BERNAL YOGA LITERARY SERIES: where downward dog is only a metaphor

[ Sat Apr 14 12 ]

The Bernal Yoga Literary Reading Series made me curious. Yoga and a reading? I wondered. Would I be sun-saluting while Kirmen Uribe recited to a room full of sweeping, stretching limbs? Would Nona Caspers lead our mindful pranyama breathing then read from her new work? And, would poems from Arisa White’s Hurrah’s Nest wind us down with a final spinal twist?

As it turns out, Bernal Yoga Lit is not literally yoga and readings but readings in a very chill yoga space where floor cushions encourage cross-legged meditations on The Word. Clean white walls, a smooth wood floor, Guatemalan rugs and low light might even assure you that Om and inner peace lie quietly in wait.

On Saturday, April 14th Basque poet Kirmen Uribe, with translator Elizabeth Macklin, opened the show as a special guest. If you’ve never heard Basque spoken, you have to watch the video of Uribe; Macklin reads her English translation first and he follows, robing urgency and emotion around his native tongue. The entire evening’s line-up can be watched above, in order of appearance:

  1. Kirmen Uribe, with translator Elizabeth Macklin
  2. Becca Richardson
  3. Rebekah Pickard
  4. Emily Phillips
  5. Nona Caspers
  6. Gloria Frym
  7. Juan Alvarado Valdivia
  8. Fernando Pujals
  9. Arisa White

Above is the entire evening. Click “Play” to watch all, “Next” to skip forward, or the small “Playlist” screen (to the right of the video time) to see thumbnails and watch them directly.

Author Matthew Iribarne is the keeper of Bernal Yoga Literary Series’ flame. Check out upcoming readers and get more info here. Just remember to leave your shoes at the door, and take every opportunity to stretch. And, yes, sun salutations are optional!

Evelyn Manangan-Price