breathe

On the yoga mat I become contemplative. Maybe it’s got something to do with the constant reminders of slowing down the breath. I breathe in through my nose. I breathe out through my mouth. And like a fish newly plucked out of water, my thoughts thrash between the ephemerality of life—breathe—and what I’m going to have for dinner tonight. Breathe.

In shavasana, as in the practice of meditation, we are instructed, repeatedly, to keep coming back to the breath. The thoughts will come; don’t fight them, we are told. Just acknowledge them and then let go and come back to the breath.

It’s like turning down the volume of the radio, but not shutting it off all the way. The constant buzzing drops to a lull. The thoughts are still there but now they’re no longer entangled with other thoughts and emotions.

So I drift in and out of silence and the frenetic highway of my thoughts. I inhale and follow one thought; I exhale, letting another dissipate like fog. And keep up this dance until finally exhausted.

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