Yoga on the soil

I taught a class at Carriageworks. It was a soil installation by Asad Raza called Absorption. Walking into the space was to find a room full of dirt … 300 tonnes of it!  But the dirt was not just dumped and left as if dirt was just an idea . It was loved nurtured, combed (raked) air stroked through it, fed all sorts of amazing things as needed and had her ph levels tested daily. She had headphones attached to her so we could hear her vibrating sounds. 

We took off our shoes. ‘Yes’, we were stepping on sacred ground. We began our ‘prayer’, our asana. 

And the sacred ground sang to us, perfumed our deeper senses into her, each of us feeling her life bringing us home to our real selves. She held our bodies, stilled and settled our feet, found us. We come from this earth and we shall go back to her. How sweet and lovingly she greets us.

This was some special experience of earth! 


Ode to Dirt

Dear dirt, I am sorry I slighted you,

I thought that you were only the background

for the leading characters—the plants

and animals and human animals.

It’s as if I had loved only the stars

and not the sky which gave them space

in which to shine. Subtle, various,

sensitive, you are the skin of our terrain,

you’re our democracy. When I understood

I had never honored you as a living

equal, I was ashamed of myself,

as if I had not recognized

a character who looked so different from me,

but now I can see us all, made of the

same basic materials—

cousins of that first exploding from nothing—

in our intricate equation together. O dirt,

help us find ways to serve your life,

you who have brought us forth, and fed us,

and who at the end will take us in

and rotate with us, and wobble, and orbit.

—Sharon Olds


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