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in one class this week the discussion turned to otters – yes, really it did!

an otter seems to embody both the strength, and the natural looseness called for in the yoga sutra’s advice on āsana.

otter’s muscular, rippling movement from head to tail tip, mirrors the fluidity of water…

imagine your body to be lithe, empowered and fluid…

with otter as example, can we surrender to our own natural movement? and through loosening the tight controls we place on ourselves feel more comfortable in our own strength?

referring to other creatures can help us to embody our own practice with human authenticity.

swimming with otter

I am watching otter, how he
plays in the water, how he
displays brave underside to the
wave-washings, how he

breathes in descent trailing sudden
sudden strings of pearls that tell
almost, but never quite, where he is
apt to rise – how he is

gone, gone, so long I despair of him, then he
trims, wetly, up the far shore and if he
looks back he is surely
laughing. I too have taken

my self into this
summer lake, where the leaves of the trees
almost touch, where peace comes
in the generosity of water, and I have

reached out into the loveliness and I have
floated on my flat back to think out
a poem or two, not by any means fluid but,
dear god, as you have made me, my only quickness.

mary oliver

For more otter inspiration try – An Otter by Ted Hughes and The Otter by Seamus Heaney