It is cold and dark. There are four walls, a ceiling and a floor. No windows. It is a box of steel. Nothing comes in and nothing goes out. The frigid weather of beautiful falling snow set the temperatures within the box to way below the minuses. The cold has frozen the heart and the soul. The space, so tiny, a mouse wouldn’t survived in it. No one would.

I am in this box, naked and alone. I have no escape route, just these four steel walls, ceiling and floor. I can’t turn my body without hitting into a wall. I can’t stand up tall without crouching over and bumping the back of my skull against the cold, unforgiving ceiling. I can’t run.

I have just returned back to Singapore from Japan. On this trip, I was triggered on so many instances that my soul had to hide, as a way to protect myself from any perceived danger that might have been ahead of me. As I dove deep into this hiding place, I eventually found myself in this cold, steel box. I was so deep into hiding that I couldn’t find my way out. This week, as I grappled with reality of being back, I fought hard to find my ground again. The soil beneath my feet, the humidity and heat that swirls around and sticks onto my skin. The battle was almost lost when everything inside of me felt cold, dark, empty and scarily soulless.

Then, someone came and reminded me that yoga isn’t about fighting and moving away from where I am at right now. Yoga is about embracing the coldness, emptiness and darkness that I’m experiencing. Yoga is about loving this part of me that is shivering, not just from the cold, but from fear of everything that’s haunting me. Yoga is right here, right now.

A warm, glowing and strong fire has been built outside this steel box that I’m trapped in. The warmth is starting to seep into my veins and something is beginning to churn within me. I can feel my heart beating, I can feel my breath, I can feel my soul. I am alive.

I’m still in my little box, and perhaps I’ll walk out of it soon. I will find that window that has been within sight all along but the darkness had clouded my vision. This fire helps.

I am alive.

I am human.

This is yoga.