She couldn’t imagine surviving her pain and sorrow without her yoga practice. How did people go through life without a physical activity to ground them in their bodies and to anchor their bodies to the ground?

Just the sounds of the postures could be a mantra, Tadasana…Pada Bandha…Savasana.

The first time she heard a yoga instructor say, “Chaturanga Dandasana,” she knew she’d come home. Not since the ninth grade had she experienced auditory and verbal stimuli in such a sensual way. She remembered Emmy Lou Cooke standing in front of her first year French class. The words tumbled through her mouth, along her tongue, and over the rim of her lips, “les montagnes.” She felt pure aural delight and couldn’t wait to feel the words in her own mouth… les montagnes…delicious. And later, chaturanga dandasana…sensual bliss.

But today, she stood in Virbhadrasana II, Warrior Two Pose, wide open and vulnerable, but powerful and strong. Normally this pose embodied her whole being; strong, open, focused, determined. But today she could not steady, could not find balance. The pose told her how weak and incapable she felt today.

Still, she was glad to have it, something to focus on, to hold onto, something that reminded her to breathe…and breathe…and breathe into her physical being.