she realized, as she laid her body backwards in a sort of reverse genuflection, reaching down with her hands to make a circuit with her ankles, precisely what it was about this posture that her muscles were so averse to perform: it was a position of bondage they understood on some guttural level and resisted by instinct. a breath, a softening. a vulnerable underbelly, the loss of the possibility of flight thereby guaranteeing a fight. where did she learn this response, she wonders; a buried past, or a collective consciousness? a breath again, a hint of give. she is aware of her spine lengthening as her abdomen releases its protective hold over her vital organs. she is surprised at how good it can feel to be soft. she seeks further opening by pulling her ankles gently toward her head. now it’s the thighs that are guarded, having been powerfully taught the dangers of openness there. again she breathes, waiting for the release, finally finding herself at ease for this moment, and maybe more. in the belly of her fear and unconsumed; freedom through a position of subjugation, with herself the subjugator.