The one with getting back on the pranayama pony

So I wrote my last post when I am pretty sure I was delirious from working on an assignment all day and finishing late at night, and I feel like the randomness may have surpassed even my usual standards. I will try to keep this post more on track (don’t worry I’m sure it will still be pretty all over the place, that’s just how I roll ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I want to talk about my pranayama goal I made a little while ago.

The Patanjali Yoga Sutras describe pranayama as “Regulation of breath or the control of prana is the stoppage of inhalation and exhalation, which follows after securing that steadiness of posture or seat, asana”.ย (For an extensive explanation of pranayama and the various techniques, go here).

When I did my yoga course in Canada there was a big focus on pranayama and to be honest I didn’t really enjoy it. Partially due to feeling ridiculous doing things like Humming Bee breath... (darn ego) and partially because I couldn’t help feeling that I could spend that time doing asana practice which is much more enjoyable and exciting to me. At the same time I really do feel like sometimes the things we need the most are not necessarily the things we enjoy the most (….spinach). I find it easy to get very comfortable in my yoga practice, especially as I practice by myself at home, and I think it’s important to continue growing as a yogini and not just sit back and relax and enjoy. Sometimes that’s important too but so is moving forwards ๐Ÿ™‚

And so came about the plan to practice pranayama for a whole month and see where it lead me.

Not gonna lie, I dropped the ball on this guys. One of my best blog buddiesย Babycrow and I had the best of intentions – to make May pranayama month and practice it regularly. I think she found this a bit of a challenge too- having said that she still nailed it a whole lot more than I did. While I like to tell myself I am a powerhouse and can do it all, it turns out that moving house on top of uni stuff and normal life etc meant that not only did I not really practice pranayama, I completely forgot about our challenge half way through. Ha.

What I did do:

-Focused a lot more on my Ujjayi breath. I am actually pretty happy that I was thinking about this more because back in the day I always used to hear yoga teachers talking about this and not know what it was. Since I finally learnt more about it and started focusing on it more in my yoga practice I realised how much of a deeper practice it allows me.

-In the beginning ofย May I practiced Bhastrika Pranayama, the “bellows breath”. I find this breath quite calming and I like the fact that like asana, it uses the body a little more than some of the other pranayama breathing.

Aaaaaand yeahย that’s it ๐Ÿ™‚

So now that my life has settled back down a little bit (I’m not sleeping on an air mattress anymore anyway so that’s a win) I’m going to give it another shot. This time though, I really think my goals need to be more specific:

-Practise one different pranayama technique every time I do my yoga practice. I practice yoga every day so I feel like this won’t be too hard to remember.

-Start with the ones I hate the least ๐Ÿ˜‰ (like bellows breath, long exhale breath, and Sitala + Sitkari ).

-Do some reading about pranayama so I have more incentive to do it.

I’m going to see how it goes for the next week and then reassess what I plan to do after that.ย The Bhagavad gita describes pranayama as a precious sacrifice, and really it’s not that big a sacrifice, so it’s time to get back on the pranayama pony and make it happen.

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In other news,

I’ve been eating lots of hot winter soups

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Wearing a thousand layers cos I am a wuss about the cold (although I prefer the term princess ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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And working about a million hours a day (okay more like 12 but that’s about 10 more than I would ideally like).ย Oh yeah and eating giant toffee apples. It was amazing, try not to be too jealous guys. I needed something to help get me through reading the DSM-5 and only a giant toffee apple was up to the task.

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What have you been up to today?ย 

Ever read/heard of the DSM? – Man it is hard to read that bad boy and not freak out diagnosing myself with every single issue that’s in it…

Do you practice/have you ever practiced pranayama? How did it go for you? How did you start?ย 

About kiwiyogirunner

I'm a kiwi girl travelling the world and staying grounded through yoga and running! Come hang out and be besties with me while I attempt to navigate my crazy life :) For more details check out my About page!
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15 Responses to The one with getting back on the pranayama pony

  1. TechChick says:

    I used to work in psychologist office and yep, I did get freaked out thinking I had symptoms of many of the diagnosis listed in the book! Glad it wasn’t just me!!
    Finished a long run with my hubby today cursing that I didn’t get up earlier this morning and head out on that long run! Disliking that it took up so much of my day, but thankful to have a running buddy and that it’s done! Have great rest of your weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Noo totally not just you! When I first studied it in my undergrad program my lecturer actually told the class to not all freak out and go home thinking we had major issues! Ha! Aww that’s so awesome that you guys run together! Great job on getting it done even if it wasn’t at the most ideal time. I’m taking today off because I have a little cold but I’m excited for more runs later this week! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Metronomes and breathing in yoga asana – babycrowyoga

  3. babycrow says:

    small steps right, KYR? we’re both on the move with this, so that’s gotta be a good thing. I wrote a little more on recent experiences of pranayama just now: http://babycrowyoga.co.uk/2015/07/12/metronomes-and-breathing-in-yoga-asana/
    I look forward to hearing more what you’re up to. I need all the inspiration I can get!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahhh, I love pranayama!!! My teacher that I study with in Philadelphia, David Garrigues, is HUGE on on pranayama. We do a ton of breathing exercises and it’s so hard for me – I suck at sitting still – but that also means I love to do it! He’s an ashtanga teacher, so we focus on Uijayi breath and do exercises with breath counts. Your soup looks delish!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean, sitting still was soo hard for me when I first did pranayama! It didn’t help when I sprained my ankle not long after too! Your teacher sounds amazing! I feel like it would really help me to find the right yoga teacher for myself, but that will have to wait until I finish studying! For now I’ll have to forge ahead as best i can haha. The soup was really good- perfect in the winter! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jason says:

    I’m back at work today – Monday – boo!!! Speaking of work, I get to flip through the DSM all the time… and I’m totally with ya – if I had a dollar for every issue I’ve self-diagnosed…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel like having a big bowl of soup. It’s mean to be summer here in the UK, but it is really cold ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yep – I am well aware of the DSM 5 and it is not fun at all. Ok – so I have only skimmed/read parts of it, but good for you on plowing through reading all of it! I did, today, run before work in about 2-3 months (I think?). I am a wimp about the heat and it has hit. So – I am giving myself a giant high 5 for doing it pre-work in the crazy humid weather. Kudos to you for goal setting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I’d love to take credit but as a course requirement it was really either that or fail! ๐Ÿ™‚ great job on your run, running in the heat is NOT easy and nor is getting up early to do it! I bet it felt amazing after though! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

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