Lydia Does Yoga
Kirby Johnson

Lydia unrolls a dusty yoga mat and shoves a scratched DVD into a machine. The video begins with the sound of calming music introduced with a loud bleep and a pop. On the screen, a man in black sporty underwear stands on a mountain and tells Lydia to breathe. His voice is calm. His hair is tied back into a ponytail. Lydia breathes slowly against the rhythm of the woodwind blaring from the DVD. She breathes until she is told to bend her body in half, placing her head close to the floor, then snaps back up to mountain pose, her arms rising slowly into to the air. Lydia is careful with her movements. She breathes and moves her body deliberately. She bends over in downward dog and finds her face in front of her own dog. She breathes and pushes the dog away, gently. She breathes and places her left foot in front of the right, lunges into a warrior pose, holds it for a long moment, then bends back to downward dog. A cat lies in front of her feet and looks up at her. Lydia breathes then uses her foot to nudge the cat away. Mountain pose. Lydia closes her eyes and breathes some more. She bends a foot to rest it on the opposite knee and focuses on her breath. Three parakeets swoop in to perch on Lydia's shoulders. She smells their feathered bird smell, shakes them off, bends downward again, transitions her body flat against the mat for sphinx pose, then breathes deeply as she extends her neck and looks up. A short, hot breathed, old dog looks back at her. Lydia closes her eyes and tries to breathe but can only smell the dog's breath. Downward dog. Warrior pose. Cat butt. Half moon. Bird. Lydia breathes. The DVD's sound bleeps. The man on the video centers his body and adjusts the posture of his rib cage. He repositions his feet and focuses on his pose. Lydia tries to do the same.

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