by Naomi Shihab Nye
Skin remembers how long the years grow
when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel
of singleness, feather lost from the tail
of a bird, swirling onto a step,
swept away by someone who never saw
it was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
slept by itself, knew how to raise a
see-you-later hand. But skin felt
it was never seen, never known as
a land on the map, nose like a city,
hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque
and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.
Skin had hope, that’s what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers–silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin’s secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.
From: Naomi Shihab Nye’s collection of poetry, Words Under Words: Selected Poems.
This poem reminds me of everything I learned during my training as a Phoenix Rising Yoga therapist, teacher and group facilitator – that our bodies are an incredible source of wisdom. Since our bodies have been present with us every moment of our lives, they hold all of the memories of our lived experience: good, bad and indifferent.
Just like the poem says, your body experiences your reality, feels what may never be seen, knows the unknown and untold parts of your story. Your body is intelligent and aware of every experience that has happened in your life. Your body holds the memory of everything that has happened in your life.
Through the practice of yoga, you come to experience your body in a deep and profound way. You no longer separate your mind from your body. You become curious about the felt sensations of your physical experience and how they connect to your emotions, thoughts and energy. Instead of looking to external resources for answers, you begin to rely more and more on your own lived experience as lived by your own truth. As my teacher Elissa Cobb says, ‘Awareness happens through your body.”
Resource: The Forgotten Body by Elissa Cobb
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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Today’s question to answer in the comments is: What is your body telling you this week?
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If you would like more support in bringing awareness to your body, I highly recommend our introduction to meditation series in our membership community. This 5 day series introduces you to meditation by preparing you for sitting, how to sit and be in your body, being with your breath and a candle gazing meditation.
Weekly Yoga with Melissa #344 Photos of Yoga Pose