Yoga Class by George Longenecker

Yoga Class

Imagine earth below us, she says,
I think of a stone slab atop Mount Hunger
where I’ve napped in warm sun;
she says to look for balance in life,
I think of stone balancing for eons—
then I think of hunger, remember my dream,
a hotel I can’t get out of,
a dining room I can’t find, student papers
piling forever higher,
but I want to think of birds—
yellow throat warblers
that balance on tiny branches;
branch out, she says,
then we chant om,
I hear warblers sing;
think inside your body,
she says, as we breathe deeply,
I think of my heart as electrical resistance,
hear ohm, feel it beating,
imagine myself a warbler,
heartbeat five times faster;
we move into tree pose, I balance, feel my heart pump,
think of silly clichés—heartache, heartsick;
I’m balancing on a pine branch,
resting on warm stone,
my heart beats so slowly and perfectly,
I’m barely aware I’m here.

by George Longenecker, first published in Main Street Rag 2016

Editor’s Note: Surreal imagery and transitions allow this poem to replicate the meditative feeling that is so difficult to achieve when in the midst of yoga.