The Banks of the River

On a very beautiful and magnificent day, that is also my son's 24th birthday, I lead my students through an invigorating practice of twists of all varieties - standing, revolved, seated, and lying twists...

I begin my day by visiting the river to survey the rippling waters from its banks. The flood waters have subsided somewhat, but countless foreign tree trunks and limbs have now made their home along its edges, altering a landscape that had become familiar. I long to get in, but it must wait. Today is a day for teaching and other tasks...

My students rise to the occasion in class, by engaging all three aspects of Muscular Energy - the second of the Anusara Yoga Universal Principles of Alignment - as they hug their muscles to their bones and draw in energetically towards the mid line of their bodies - and from the periphery to their core - and into the energetic focal point of each pose. They blossom and extend out organically - unfurling in poses like Parivrtta Parsvakonasana and Parivrtta Trikonasana.

My roomful of beautiful goddesses draw in and expand out - their fingers spreading brightly like the rays of the sun - their smiles, satisfaction, and joy - light up not only the confines of this room - but beyond it as well!

Like the banks of the river - they tap into an infinite reservoir within them that is always there for the taking - and go more deeply into their poses. Like the banks of the river Seine in Paris - they harness the power of a magnificent river - taming the flood waters - and riding its endless supply of energy...

On a majestic day after weeks of rain and incredible downpours - the sky is bright blue - and the breeze is cool and exquisite - and like the banks of the river - my beautiful students tap into their core - making poetry and beauty with their bodies...

I end class by revisiting a poem I wrote three years ago - perhaps almost to the exact season:

The Banks of the River

We come to our mats
Invited into greater alignment--
To find balance
And the recognition
Of our true nature

We come to our mats
Invited into greater alignment--
Supporting the flow
Of our deepest essence,
Like the banks of a river.

We come to our mats
Invited into greater alignment--
And we are encouraged
To let ourselves freely flow,
Pulsating and teeming with life
Sustained by the banks of a river.

I come to the mat
In pursuit of greater alignment

From the banks of a river
I step into the flow of my essence
And true nature--
Forever reflected in
The deep and rich current
of grace

(From the volume on yoga poetry - Blossoms of Divine Love: Poems from the Heart of an Anusara Practice, by Dr. Olga Rodriguez Rasmussen - visit: )


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