Breathe in ... breathe out ... breathe in ... breathe out. The room that is softly lit with candles. Familiar faces, once visible, have become silhouettes. The peculiar mix of body odor and pleasant sage fills my nose. United sighs of intense inhalations and exhalations beat in my ear like a drum. Pouring from the generator, steam makes each movement more strenuous, more rewarding. I can taste the sweat dripping from my forehead into my ears, then my mouth. Although my vision is blurred, my other senses provide me with the strength to continue. Each pose more arduous than the last, the seconds seem to last longer and the oxygen seems impossible to grasp. I keep telling myself my judgments are meaningless. What concerns me now is this moment, this minute, this second.
In a fast-moving world filled with endless opinions, it’s rare to find time to relax and enjoy the journey of life. For 90 minutes of exhausting movements based on strength, flexibility and balance, both my body and will are tested. The anger and stress funnel toward the pursuit of a single focus - maintaining my balance through meditations of deep breathing. Negative energy becomes the source for the positive energy needed to achieve my goal.
Although stressed and anxious when I entered this studio, I leave feeling purified and rejuvenated. For those who think this is a cult, they’re wrong. This is yoga class, a time to escape from hectic schedules, our brutal judgments, and the chaotic ride that never seems to end.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.