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It's often said, poetry captures emotion better than any other form of art. It makes you think and puts into words what you often can't express yourself.

When we first organised retreats we explored poetry. There were too clear camps - the haters and the lovers. In fact the haters didn't even hang around. They walked off from our beautiful natural countryside setting (our scenery for inspiration) and never attempted to explore their potential for poetry. A shame because, I too was once one of those haters.

At school we were given poetry by Thomas Hardy (the most depressing poetry on the planet, often about death, pain, loss, grief, sadness, depression...things I, as a teenager didn't want to read about). I guess the modern day version would have been Morrissey from The Smiths, again not something I wanted to hear.

But it was the poem by Maya Angelou called 'I rise' that I read years later which touched a nerve and, turned me into a lover of poetry. A poem about resilience, a poem saying that no matter what happens or what is thrown I will always rise. It's saying you can overcome anything with self-esteem.

Poetry can certainly be powerful, it has the ability to stir the senses, the imagination and, a rare thing these days, if it hooks you in the first line you'll read it till the end.

So for me, yoga and poetry fit rather nicely together - words for the mind, yoga for the body - together bringing emotions on to the page...if you want to see them that is. Sometimes seeing raw emotions on the page can be too much. But, what I have found, is when you take the emphasis off yourself and write about yoga, without even realising it, you capture a different part of you, as one of our retreaters found to her surprise;

Me and Yoga (words by Niki Cox)

Yoga has given me the sense to relax.

Each posture, each movement.

Only the time between can make it feel complete.

From the aches in my arms, to the flexibility of my joints.

From the stretch in Mountain, to the strength needed for Crow.

It's been intense at times.

But oh how I feel I have grown.

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