I’ve been practicing bowing recently.
When I was researching possible publishers for the book I’m working on, I stumbled upon a book called Bowing by Dahn Yoga Education. I was intrigued and ordered it.
When it came, I devoured it in one sitting and started practicing!
It’s a simple practice, bowing.
Just like the tulips in the photo, that rise in the spring, bloom radiantly, and then release their form to the earth to build up energy for their next blossoming in the following year, bowing is a metaphor for being willing to let go, and then re-form and rise again…when it’s time.
Hands at my heart, I feel myself here, human, woman, being, connecting earth and heaven.
Prayers reach to heaven, draw down into my earthly body, mix the light and dark, the active and still, the blossoming and the release of this form.
And then the downward trajectory, bodysoul (body-heart-mind-soul) returning to the earth with reverence and humility, a sacred return.
How surely gravity’s law, / strong as an ocean current, / takes hold of even the strongest thing /
and pulls it toward the heart of the world. (Rilke in II, 16.)
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, growing from the earth, returning to the earth. Head bowed, touching the earth, hands open to receive.
If we surrendered / to earth’s intelligence /
we could rise up rooted, like trees. (Rilke in II, 16.)
Surrendering this moment through the physicality of the bow. My body embodying it so that my heart and mind can learn this gesture as well.
…to fall, / patiently to trust our heaviness. / Even a bird has to do that /
before he can fly. (Rilke in II, 16.)
Returning to standing, following the same pathway, with a subtly changed orientation of the heart. Bringing the humble, solid, ever-supportive and accepting presence of earth up into my humanness, connecting heaven and earth.
Would you like to practice embodying the bow with me?
Relax, renew, and restore with SomaYoga, Yin Yoga, meditation, and embodiment practices specifically designed for a woman’s body, heart, mind, and soul.
Thursdays from 7:30-9:00 pm at St. Paul Yoga Center.
Yoga, as we practice it in the US, has been developed by men for a man’s body, not a woman’s. Our curves, our different hormonal cycles, our neurological wiring, and the body tyranny we face in our culture… these all call out for a different way of practicing.
Women’s yoga, as I’ve been studying and practicing it, is about creating space for you as a woman to express and be all of yourself through your body. It is a way of inhabiting your body in an inquisitive way, of coming home to how a pose can flex, move, curve, and flow to feel good and opening and inviting in your woman’s body. Read more.
Worship Service: Everyday Sacred Embodiment
Sunday, May 28th at 10:30 am, Minnesota Valley UU Fellowship
Embodiment is such a buzz word these days. What does it really mean? And what’s the big deal about being in your body? Join Interfaith Minister Katy Taylor and Worship Associate Betsy Carter to explore these questions and consider how this all fits into the times we are living in. Come curious and ready to inquire!
2 thoughts on “Bowing Practice”
YES! “Bowing”! Something I’ve been quite unconsciously doing a lot of recently, without even being aware of what one could call it. Being awed, joyed, re-invigorated by all the emergence of green in our natural world – reveling in the fresh and sometimes sweet smells from an open window of nearby woods – and not to mention the daily blessings which grace and surprise me, when I’ve expected quite the opposite. I bowed to the wintergreen emerging last week on the woods’ floor, to the wild honeysuckle’s sweet perfume, to the tiny blue skipper returning, to the native beach plum blossoms coloring our fields and roads – fully aware I was ‘paying homage’ to these wonders, but never quite connecting the most appropriate term – ‘bowing’ – to them!
oh, yes, Dar! bowing to the beauty, the grace within the world. what a beautiful practice! thank you for naming that here. xxoo