How I Learned to Breathe at 24

January 21, 2015 6:03 PM

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"Yoga can be practiced off the mat, too," my instructor said with an inhale, resting the sole of her foot on her inner thigh and pressing her hands toward the sky as she exhaled into Tree Pose. "If you really want to practice patience, choose to wait in the longest line at the supermarket." I snickered at the absurdity of such an idea, remembering my experience just a few days prior at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Breath is the bane of our existence, yet as Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh said, "Many people are alive but don't touch the miracle of being alive." It wasn't until my hips were pressed toward the ceiling in Downward Dog that I exhaled and remembered the power of the breath, the miracle of being alive.

I pushed through the boisterous crowd in a long-winded attempt to find my friend who claimed to be standing right on Fifth Ave, yet had blended into a crowd of identical black jackets. I held my breath as I shimmied through the mob, seeming to get further away from my destination with each step forw...

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