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January 6, 2015

Not knowing where to start, I started at the beginning, with me.

I’ve noticed that I have the bad habit of shallow breathing. I decided to create space within my own body to breathe in and, most importantly, to breathe out.

I was inspired (you see what I did there) to start here by an article I read recently from NPR, titled “When You Burn Off That Fat, Where Does It Go?”

I know, from years of starting yoga classes and quitting six months later, as well as from multiple episodes recovering from anesthesia, and from being ever so slightly asthmatic, that breathing is important, and that breathing out is more important.

On January 1, I lay in bed long enough to breathe in — deeply — hold my breath (count eight) — and e x h a l e s l o w l y one hundred times.

My ribs were sore from stretching against the still-tight scars from surgery, and so was my stomach. I felt lightheaded and mildly euphoric. I spent the next two days coughing up gunk from the very bottom of my lungs. My posture improved. I felt taller. I felt — not stronger — but more powerful.

Panic subsided.

I can do this.

Not all at once, but one task at a time. One breath at a time.

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