Today marks the day of the end of the Yoga Teacher Training that I embarked on in September. One of the reasons I came back to the Bay Area, was because I felt that my next step in life needed to be deepening my yoga practice and becoming more in tune with my spiritual self.
I will tell you that I don’t really know what that means, except for the fact that in the past I have been really caught up in making plans and planning my next move, so much so that it has been hard for me to concentrate on the present moment and do what feels right at any given time based on present circumstances and not taking into account the past or the future. These past few months, in the company of caring and wise teachers, as well as a group of eager and supportive aspiring teachers, I was able to explore what present is.
Today, I was trying to figure out how to encapsulate the experience of this Yoga Teacher Training via the precision that is written prose or poetry. What I like about poetry is how you can be succinct and to the point, with an air of mystery and minimalism that is hard to find in other art forms and which describes my ideal self, really.
If you are not familiar with yoga or don’t really know much about the practice, it is important to know that it is a very personal practice, and encompasses postures as well as seven other limbs or pillars that shed light on what yoga can look like in terms of the body, the mind, and the spirit working in concert. This concerto, so to speak, is what I feel the following poem conveys and what I have had the privilege of experiencing these last few months.
El mundo por dentro/ The world (from) within
Carlos Castro Saavedra
Siento correr los ríos por mis venas
y crecer las estrellas en mi frente.
Siento que soy el mundo y que la gente
habita mis pulmones y colmenas.
I feel rivers run through my veins
and stars grow bright on my forehead.
I feel that I am the world and the people
inhabit my lungs and a network of burrows.
De flores tengo las entrañas llenas
y de peces la sangre, la corriente
que caudalosa y permanentemente
inunda mis canciones y mis penas.
Flowers fill my intestines
and fishes my blood stream, and
the fast-flowing current
overflows my songs and my sorrows.
Llevo por dentro el fuego que por fuera
dora los panes, seca la madera
y produce el incendio del verano.
Within I carry a fire that on the outside
browns the bread, dries the wood,
and produces the spark of summer.
Las aves hacen nidos en mi pelo,
crece hierba en mi piel, como en el suelo,
y galopan caballos en mi mano.
Birds make nests in my hair,
grass sprouts on my skin, like on the ground,
and horses gallop in my hand.
What drew me to this poem today was looking back at my poetry file and stumbling across a poem I had translated from Spanish in college. The poem struck me as pertinent to my experience these past few months and moving forward. The poem is by Carlos Castro Saavedera and is entitled, “Callémonos un rato”, or “Let’s hold silence for a while”. I think this is what I am thinking moving forward and what makes most sense right now for me. Savoring the experience and holding stillness, letting come what may. My translation of the last verse goes as follows:
Let’s be quiet for a while,
at least to see what happens
to the word grape.
It’s possible that it grows and spills
until filling the world with sweetness
and cascades of wine.