authenticity (yoga happens to you)

You lengthen a muscle. Your breath seeps into a forgotten place. You straighten a limb. A network of unseen contractions disengages. Flesh and thought soften to neutral. Thought pauses its forward rush. The page goes blank in the script of identity. Pain evaporates with a flush of hot circulation. The energy of future concern collapses to the scale of the presently known and felt. You practice yoga, and yoga happens to you.

Living forces honesty. All answers are temporary. Answers that pretend to be eternal ring hollow. You will die. Nothing else is certain. The world around you bears helpless witness to your wandering. Other people suffer in the same way, and yet this seems to increase loneliness. At some point the pressure of despair compels action: running through the woods, making love with an utter loss of self, breaking a pattern violently. The reality of your condition offers a stark gift you accept through sudden discharges of rage and rage’s joyful shadow: this is the only life you know, and it fills you to overflowing. You live your life, and yoga happens to you.

You thought you were alone. You thought you were independent. Then, standing in the market with your hand on an orange, children underfoot, traffic humming, conversations blending with the radio by the cash register, shoes you did not make on your feet and clothes you did not sew on your back, sun slanting through the tin awning, you’re almost late for meeting someone, always almost too late. You know this orange will give you life, and you did not grow it. It will become your body: someone else gave it to you. Its colour adds immeasurably to your language and dreams, and you did not conceive of it. The grocer’s hands became arthritic through a lifetime of handling boxes of oranges for you to eat. Someone else gives you your body. This child reminds you of an internal laugh. A dog slaps her thick tail against your shin. Every single object that gives you life surrounds you. If you really were alone you would not exist. You did not make the air you breathe. You can’t say where the inside of your body begins. You surrender to relationship, and yoga happens around you, through you.


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