I had the honour and the privilege of offering a few words of gathering and closing for my dear friend and teacher Misha Patel’s yoga class this week.
I huddled over a candle in my darkened attic room, jangling with nerves, and when Misha invited me to unmute myself and speak, I shared the words you find below.
I’ve been writing this blog since March and it has been one of the joys of my life to share my heart with the world in this way. One of the greatest privileges is when I hear that a reader has shared a blessing with a friend or read it aloud as part of a gathering. But this was the first time this has happened when I was in the room (digitally, at least). Seeing life breathed into my words by having them as part of a real gathering of people, was remarkable. Misha wove parts of the opening blessing into her instruction throughout the practice. Even when I was lying on my mat in yoga nidra, I felt a whole-body thrill to hear her revisiting lines from the blessing.
With huge gratitude for the generosity of Misha and her community to allow me to contribute to their yoga class, I offer these words to be used for other yoga and meditation classes. I would love to hear from you if you do decide to use them. I pray they bless you as much as it blessed me to share them with Misha’s yoga community.
Words of gathering
As we arrive here together
I invite you
To gather yourself in
Lovingly, as a hen gathers in her young,
Gather in your senses
Gather in the fluctuations of your mind
Gather in your heart’s whispers
Gather in your awareness of the other souls in this circle
Gather in, even, the stresses, the hurts and the challenges that you are holding
And as we move together,
Wash them all in the gentle light of presence
And may you trust
That without pushing or pulling
Grasping or aversion
Simply through the breath and this practice of yoga
That that which no longer serves you
Will fall away
Creating space within for what it is your soul truly needs.
Words of closing
The circle is strong
Not because it is made of steel
But because its sides are so many
And each side supports the others
As we close this time together
We draw one last time upon the power of this circle to strengthen us
This circle of people
The circular rhythm of the breath
The circling of the earth, which in turning towards night, now invites us to rest
The circle of the seasons
May you carry yourself forward into the coming days with all gentleness
that you need only return to the breath
To be encircled
Join Misha’s beautiful yoga community here – she is currently offering online classes.