A New Breath
"The Candle" Haley Miller
You are strong. You are capable. You are courageous. You are yourself. You are trying new things. Nearly 5,000 years ago a new practice of health and spirituality arose in the Hindu culture. They called her Yoga; she was named after the Sanskrit word “yogah,” a word loosely translated to unite. She introduced a new kind of mental healing to the lives of many. Yoga was a master and she sang a quiet hymn of beauty to all those who called for her. Did you need focus? She had it. Peace of mind, stress relief, fitness, vitality? Ask Yoga. She held the minds of the people in her arms; she was their guard. Her spirit was contagious as she spread calmness and patience onto the desperate people who called to her name for help. You were that desperate person who longed for an escape. Each day, another weight fell onto your shoulders and you were continually being brought down by the stresses of life. Your mind was a lost road that sought a new direction, and Yoga herself was there to guide you and help to unfold your true self. She led you out of your comfort zone and onto a path to try something new.
The day dragged on for what felt like millions of hours but was, in reality, a mere twenty-four. When you arrived home, there was plenty to do on your list. But before you crawled under the thick comforter that perfectly-covered your bed, you decided to press pause. A small laptop sat quietly on the plush carpet below. Yoga took you into a state of relaxation; it was something she loved to do. Her voice was your mentor and you followed every direction. Suddenly, you were the ocean; calm and quiet. Your breath mimicked the waves, rising and cresting, and your mind couldn’t erase the beautiful picture. Your toes clung to the Earth and you took yet another deep breath; letting out the old, breathing in the new. Yoga’s voice only got more serene as each second passed. Your body was completely still, and your attention was only on the air that flowed in and out of it. For once, you had let go of the racing thoughts in your busy mind so you could simply breathe.
The next day seemed as if you were falling behind in everything. Stress was on the rise and homework piled up. Your weary shoulders sadly hung off your trunk and your body begged for a break. As you sat in your bedroom, rustling leaves blew in the crisp fall air. Both the leaves and your patience hung by a thread, so you turned to a friend: Yoga. Her powers calmed the breeze and her voice of tranquility whispered through your bedroom. At last, the tension in your body was slowly and gradually released. Your hips rested on the Earth and your upper body was stacked on top. As peaceful as ever, you practiced doing absolutely nothing. The tests, your job, and the list of things to do didn’t exist. The only thing existing was the relationship between you and Yoga. Your chest inflated with each inhalation and deflated with each exhalation. With Yoga’s voice, you could connect the moment that the two joined together as one. She had lifted your heart and opened your body to the world. As light as a feather, you felt free from everything that weighed you down.
Finally, Yoga helped you find your inner peace. Your fingertips fell gently onto your crisscrossed legs. Again, you sunk into the Earth below and gave your body permission to meditate. You sat with your back as straight as a board and let her take over. She talked you through your breathing, keeping it consistent and smooth. Every movement you made was slow and soft, and your body became graceful and relaxed. As the minutes added up, you and Yoga grew closer and closer, eventually becoming friendly acquaintances. She brought out the intelligence of your body and you were reminded of your self-worth. Your body was an open space, and you were the traffic guard that directed what went in and out of your mind. You allowed everything that bothered you to dissolve as you sat with your eyelids glued shut. You were restful and free of any anxiety.
No matter what you demanded—focus, stress relief, or peace—Yoga would answer to your call. She was the balance beam of your life. You set the time aside to truly dig deep into who you were, and together you and Yoga revealed the happiness. When there was pain, she listened with open ears and loved with an open heart. She was your guide. Beneath the heavy workload, you found meaningful minutes to calm down. Relief took over your burdened body and, at last, you felt free. Until next time Yoga; Namaste.