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Singing Bout Myself and Mother Earth (Kiss My Asana Offering #22)

These are my notes from 2018. Since I can’t find an actual post and my hard drive only contains a draft, I must conclude that this is around the time I stopped in 2018. Now, I humbly offer you my notes. If you have been following the “poetry practice” and adding a pose a day, use these notes and the 21st offering, adding Tree Pose (Vrksasana) to the sequence just before the Half Sun Salutations. Peace.

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

 

– from This is what you shall do by Walt Whitman

In July 1846, Walt Whitman said, “Let us go forth awhile and get better air in our lungs. He was talking about baseball (in Brooklyn, no less), but his words easily apply to yoga. In fact, almost anything by Whitman can be used as a meditation during yoga. His words celebrate the body; they celebrate the mind; they celebrate the spirit within us and all around us. His words celebrate equanimity and community; and they celebrate all that is natural. However, Whitman was also quick to point out when we fail ourselves and when we fail the earth.

Earth Day (April 22nd) is the most celebrated secular holiday in the world. It is a great time to go outside, to plant a tree, to (as Whitman said) “Love the earth and sun and the animals” and to contemplate the miracle of all that is, including every blade of grass.

“It avails not, time nor place—distance avails not,

I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence,

Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt,

Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd,

Just as you are refresh’d by the gladness of the river and the bright flow, I was refresh’d,

Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current, I stood yet was hurried,

Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the thick-stemm’d pipes of steamboats, I look’d.”

– from Crossing Brooklyn Ferry (3) by Walt Whitman

 

 

Whatever it is, it avails not—distance avails not, and place avails not,

 

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”

– from Song of Myself (1) (1892 version) by Walt Whitman

 

“To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,”

– from I Sing The Body Electric (4) by Walt Whitman

 

 

“A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;

How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.

Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.

 

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,

And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,

Growing among black folks as among white,

Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same.

 

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

….

They are alive and well somewhere,

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,

And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,

And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

 

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,

And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”

 

– from Song of Myself (6) (1892 version) by Walt Whitman

 

 

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