Air Force spouse Mikael Marburger shares the spiritual and creative connections between her poetry writing and Yoga practice. In the ever-changing chaos of military life, finding a peaceful place for reflection is essential.
MilspoFAN: Tell us a little about yourself, your journey as a military spouse, and where you are today.
Mikael: I was born and raised in rural North Dakota, just outside of Minot, but spent most of my adult life in Fargo, ND with a few years spent in California and Nevada. Right before I met my husband (who was stationed at Minot AFB), I moved back to my hometown. He and I, both being fitness-minded, attended the same gym and that is where we first met. I say “first met” because we believe we had seen each other years before when we were both living in Las Vegas. We discovered we lived about two blocks apart and patronized the same gym, restaurants, and stores.
Our paths continued to run parallel until we came together in Minot in 2011. We married in December 2012 and were pregnant with our daughter by February 2013. That April we moved to Eglin AFB, FL and our daughter arrived in August. Life moved quickly for us, to say the least, and hasn’t slowed down a bit! After four years at Eglin, we were stationed at Whiteman AFB, MO for two years, and we are now at Luke AFB, AZ. We live in Surprise and plan to make it our forever home.
MilspoFAN: How did you become a writer?
Mikael: I began writing creatively at a very young age. I would watch movies that should have been beyond my comprehension and then write colorful and deep depictions on my personal understandings. I loved poetry and memorized every nursery rhyme, Winnie the Pooh quote, and Shel Silverstein book. In elementary school, I immersed myself in the poetry and writings of Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Emily Bronte, and so many more. I felt and feel things deeply and found it was easy for me to put my thoughts on paper in a way that was profound and compelling to myself and others. I had a wonderful English/Creative Writing/Speech teacher in high school who encouraged me to continue to grow and share my talent. With her help, I entered and won several national poetry contests.
MilspoFAN: It’s interesting that your writing practice lead you to a physical artistic practice. How do you feel the two practices influence each other? Describe how yoga is “Poetry in Motion.”
Mikael: I have been working in mind/body fitness in some capacity most of my life. Growing up, I was a gymnast and began coaching when I was in college. At that time, I also became very involved in weight lifting, running marathons, swimming, and teaching yoga and fitness classes. I now teach Yoga and fitness full-time.
I have found my fitness and writing journeys go hand in hand and that the physical movement, especially in Yoga, is like poetry in motion. Just as I put my words down on paper expressing my innermost thoughts and feelings, I put everything I have down on my Yoga mat. I move, sweat, cry, laugh, yell, and release. I find inspiration for my poetry through my practice and inspiration for my practice through my poetry. Both are such great teachers and healers for me. Both ask me to truly examine myself in honest and compassionate ways. Many times, that means pouring out my soul. I love to share these aspects with my students and offer them up to them as well.
MilspoFAN: How have you made art a way of life?
Mikael: I have taken my personal Yoga practice and experience and made it my way of life by sharing it with others. Due to COVID-19, I am currently teaching all my classes for free via Facebook Live. I hope to continue teaching classes online in some capacity. I am also working on a book of poetry and asana, connecting a writing with a Yoga pose or sequence. I know there are others out there who have big feelings like I do and come to the practice, not only for the stretch and strength, but also for the message and release that is offered. To be a part of it, is a beautiful thing.
Mikael can be found online at:
And on Instagram @yogamamafitness