Chapter 4: Deep Breath In and Out

A picture of the sunset that evokes the same tranquility as yoga.

With an anxiety-ridden nervous system, and shoulders so tense they could break at any moment, I found myself at a breaking point. Midterms, work, and sleepless nights all added up to what made me feel like I was doomed to implode. However, to combat this, I recommended yoga. Something I had done once or twice in the past when I was far younger and less in need of it. I always found any sort of extracurricular activity took away from the work I could be doing or the academic responsibilities I had to fulfill. In my mind, my walk to and from campus and other promenades I had done were sufficient exercise. However, this time I folded. With a 6-hour break between classes, I thought I needed to do something to take my mind away from all my responsibilities, something that wasn’t rotting in my bed. 

The studio I was in was hit with an aroma of lavender and eucalyptus, smells that I loved due to their healing properties and the countless nights I had used them to aid my sleep. It was Zen people who had genuine; smiles on their faces, talking with friends and employees, and of course, walking around barefoot, an action that screams vulnerability (an emotion I was too anxious even to begin to process). But, like an overused advertisement phrase, I found a lot of my anxieties slipping away. I was able to observe other people who weren’t walking around with their faces stuffed in books or backpacks so filled to the brim that they almost fell over. It was peaceful. Smiles covered people’s faces, infectious smiles at that. 

When the lesson started, I was sitting in the middle of the room, feeling anxious as this was my first time in a while doing yoga, and I was at the center waiting for my judgment. However, to my surprise, it never came. There were no snickering or condescending looks from anybody in the room regarding my poor form and hefty breathing due to the intense workout.  While the class itself was pretty active, I found myself in a state of tranquility once again, finding this feeling of being one with my body, a sensation that is rarely maintained throughout the course of a day nor my life. I remember walking out and feeling a tingling all over my body due to the physical boundaries I pushed myself through and the mindset I was in. 

The word exercise has long daunted me. Yoga, however, was different. There was no competition, straining to lift weights, nor the smell of sweat that makes you want to puke. Those moments I found myself and my consciousness drifting from the constant circulation of responsibilities I had for others and landed on valuing myself.

Through every stretch, every inhale, and every exhale, I discovered an unspoken language between my body and soul. Just as yoga embraced me in its calming embrace, I urge you to explore the sacred sanctuary of your own practice. Let the mat be your canvas, and with each move, paint a masterpiece of self-discovery. Although easier said than done, it is worth a try. 

A nice, refreshing tea is always a good idea

By Juliana Capasso

Juliana Capasso is a junior at Boston University studying Film and Television & Public Relations. Outside of college, she spends her time exploring the city, reading, listening to music, and journaling.

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