My choice, in the palm of my hands – By: Eli Rallo

Yesterday a 12 year old girl from my yoga class presented me with a poem she wrote, thanking me for introducing her to something she loves. The poem is one of the most profound yet simple things I have read about the experience of yoga. I asked for her permission to share it with others via the internet and she agreed. It reminded me that as a teacher there is so much going on with our students then what we physically see in the room and as a student she spoke to my heart. I am sure you will be as moved as I was.  –Nancy Buckle

The hum of almost nothing
Yet you can hear that something is there
Your toes squishing into the soul of the floor
Finding something within it
That nobody else knew by looking
That’s not what it is
It is not looking
It’s feeling
It’s a belief to move on
It’s a fight to stay up and stay strong
Its to remember what really matters
The way you move ever so gracefully
So much so that you didn’t know you could be this way before
Learning is what it is really
I think it’s learning
Not how to do it
But who to do it with
But when to do it
But what to bring to it
To stretch your arms up or slowly bring them down
To touch the sky
And think
Or to lay on the ground
Pressing your hands into the mat
It’s doing it alongside a friend
Or someone who will become a friend
That makes it the perfect practice
It’s the way you feel
When you’re done
As you barely whisper one word across your lips
Yet you still know it’s there
It’s all I ever looked for but haven’t found
Until Wednesday night at that small room
With the calm wood floors
With the crowd of girls
With the squished together yoga mats
And the light and airy teacher
Looking at us
And smiling
That makes it all that much more perfect
It’s a careful practice where people who look graceful and quiet are really loud and tough
It’s not just one thing
It’s a bundle together
It’s strength
Goals and relaxation
The end is like dessert
Soft, smooth, sweet and calming
But always gone too fast.
People usually wish that they could become perfect at something
But I like how I am not perfect at it
I like how I have to push myself
I like how my arms shake
And my legs buckle
But I tell myself to stay up
I love when she says you can move on if you want
And I suddenly feel like I want it
I love how after I smile
And the worried feeling in the pit of my stomach is gone
And I’m loose
I like how the way I do it is in my hands
I like how I don’t look like my friend
Or the lady on the front of the magazine
I like when I can’t do it
That makes it more fun
Because then you have to try
That’s what makes it all that more of a class
If you’re good at it already
You achieve it too fast
And stay in the pose while the others learn and listen
That’s a good part too
As her voice tells me what to do
And suddenly I am doing the motions
And I am doing what I always thought I could never ever do
We’re not allowed to say never in our yoga class
We’re not allowed to say it outside of our class
Once we join
We know it’s true
Never is not an option
The world is our choices
The world is a yoga mat
The world is a place full of wonders
Half the wonders sit in a small room
With the hard wood floor
The squished group of girls
And the word that is whispered off our lips at the end of the practice
Almost like it’s not even there
But we all know it is


12 thoughts on “My choice, in the palm of my hands – By: Eli Rallo

  1. Pingback: 12 Year Old Yogini’s Poem Inspires via Live.Breathe.Grow - Flow Yoga Magazine

  2. Beautiful!!!
    How insightful . At 12 this young lady has a connection with yoga ignited by your inspirational teaching. You must feel blessed to have given this gift to Eli Gail. You must be full of joy to have received this gift of words which you have such a strong connection to as a writer.
    You are now inspiring young girls with your teaching ,as you have inspired all who follow you with your writing. ❤

  3. agree with tara– chills– this is so beautifully written and what insight from a girl of 12– look at what you’ve inspired!!!!!!!! sharing!!!

  4. What a vibrant poem from a lovely soul! I’m helping put together an anthology called “The Poetry of Yoga,” edited by yoga instructor and peace educator HawaH, with a foreword by Shiva Rea, and we’re accepting poetry submissions from now through April 15th at We’d be delighted if Eli would submit this poem!

    • Laura,
      Eli would love to submit her poem.
      I assume she would receive credit for her work in the anthology.
      Her name is spelled Eli Gail Rallo.
      Somehow it was spelled wrong on live.breathe.grow.
      I don’t think she expected it to go any further than her teacher’s hands and she did not proof her work.
      Thank You,
      Kari Rallo

  5. Wow! This little girl is onto something that most adults are still striving to achieve! ~Keep the inspiration flowing, and the world smiling~

  6. Hello Everyone! Thanks for writing your support for Eli in here! I have been working with young girls for 12 years now and they never cease to teach me profound lessons about life. Sometimes it is easy for adults to forget how much pure untapped energy, emotion and wisdom is inside the minds and bodies of our youth. I always welcome the lesson! I agree that not only Eli – but so many children are on to something that we strive for… we can learn so much!
    Love and light to everyone

  7. Thank you so much Kari! I am so excited for Eli. I fixed the spelling of her name in the blog post here and please let Eli know that if she would like to proof and/or edit her poem and provide me with another copy I will make sure to make changes for her. We all think it is absolutely beautiful and perfect as is, but also want to assure that Eli is the happy.

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