Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Interview With Charu Agarwal

Welcome to The Women Behind The Poetry, where we interview women from the 'Journey of The Heart: Women's Spiritual Poetry Project'!  

Today we introduce you to the lovely Charu Agarwal, an inspired yoga teacher, heartfelt counselor, alternative healing practitioner and, above all, an ardent seeker, from Gurgaon, India. 

When and how did you first begin writing poetry?

I never consciously thought about writing poetry. It was one of those things I felt I could never do. Then one day, I happened to read a poem someone had written online about their yoga practice. It moved me to tears as I could completely identify with the poet’s feelings. This sparked a deep longing in my heart to express my deepest feelings in verse too. But I again told myself that writing poetry was quite beyond my skill-set!

Not long after this, I was lying in Shavasana (corpse pose) after my yoga practice one evening when a couple of lines of what would be my first poem “Yoga & Me” just bubbled to my awareness. I was surprised, delighted and quite in awe! I made a note of those lines, and paused.  I decided to listen to my heart. Was there anything more? It wasn’t long before an entire poem had found its way onto the page. I tweaked it here and there, deliberated a bit more and finally there it was – my first poem! It left me feeling utterly content.

Which subjects are easiest for you to write poems on?

I can write on subjects that I feel strongly about – that touch my heart and soul.

When are some of your sources of inspiration in writing poetry?

Contemplations on my personal journey and the beauty of nature inspire me the most.

What is your biggest fear or hesitation when deciding to share a poem with the public, and how do you move beyond it?

In the beginning I was quite apprehensive of sharing my poetry thinking it was too childish since I prefer to write in a lyrical style. I was also concerned about sharing my deepest feelings, dark moments and personal struggles as it made me feel vulnerable and exposed.

Then one day after penning a particularly exhilarating poem “Flying Free” I felt I just had to share it with others – with people who could appreciate what I was trying to convey. I got a strong push from within to make an effort to search for a forum of what I like to call “like-hearted” souls. That brought me to the Journey of the Heart project.

What is the most profound, meaningful or enlightening discovery you have made while writing poems?

Writing poetry has been a joyful process of self-discovery. It has been cathartic and liberating to be able to put my emotions and deepest feelings in words.

How is writing poetry a spiritual process for you?

Writing poetry is a deeply spiritual process for me – it connects me to my true Self. It brings a higher perspective to my personal story (a common theme for my poems). Whenever my heart is full – either with joy or sorrow – I turn to writing poetry. And I always feel quiet and peaceful after my heart has poured itself out into the poem.

Name some of your favorite poems, poets or poetry books.  

Robert Frost and other all-time greats such as William Wordsworth, Henry Longfellow, Emily Dickenson, Rudyard Kipling are among my favorite poets. I also love the work of Maya Angelou and Vikram Seth.

What effect does reading the poems of others have on you?

 It touches me whenever I read a poem that I can relate to. It reminds me of the universality of the human experience.

How did you first discover Journey of The Heart?

I believe grace led me to this project and to Catherine. Her encouragement and support have nurtured the poetess in me.

What did it feel like to share your poetry for the first time on Journey of The Heart?

It was incredibly satisfying and reassuring to get a positive response from so many lovely people to my first published poem. It encouraged me to write more.

What has been your general experience of sharing your poetry on Journey of The Heart?

The Journey of the Heart feels like home. It’s a place where we encourage and appreciate each other so that each of us can come into our own.

Any last words you’d like to share about poetry?

Writing poetry is healing. The ability to write is natural and inherent in all of us. There are no rules for writing poetry -one just needs to pause and listen silently to one’s heart.

Charu Agarwal is a yoga teacher, counselor, alternative healing practitioner and above all an ardent seeker. She practices and teaches Patanjali’s classical Ashtanga Yoga as a means for mindful living, self-inquiry and self-empowerment. She is passionate about sharing the gift of yoga with others and assisting them on their journey home. She writes for My Yoga Online and teaches at Dhyānā, her Studio for Yoga and Wellness in Gurgaon, India. Charu started writing poetry quite by accident when during her personal yoga practice one day, a few lines of what would be her first poem just bubbled into her awareness. Since then she finds deep solace in expressing her innermost feelings through poetry. She also loves to retreat into nature, sketch, read and spend time with her family. You may connect with Charu via her websiteFacebooktwitter or e-mail her:


~If you are one of the poetesses from 'Journey of the Heart', and would like to appear in this blog, just click here to request an interview. We are excited to learn more about you!~

~If you write poetry and would like to share it on 'Journey of The Heart', click here for submission guidelines. And thank you for your interest!~