The body doesn’t lie. Nor does the breath. Not if we look carefully and listen closely. Matters funny, beautiful, wild, deep, powerful, and often fragile are revealed when we approach the practice as if we were listening to "a language against which we have no defenses." The language of poetry is such a language. So is the language of music, and dance, and any mysterious language of artistic expression.
Let's look more closely at poetry. A good poem, or even a good line of poetry, can very swiftly and deftly pierce my heart. I have also found that both poetry and the physical practices of yoga move me in deep and personal ways that the philosophical teachings of yoga (often) do not. With good poetry (like music, or dance, and art in general) my usual defensive mechanisms are stymied and rendered ineffective.
A friend reminded me recently that the poet David Whyte expressed a similar sentiment on the NPR show “On Being” with Krista Tippett. He said that poetry is "a language against which you have no defenses." My friend said that she felt our yoga poses could be like poems. I wholeheartedly agreed! Yes! The practice of yoga is an art if we practice it as such. But what does that mean, how do we do that? What might that look or feel like? Will it be different for each of us? How might we allow our embodied presence to go ahead and speak a language against which we have no defense?