'Yoga for Survivors' by Suzanna Challenger

Listen to your breathing. As if we will ever do anything else again.

Find your still point, focus as you balance. The aid workers are too busy and the guards don’t like us staring, so I look for the evac poster instead. Someone farts a death smell; no one laughs.

Stretch and breathe; if thoughts come into your mind, let them go. The fist of the flood smashed through everything from cradle to gravy boat, bridge to station. We’re salvage now. We do yoga while we wait for food, try not to ask questions.

Relax and be calm. We were arguing about supplies. Your hand was in my hand, and then it wasn’t. Lean forward – I was in the water and it was in me. I held on. I did. Visualise your happy place: next door’s Welsh dresser, bumping serenely against dark topped shapes in the current.

Exhale. Let go.


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