Friday, November 05, 2010

Just Breathe - Pranayama

As part of my regular yoga practice, my goal is to do pranayama at least once every day.  Right now I’m targeting 20 minutes for each session, but will build on that once I can prove I can make it a habit.  For now this is an achievable goal.

I’ll get more into pranayama later – the how, the why, the origins and different methods.  For now I’d just like to log what I’ve done.

Today I did a cycle of the following:

  • 5 minutes of regular breathing
  • 5 minutes of deep ujjayi both in and out
  • 5 minutes of viloma 1
  • 5 minutes of regular breathing

Ujjayi is “wind in the throat”, where you produce a quiet hissing sound in the back of your throat.  There is a bit more to it but that’s about the gist of it.

Viloma 1 is breaking your inhale into 3 parts with a pause inbetween each.  Exhale is regular uyajii.  During the pauses during the inhale you are to continue expanding your lungs.  This part I find tricky – how do you expand without breathing in more air?  Somehow I think I’m making it work.

I have a feeling after today’s session I may have some soreness in the muscles between my ribs.  This will be a good sign!

Regardless of what the books and philosophy say, I like doing pranayama and I like what it does for me.  I don’t meditate, so this is kind of a quiet meditation session for me.  I shut everything down, get myself in “advanced” savasana and just breathe.  It sounds so simple (and maybe kind of boring) but every day that I do this I feel tremendous the rest of the day.  Am I just happy because I accomplished something off of my checklist?  Or, are there really psychological and physiological benefits? 


Petraruns said...

I need you to explain more - what is it? It sounds great - if 20 minutes makes you feel great all day it sounds like an amazing thing to do. Tell us more!

kristen said...

I also would love to hear more. I've been practicing Bikram yoga. I'm starting to appreciate the breathing exercises at the beginning and end of class. The breath has so much power. Glad you blogging again. Hopefully it sticks. Maybe you just need to talk about things you love. like yoga.

Anonymous said...

Great journey and experience!

KK said...

Anything having to do with Savasanna is highly beneficial, IMO. Especially breathing. Nice work!