“Breathe deeply,” she says, “and pay attention to the breath.”
In through my nose, and then one long exhale,
At first I struggle to clear my mind,
To be entirely present to my breath,
Not focused on anything but the present moment.
I feel the simple rhythm,
In and out, in and out.
My body moves in response to her words,
Stretching, reaching, seeking
Spine straight, arms up and over
And as I move, everything else slips away.
Knees toward chest, hips rotating,
Long neglected muscles are finally honored
Like veterans of a distant war.
I feel the tension letting go,
Drifting away in this quiet space,
Where there is only soft music,
And the steady rhythm of my own breath.
We move in quiet harmony,
Me and this stranger,
And I rediscover how to let go,
How to be here now,
How to be mindful.
I feel myself relax,
The relief like the exhale after a breath
Held tight for far too long.
When the music and the lesson stop
I feel reborn, alive again,
Awake after a long, fitful sleep.
I realize that the most important thing
Is remembering how to bend in the now
And to focus on the simple things,
Like breath, and sound, and stretch.
– By Hanna Lea Lange