About B Gourley

Bernie Gourley is a writer living in Bangalore, India. He is currently writing his first novel entitled CHASING DEMONS. He is a martial artist, yogi, and world traveler.

POEM: The Thaw Entwined, or: The Sunflower’s Wisdom

No. Snow and ice can’t rectify my mind.
Don’t pray I’ll flash fire it into a boil.
I’ll seize, sullen, frozen, as a gargoyle.
Frost will form on my eye, and I’ll be blind.
A thaw comes only in the state entwined.
If only I were gifted at that toil.
I watch Trussed Wonder’s melt begin to roil,
wondering how they knew which way to wind.
 
But nature graces those lacking talent.
A sunflower’s wisdom is all one needs.
Making turning to the sun look gallant,
is the lazy thaw path to being freed.
 
There is no flash fried wisdom you shouldn’t shun,
but, perhaps, just revolve to face the sun.

POEM: Decay

People fear death,
but beyond death lies decay,
and one can rejoice in decay.

For to decay is
to be Santa handing out piles of gifts,
building blocks badly needed to make
stalks and sternums.

Becoming the dark, rich loam,
the color of coffee grounds,
from which shoots and leaves
sprout to chase the light.

Your gifts will keep giving
despite the people grieving
because you are a pile of
recyclables.

POEM: Surrender


The arrogance, shoving words into rows,
try to describe someplace only god knows.

A cube of rock, turned edge skywards,
loftily defying each, and all, of my words.

Jolie laide in its craggy perfection,
free from all vanity and dejection.

When it shrouds itself in cloudy veils,
it doesn’t do so because it quails.

It demands no awe and yet has mine.
It is the sacred, sans the shrine,
and, before it, I bow.

5 Challenging [Int.] Standing Balances

Vīrabhadrāsana III (Warrior III)

5.) Vīrabhadrāsana III (Warrior III):

What makes it challenging?

Substantial core strength is needed to obtain the capital “T” position. Straightening the lifted leg and getting it in line with the torso is the first challenge. Also, there is a tendency for the hip of the lifted leg to angle upward into an position in between Warrior III and Half Moon Pose (see below.) The front of the pelvis should be squared toward the floor. The drishti (focal point) at the extended hands also creates more of a challenge than looking straight down at the floor.

 

Ardha Chandrāsana (Half Moon Pose)

4.) Ardha Chandrāsana (Half Moon Pose):

What makes it challenging?

Largely, the same challenges that make Warrior III difficult. However, “stacking the hips,” i.e. getting the front of the pelvis squared to the wall (not the floor or at a downward angle) requires a high degree of hip flexibility. Hip openers may be necessary to be able to stack the hips without the torque of lifting the top hip up throwing one off balance.

 

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrāsana (Twisted Half Moon Pose)

3.) Parivrtta Ardha Chandrāsana (Twisted Half Moon Pose):

What makes it challenging?

Again, this posture shares challenges with Warrior III and Half Moon. While it’s less difficult than Half Moon in that it doesn’t require hip stacking, it makes up for it in that twisting motions tend to make staying on balance difficult. This is because one has to remain stable on the standing foot as the torso rotates and if one can’t stack one’s shoulders the weight distribution may be hard to keep balanced. Also, achieving the drishti (looking at the upper hand) without breaking balance is no easy feat.

 

Ardha Baddha Padmōttānāsana (Bound Half Lotus Pose) [Standing]

Ardha Baddha Padmōttānāsana (Bound Half Lotus Pose) [Folded]

2.) Ardha Baddha Padmōttānāsana (Bound Half Lotus Pose):

What makes it challenging?

The knees should be next to each other, but the knee of the folded leg wants to be forward and to the outside. Also, one must get the heel aligned on one’s centerline (below the navel) so that when one folds the foot is in a position where it can compress into the soft, fleshy tissue rather than being wedged between bones.

 

Ūrdhva Prasārita Ekapādasana (Standing Split)

1.) Ūrdhva Prasārita Ekapādasana (Standing Split):

What makes it challenging?

Straightening the lifted leg without throwing oneself off balance is the big challenge. It’s possible to put both hands around the support leg ankle, to make it even more challenging, but one must have an exit strategy in case one loses balance.