Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yoda was a yogi

"Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try."  Yoda was definitely a yogi - this is great advice for pranayama.

Other insights from the past 30 days include previous glimpses but are useful reminders to myself. These should be mantras for my pranayama practise:
  • Do not overthink! The brain is not the mind is not the breath.
  • You do not ‘do’ pranayama. Pranayama does you.
Over the last month, more than 50 hours of yoga during the Spring Sadhana, the weekend intensive, and the pranayama workshop, have helped me feel parts of my body become stronger, more flexible and accessible.

“After the perfection of asana comes the cessation of the movements of inspiration and expiration called pranayama,” says Patanjali in his sutras.  
Despite my best efforts I don’t think I will ever reach perfection, on this planet, in this lifetime.

Still, it was fitting to end the sadhana with a pranayama clinic, including some practical tips to incorporate into every day. I learned a neat blanket roll to help me during pranayama when lying down (kind of an inverted ionic column shape)... I also especially appreciated that we finished with a seated posture to reinforce that mindful breaths can be taken anywhere, anytime.
By concentration on the breath, the mind and body can focus on the present. Virtually every meditation technique, whether Buddhist, yogic or Western, uses breath in some way. The breath is a natural focal point for the mind; no external point is necessary. No matter what situation is at hand, one can center one’s mind in the present by focusing on the movement of the breath. Like an ever-present guru, the breath reminds us of the here-and-now.
Judith Lassiter, What is Pranayama

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