woman standing by windows with arms out, shadow of her on the floor

Renata’s Poetry Corner: Shadow Yogi

This week, I didn’t feel inspired to write a blog post. I actually felt inspired to share a poem I wrote back in March (my first in probably 10 years). I even did a Brave Thing™, and read it out loud at our local poetry night!

And yes, the title of this post is inspired by “Dot’s Poetry Corner” from the Animaniacs. No, I will not apologize.

Shadow Yogi

The typically quiet yoga studio is abuzz with conversation
Dim lighting foreshadowing the stillness to come
Conversations ebb and flow as I take a seat against the wall, lonely.

As the room quiets, the instructor cues
Just a gentle seated twist
Inhale, exhale

That’s when I see her
A fuzzy and faint figure appears against the wall,
Her beautiful form in torsion

Ponytail at the top of her head,
Tip of her chin,
Slope of her breast,
Narrow torso,
Bulge of her crossed legs

Admiration swells in me
I begin with delicate glances
As if I might spook her by staring
Worried she might disappear as if I was Peter Pan
I sneak one more look as we twist the other way

She follows me the rest of class,
Unintimidated by my glances
I watch her move through the flows imperfectly
Waiting for the inevitable self-hatred

Why couldn’t I be flexible?

Half lift
Upward facing dog
Why couldn’t I be strong?

Downward facing dog
Crescent lunge
Peaceful warrior
Why couldn’t I be thin?

Forward fold
Why couldn’t I be perfect?

The shadow yogi remains unworried


Always imperfect
Beautifully imperfect

Wobbling, stumbling, falling
Modifying a difficult pose
Retreating to a child’s pose

It’s all the same to the shadow yogi
My fuzzy, non-judgemental friend

During a final twist, I reach out to the wall
Could she pass me some of her strength?
Her confidence?
Her love?

I enter final rest with a smile on my face
Already looking forward to seeing the shadow yogi again
Hoping in the meantime
That she has rubbed off on me.

Photo by Fernando Rodrigues on Unsplash

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