I’m supposed to say Happy New Year. That’s the norm. It’s what Best Buy, Harry’s, Bloomerie Fabrics and West Elm have said. Everyone else is pushing resolutions on me: Modell’s, Prana, even Jockey.

But a year’s too big an interval for me. There’s too much time to lose focus. And some changes can’t wait for another turn of the calendar.

Also, I need second chances. I need do overs.

Which brings me to this breath.

I can lose my mind. Darken my heart. Tense my body. Go numb. All it takes is a glance, a word, a slight (real or imagined) and I’m gone.

And yet, I have this breath, this tether, this friend who will sit vigil with me, no matter the circumstance, no matter the hour. Help me see that I wasn’t gone just a moment ago. Even though it seemed that way. And also, that I’m not here now. Even though it seems that way.  And with it I can figure out to repair the damage from a moment ago. And lay the stepping stones for the next moment.

In and down. Up and out.

I almost forgot. Actually, I did forget. But then I remembered.

In and down. Up and out.

I don’t want us to pretend that yoga makes everything better. A new shirt from J. Crew or spandex-infused briefs from Jockey does that.

Let’s not buy/sell promises that movement or breath or rest will make us immune from life’s challenges.

And yet: Let’s move. Let’s rest. Let’s breathe.

In and down. Up and out.

Let’s remember what’s most important (even if we will soon forget it). Let’s open our hearts (even if we’ll feel they slam shut later). Let’s awaken our minds (despite the fog that will return). Innumerable successes. Unfathomable fallings off.

For 2017, for today, for this breath,

With deep encouragement,

Al