How can you know the breather from the breath?

Yoga as an art form is at once interpretive and creative, scripted and improvised, individual and collaborative. The asanas are an expression and an exposition of an internal act of devotion, moment to moment. Each is born, lives and dies. Each tells its story of love, hate, joy, suffering, creation, destruction; the narrative of humanity.

As a yoga practitioner, as an artist, you have to look, and see, with new eyes every day. The world is rich. There is inspiration everywhere that can re-inform and re-ignite the fire of curiosity. Curiosity, enquiry, is the fuel, the engine, the life-giver of a living practice in which the pulse of the present is inhabited.

Today in class we were exploring ‘roots and shoots’; where are you rooted, and from the rootedness what shoots are growing, rising, climbing and expanding? I also had an inspiring post-class chat with dance and yoga practitioner Fleur Darkin, and both of these things sent me back to a much beloved poem. So here’s the eighth and final verse of ‘Among School Children’ by WB Yeats. It makes my heart sing. Hope you like it too.

Labour is blossoming or dancing where            

The body is not bruised to pleasure soul

Nor beauty born out of its own despair

Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.

O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,

Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?

O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,

How can you tell the dancer from the dance?

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