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Writing as Asana: I get to be Me 

by Kayce Stevens Hughlett

“For the words I never said, but which I needed to, let me say them now: first to you for clarity, and then to those they are meant for.” Pixie Lighthorse, Prayers of Honoring Voice

I sit in the back left corner of yoga class, in the upper shala at Haramara Retreat, Sayulita, Mexico… writing. It feels good to express myself through movements of hand to paper rather than asana, and it is a tinge scary. I need to be here. I need to be me. I need to sit in the fresh air, hear the birds sing, feel the gentle breeze blow across my face, and know the warmth of the rising sun on my being, my beautiful being.

I feel off. Standing upright doesn’t feel good, but it is right for me to be here in my body, my perfect body. I hear Karen’s voice shepherding the class through movements. A soft thud of foot meeting mat. Wood creaking. Chaturanga, she invites.

Sitting here with pen and journal is my chaturanga on this day. Earlier when I moved into downward dog, bile rose (or did it fall?) into my throat. Vinyasa or down dog. I hear the invitation. Warrior one. I am a warrior on my mat. My head throbs. Flying warrior. I stay inert. I get to be me.

I lay down my pen and meditate while listening to Karen lead the community through more postures. I get to be me. My rhythm here at Haramara is slightly off. By the time we finish our two-hour yoga class and a leisurely, scrumptious breakfast, I am past my optimum writing time. Is that true? Is that really true? The statue on my left inquires.

“To be able to live our life as a creative act—a world that comes from the heart.” Karen’s words infuse the space.

Today I must create on the page. My writing time has been sparse on this trip which felt okay until this morning. Now it feels right to be here in the midst of an active yoga class with my journal and pen. This is my act of warriorship. To be myself. To listen to the call of my heart.

What does it take to be yourself in this world? What is your courageous act? Mine is to sit and write in the midst of class. To listen deeply to what I need. To drop into child’s pose when necessary. To create my life by stringing together moments like beads on a mala. To set intention after intention, breath by breath, word by word.

To listen for the words I need to say. To practice them on the page. Perhaps … to share them with the world. 

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