Monday, March 8, 2010

Undercover Breather

I haven’t owned a television for a long time, but once a week I walk next door to watch CBS’s Sunday Morning with my neighbor, June. If you indulge, you know it’s a shamelessly feel-good human interest kind of program, with some silence and nature at the end. I always learn about fifty things I didn’t know, though some, like the reality television shows advertised, I’d happily remain in the dark about.

I’m not sure what the word reality means when it’s right next to the word television, but I do want to say there are people I know and like who watch shows like The Bachelor, Project Runway and Survivor. (Okay, maybe not Survivor).

You think I’m about get judgmental. Nope. I’m proposing a new show: So You Think You Can Breathe.

Each week the show opens with several contestants receiving some basic pranayama instruction. Then, while wearing 3-D glasses, they’re coached to take full, deep, conscious breaths while potentially stress-inducing situations are simulated on a giant screen.

The fun begins when the contestants leave the studio to go about their daily lives. Each is fitted with a tiny camera and wears a heart-rate monitor that also records respirations. They can easily switch off the equipment to protect privacy whenever they choose. And that’s it. No races, no gimmicks, no artificially set-up scenes. Just player, life and breath.

At the end of one week, the contestants come back to the studio. The data is compared. The television audience gets to see clips of each player in several different settings like stuck in traffic or at the computer, while their recorded respirations are played in the background.

The winner is the one with the highest number of full, deep, conscious breaths regardless of setting. The prize is incalculable. Ready to play?

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