Bread Dough Breathing


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Today was big for me. As much as I’ve crowed about my pretty good body image, even flaunting my adorbz swimsuit in the great Pacific Ocean, I have yet to go to hot yoga in shorts and a sports bra. The room is full of hairy-backed middle aged men, gumby tanned women who have, after class, proudly proclaimed their excitement to go home and eat a salad (true story), and a wide range of others, including a diminutive blonde with amazing dreadlocks and a girl who wore a sweatshirt around her waist the entire workout (wtf?). Almost everyone is stripped down to their bare necessities, but there has been one thing I haven’t seen: pale postpartum belly flab.

I was nervous in the locker room. I had brought a safety tank-top that I could throw on if I needed, but I decided to be tittsey and just GO FOR IT. So, there I was, sweating alongside Sasquatch (seriously) and ashram-goddess-reincarnate. I could see my bare belly in the mirror, but from the distance it looked different than I’ve seen it before. My stretch marks swayed side to side, back and forth, in ardha chandrasana and sweat rolled down.

And, as we were lying in shavasana, the teacher instructed us to belly breathe. And I noticed this image in my mind, of my soft, white, doughy belly rising and falling…like bread dough. In the heat, dough rises, you punch it down, and it rises again. Takes the whole ‘bun-in-the-oven’ metaphor in a different direction. Rising, falling, baking in the warm room. Bread-dough belly breathing.

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