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Yoga, yoke, yolk

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “he yokes,” akin to the Latin, to join. To yoke is to join—typically two animals. The physical thing that ties them together is also the yoke. In yoga I think about that yoke—that thing that yokes as the breath, bonding both body and mind to it and thereby to one another.

The body can also become the tool, the yoke, by creating movement and heat that frees the mind by tying it to the breath and to the movement.

Yolk comes from my love of homonyms, set ablaze in fifth grade I think. The yolk is that part of the egg, the new life, that nourishes as the albumin transforms into the egged young. It makes a pretty dabble to think about in the quiet of Saturday’s yoga, in the momentary stillness of mind and the focus of breath, in the comforting twists and turns of muscle and fiber.