I love when music guides me into a surprise workout.

Like sitting in a patch of sunlight on the living room floor on Sunday morning, stretching around aimlessly in my pajamas, not quite sure how to wake up: Yoga at home? Yoga at the gym? A walk?

I put one of my new CDs into the stereo:

Something in the music stirs me; I rise to my feet. I am doing sun breaths facing the window, the sunlight on the white curtains like a celestial spotlight on my body. My torso sways, my legs join in. I am stretching up and down, my arms undulating like snakes. I am breathing fully, inhaling as my chest reaches upward, exhaling as I curl myself down. Now I am doing small chainé turns right and left. I am marching in place, but with grace. Before long, I realize I am dancing. The music is no longer an external factor; it has downloaded itself into my brain and spread throughout my body. I no longer think about what to do; I just let myself be, and the movement comes to me.

Still dancing, I reach for my yoga mat. I carry it to the center of the floor upright and with honor, like it is the Olympic flame. I unfurl it as the music swells. Soon I am flowing, sun salutations in the sun, my muscles coordinating themselves with the music. I have never heard this album before, but my body already feels one with it. My cobras and locusts feel so high; physically, they aren’t spectacular but inside I am flying. I am open from the crown of my head to my toes. The chorus keeps repeating “Shine.” I allow myself to do just that.

As the last track ends, the CD stops spinning and the music stops. An hour has gone by, and I no longer have to think about how to wake up. The album didn’t lie. It was certainly Automatic, an instant linkage of music to breath to movement.

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