Another View from Yoga. {poetry}


This was a poem I wrote while attending the intense yoga sessions at Urban Flow in San Francisco, California.

Now closed, the hip, happy gorgeous studio was a thriving community space for Bay Area and city yogis. Right in the center of town, for a little while, it felt like the city’s heartbeat. The energy could be euphoric. The room was huge. The Yoga classes were strong, deep, provocative, challenging. It was often tough to get there. But when you left, you sure felt a lot better. You even felt a little high.

It was fun to sing and sweat your wishes, prayers, toxins out, even smiling. You were happy you made it.  The next day, you definitely felt stronger. And good.

The room itself was a beautiful mass, oceanic spread of real soft bright hard wood. It was full of light and sun. A large disco ball reflected the light. There were smiling friendly yogis everywhere. The music was perfect, interesting, enlightening. It felt proud and out there. A packed, happy oasis. It felt like the world was coming to Yoga. We were riding on a wave. We were on to something. It felt fun and exciting.

Urban Flow San Francisco was up on a steep higher floor, and through the panoramic windows, the bird’s-eye view included some city skyline, and into a few trees and other windows and the tops of some buildings. Sunsets in that room through the trees could be cool, even magical.

One early evening, arriving late to the two-thirds packed class, I was lucky to get the last spot in the far right corner, sandwiched in tight against the stage, the windows and endless other mats. But I had made it, and had a cool view out the window. And I loved the teacher. There were birds. It was rush hour in the city. The atmosphere was buzzing.

With all the hot bodies in the room, and the intensity of the vibes, I was already sweating and the class had not even started.


Gathering, smiling yogis
wood floors, big windows

View from a third story Yoga room:
Beautiful San Francisco city skyline
sunshine, birds, trees
sunset, happy vibes

But a cold concrete corporate structure
eyesore, blight
blocks stellar panoramic views

In big bold letters
staring at me
dead on, menacingly
from my mat
as I sit in meditation:
Bank of America

Locked in Lotus
sitting forward, straight ahead
nowhere to run to
nowhere to turn
can’t run, can’t hide
sitting cross-legged

We sing Om!
three times

The teacher asks
for intentions,
for prayers

I stare at the sign fearlessly
third eye beams,
I stare at Bank of America
and shiver slightly
then pray deeply

I am suddenly thankful
for automatic deposits
ATMs, safe deposit boxes
and money flowing

I send positive healing light
to dark souls
thieves, demons, Wall Sreet rapists
sociopaths, and unconscious monsters.


Powerfully still, deep,
silently I prayed for
all entities
both seen and unseen
to be healed
to find the light
to be clean
to be pure
to be righteous
to be good.


Ava Bird is a pranic artist practicing presence and poetry from the places of heart and soul and beyond. She is also an author, a mixologist, a mythbreaker, a sharer, a comedian, and a chef of many proportions. Her works are printed in historical anthologies, academic journals, spiritual publications, online, recorded for radio and with music, and exhibited in galleries. She has organized and produced various kinds of events including the great art movement 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a universal gathering of worldwide poets and artists promoting equality, peace, justice, sustainability for the planet and its beings, global love, and positive changes for all, and more. May all beings be happy and free! You could contact Ava via Facebook.


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