Stretch of the West

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Lorene McDonough

Sit with legs extended, flex your feet.
Breathe in to raise your arms, grow tall. Breathe out
to fold your body forward, hold your feet. 
Breathe in to lift your head and chest. Breathe out
to draw your navel in and coax your chest
and chin toward your toes. Breathe in, breathe out.
Place a bolster on your shins and rest
your forehead, slow your breath. Release.

The Indian yogis do their morning prayers 
facing East. And so they came to call 
this deep bow to the dawn Stretch of the West.
Little did they know what would become  
of yoga taken over by the West—     
Cash or credit. Work out, decompress.

John W. Steele is a psychologist, yoga teacher and graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at Western Colorado University.