On Kindness

At a yoga retreat in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

I’ve had the opportunity to practice yoga for free this entire month thanks to Divinitree, the new incredible studio that has just opened in downtown Santa Barbara. The month of free yoga is coming to an end and a blog dedicated entirely to this new studio is coming soon. Let’s just say that I adore every single detail about it and there’s a lot of details so Ill go into that another time. I’m still floating from this evening’s restorative yin class. The yoga, the real yoga, is still seeping in my system, working its magic in the subtle body. My thoughts aren’t quite coherent yet, but I wanted to put this poem out into the universe, a wonderful poem that was read in class tonight. It was my first time hearing it- I hope you enjoy.

Sweet dreams.


Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say it is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you every where like a shadow or a friend.

by Naomi Shihab Nye from “Words Under the Words”

At a yoga retreat in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

a little arm balance action while on a yoga retreat in lake atitlan, guatemala

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