The Caged Girls: Jennifer’s Body.

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Chapter 39.

Small flutters of movement ignite her lower abdomen.

She’s thrilled to, with no doubt in her pregnant being, finally feel her baby move.

Little invisible swimming motions stop her thoughts throughout the day. She’s brought instantly back into the awareness that she undoubtedly shares herself with someone else—someone she hasn’t yet met; someone who now holds her heart in a tiny, palm-sized frame.

She stepped onto her yoga mat but had trouble being in the room today.

The class, for her, felt off and her body felt tense because of it. Her breath didn’t flow freely and she had to remind herself to finish her exhales—something she rarely has to do anymore.

These past few months marked nine years of daily yoga practice, much of it on her sticky mat. Nine years of gaining strength and flexibility of mind and, consequently, of her body too.

She practiced yoga for more than nine years—for well over a decade, actually—before her daily routine took shape, but they were fairly shallow. Contrarily, though, she’s been practicing yoga for years without realizing it.

Every time that she put one tennis shoe-clad foot in front of the other on a hiking trail; when she reclined curled up in the nook of her boyfriend’s shoulder in sticky, summer grass gazing up at evening stars; each instance that she acknowledged what she felt, however uncomfortable, and let that emotion roll by, crest and fall, she practiced yoga without a yoga mat or expensive pants or even a specific agenda in mind.

However, she’s discovered that the easiest way to get to this place of stillness—of quiet ease—within her mind, and deep within her bones, is on her purple sticky mat.

Going to class is typically an efficient tool for her to relieve herself of her swirling, churning brain and her deceptively complicated heart.

She feels a flutter in her belly again—this sensation is becoming familiar, expected and desired.

In the background, her daughter climbs on the television stand like it’s a jungle gym and then, for a few breaths, sits perched upon the top shelf watching a kids’ show on PBS before climbing back down and then up again.

She tilts her head and looks at the gold “G” emblemized on a ring on her first finger. It turns slightly, until the “G” sits off to the side. The stones of her family heirloom fourth-finger ring stay perfectly still despite her fingertips moving rapidly across her black keyboard.

Momentarily, she closes her eyes and breathes in; sucking air like a vacuum into her lungs, slowly purging it after a brief pause.

Spaces like this that exist in life—these insufficient nothings that are seemingly both inconsequential and lacking in depth—are, ironically, the beats that make up the rhythms of our lives. These are the words that we leave out, and their absence makes the sentence fuller.

Life is funny—we are funny.

We chase crescendos and, occasionally, even nadirs, but it’s these ellipsis that need to be given our attention.

She feels a flutter in her lower abdomen, and she closes her eyes once more…

 

 

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Photo: Holly Lay/Flickr.

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