“Muscle and Bone” Fiction. Based on a True Yoga Practice.

“A breath of air to clear the mind

Can anyone find in the sea

Try to settle down, your tension, please.”

-Snakes, Kera Armendariz

“Muscle and Bone”

Fiction. Based on a True Yoga Practice.

By Willow

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255


Inhale and then exhale through the nose, deeply, by filling the collarbone, chest cavity, and belly. Take your time; let the air circle in your body. It should feel alright, refreshing, and rejuvenating.
What of your thoughts? They aren’t sorted nicely, swirling like a cloud tumbling through the wind.
Inhale. You pity the villain because you were once a villain in another’s tale.
Exhale. You would rather it was snowing instead of raining.
Inhale. Calm the mind.
Exhale. Release the tension in the face.
The letters, syllables, and words continue to tumble while your body calms. Blaming the pain for never letting you go, but you know deep down that you never wanted the feeling to end. Swan dive into a forward fold and feel the tension in your legs fade into a beautifully painful stretch; a different pain, the pain you don’t want to leave, from what your heart feels.
It’s heavy.
There aren’t true words to explain it. You are not empty, but not full either. You are a walking contradiction: happy and sad, kind and cruel, afraid and fearless. Thinking in adjectives again I see, your body seems to whisper with each tug on your tenants. It’s a struggle to define yourself in as few words as possible – make this fucking stop. It’s hard to steady the breathing some days.
Inhale. You look for a daring Knight in your mind.
Exhale. You think she’s there, but just beyond your reach.
Inhale. Push your hands into the ground.
Exhale. Let your feet hover into the air.
The muscles in your body, contracting and stretching, they know you’re sad and want you to feel something healthy. The moonlight shining through your window – night yoga is best – knows you are not broken, but a little damaged. Your mat catches you when you fall, and the Earth catches the mat. Reality forms a nice circle like the air in your lungs.
Wake up.
Falling into your own body, stacking each vertebra on vertebra. The muscles hold your bones and you together in this pose, but there is always a sliding filament of movement. It’s the tide of your blood, pulled by the moon and oh, feels beautiful. You are that kinda lady. There is a moment when the Earth is still as the muscles move, so there is nothing else. No expectations. You are that kinda woman – a gypsy who belongs only to herself.
You learn to love yourself in this sadness or loneliness – you can’t tell the difference. With an exhale, you move into downward dog and the sadness wells in your heart. Yet, you find it all okay. With each breath, you feel more alive. Inhale. Exhale.

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