I don’t practice yoga, but before the pandemic I did take pilates from a wonderful teacher who also teaches yoga. She taught us about breathing in our pilates classes, and she inspired this poem.

Here I am reading it, if you’d like to listen and focus on your breath.


Jone has the roundup today at her new website, where she’s celebrating Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong’s new anthology HOP TO IT. I’m jumping for joy for this one and thrilled to be included!



30 replies
  1. Tabatha
    Tabatha says:

    Lovely, Liz. Taking some time to notice our breathing can be soothing and renewing. When I was growing up, my father would tell me to take deep breaths. I don’t think he thought about yoga or anything like that, it was just something he did.

  2. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    I like all the parts, Liz, but especially the “breathe out/gratitude for all”. And that you included nature as a way of healing is special, too. What a gift our breath is, if we only took time to breathe & understand. Thanks & Happy Friday!

  3. Bridget Magee
    Bridget Magee says:

    As I read your poem my breath synced up with the rhythm of your words, Liz. I love that no matter what is happening around us, we can always come back to our breath and ground ourselves. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  4. Alan Wright
    Alan Wright says:

    Liz, your poem gently, yet thoroughly examines breathing. Your words are concurrently calming and illuminating. They made me conscious of my own breathing. Good poetry evokes a response from a reader. You have done that. Your poem also delivers a connection to the words of a Jimmy Buffett song- ‘Breathe in, breathe out, move on.’

  5. Carol Varsalona
    Carol Varsalona says:

    Breathe in, breathe out: what a beautiful chant that floats in my mind as you read it. I can feel the stress released with your poem. This could be my go to poem when meditating and preparing for yoga, Liz. This one also could be a great writing prompt or mentor text for students.

  6. Linda Mitchell
    Linda Mitchell says:

    I’m especially taken in with breathe in what the green leaves release and breathe out what the leaves need. We are part of a world, aren’t we? Such a wonderful reminder of our part in this world includes breathing and gratitude for it. Bravo!

  7. Heidi Mordhorst
    Heidi Mordhorst says:

    Hi, Liz! We have been practicing our calming breathing since Day 1 of Prek–they are very into it! Videos help us, but it’s time to try just pausing and breathing on our own soon. I love the way our relationship to the gas and water of the universe is central to your poem.

  8. Mary Lee
    Mary Lee says:

    I have a quote at my desk, “Breathe in hope; exhale gratitude,” but I like gratitude going both out AND in.

    I will print this poem and use it with my students, as a part of our end-of-day routine of sharing gratitudes, as a connection to our life science studies, and as a model of how you can include factual information in art. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  9. Margaret Simon
    Margaret Simon says:

    My Apple watch keeps telling me throughout the day to stop and breathe. Who would’ve thought that we would need a watch to tell us to relax. Thanks for this poem of air, in and out, and how important it is to feel gratitude every day.


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