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 😉 )
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”. (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 🙂
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 buddies 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 of 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 yeah that’s it 🙂
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.
-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. 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.
In other news,
I’ve been eating lots of hot winter soups
Wearing a thousand layers cos I am a wuss about the cold (although I prefer the term princess 🙂 )
And working about a million hours a day (okay more like 12 but that’s about 10 more than I would ideally like). 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.
What have you been up to today?
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?