check it out!

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Weekly Yoga with Melissa #346 Photos of Yoga Pose

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