“To die with elation is a crappy way of dying… A warrior dies the hard way. His death must struggle to take him. A warrior does not give himself to it.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Observing Pranayama – September 2010

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This period of observation continues the previous 10 days and brings it to a total of 30 days.

My current morning Pranayama practice is:

10 –  0  – 15 – 0 Gradually build up Ujjayi breath
10 –  0  – 15 – 0 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 –  5  – 15 – 0 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 –  5  – 15 – 5 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 – 10 – 15 – 5 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 – 0   – 15 – 0 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
6 –   0 –   6 –   0 x6 Ujjayi

My current evening practice is either the same as my morning practice – or a slightly altered version (generally more exhale weighted).

10 –  0   – 15 – 0 Gradually build up Ujjayi breath
10 –  0  – 15 – 0 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 –  0  – 15 – 5 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 –  5  – 15 – 5 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 – 10 – 20 – 0 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 –  0 – 15 – 0 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
6 – 0 – 6 – 0 x6 Ujjayi

On Sep12 the evening practice was changed to reduce the brahmana quality and increase the langhana quality:

10 – 0 – 15 – 0 Gradually build up Ujjayi breath
10 – 0 – 15 – 5 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 – 5 – 15 – 5 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 – 5 – 20 – 0 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 – 5 – 20 – 5 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
10 – 0 – 15 – 0 x6 Anuloma Ujjayi
6 – 0 – 6 – 0 x6 Ujjayi

Observations

Date Time Observations
Aug 31 Morning
  • Heaviness in body reluctance in mind, blocked nasal passages
  • Shakuhachi + short standing sequence + pranayama
  • Feeling of congestion eased throughout the practice. At the beginning both sides felt congested, byt the end the right side was better then the left( as usual)
Evening
  • No practice
Sep 1 Morning
  • Again nasal passages feel more blocked then usual. Avoided (where possible) head-down postures in practice sequence. OK practice.
  • Slight internal pressure pain at left temple
  • Feeling of congestion partially resolved by pranama practice.
  • Left side more blocked then right side.
Afternoon
  • Surprising space opened up around 15:00 for practice.
  • Short forward bend sequence + Pranayama + long savasana
  • Slight internal pressure pain at left temple
  • Left side more blocked then right side
Sep 2 Morning
  • Almond oil arrived – started using it
  • Full morning practice + pranayama
  • Slight internal pressure pain at left temple at beginning of practice, then more subtly present in Prayaname practice.
  • Left more blocked then right
  • Some effort requires to sustain full pranayama practice.
  • Presence OK
Sep 2 Evening
  • Shakuhachi + short standing sequence + pranayama
  • Usual practice – usual qualities.
Sep 3 Morning
  • Started practicing late – had to cut the practice short as I felt Andreea’s presence, she was silent bu needed to make food – turned out I was right so …
  • Shakuhachi + full standing sequence +Pranayama
  • Nicer then usual Pranayama practice – better flow in both sides (almond oil?)
  • Smoother beginnings of exhales with better sustain (felt invited to approach 20 second exhale again).
Evening
  • No practice, dropped down and fell asleep watching a movie
Sep 4 Morning
  • Full practice + pranayama
  • Left way more blocked then right
  • Disturbed presence
Evening
  • No practice

I’m headed into a week of disturbance – including 4 or 5 days away from home:

Date Time Observations
Sep 5 Morning
  • Shakuhachi + pranayama practice (no asana)
  • Disturbed pranayama practice – I may have skipped a step in the practice – not sure
  • Left blocked compared to right
Sep 6 Morning
  • Visited with death yesterday – returned home late an night
  • Full standing sequence + Pranayama
  • Nice pranayama practice – peaceful
  • Left blocked compared to right – but slightly better then usual flow
Evening
  • Much fear.
  • Forward bends practice – seated and standing.
  • Pranayama – nice, present (despite noise from outside).
  • Low endurance – had to find support from within towards end of practice.
  • Left more blocked then right.
Sep 7 Morning
  • Forward bends practice – seated and standing.
  • Pranayama – nothing to note
  • Left more blocked then right – today there’s congestion
Evening
  • Lousy, disturbed practice
  • Very blocked left nostril
Sep 8 Morning
  • Day of travels today – so a bit on the clock
  • Nice pranayama – the usual left blockage.
Sep 9 Morning
  • 10-0-15-0 x 24 ujjayi breathing practice + counter postres + savasana
Sep 10 Morning
  • A constricted body – left soulder accumulating tension and sensitivity
  • Did the morning pranayama practice without the crown formula.
  • Counter postures + savasana
Sep 11 Morning
  • A short meditation (no asana and no pranayama)

Back from travels – looking forward to much less movement:

Date Time Observations
Sep 12 Morning
  • Shakuhachi + short standing sequence + pranayama + meditation
  • OK presence
  • Less difference (though still there) between left and right
Evening
  • Shakuhachi + short standing sequence + pranayama
  • First time practicing the modified evening practice – which was surprisingly accessible (first time in a many weeks since I’ve moved to a 20 second exhale).
  • Absolutely no inclination towards staying for a short meditation – there was no rush to finish the practice either – just finished, lay on my back for a little counter-posture and the practice was over.
Sep 13 Morning
  • Nice standing sequence + pranayana + short meditation
  • Much better then usual left nostril flow – even better then right side.
  • Difficulty sustaining crown practice – exhale required effort and then inhale was pushing to go
Evening
  • Nice practice + pranayama + meditation
  • Surpisingly pleasant pranayama – it’s been a while since I have been reminded of the direct effect of presence on the ability to sustain a quality exhale – when there is good stead presence – exhale takes on new level of refinment and feels like it can go on forever. This also led to an experience of a meditational journey quality of a long exhale – counting seems to become clear and continuous – and there is a sensation of physical elation. Nice lead into meditation.
  • Nostril seem to be in a similar state.
Sep 14 Morning
  • a few forward bends + Pranayama + creative savasana (creative things on my demanded a space to manifest and I obliged them).
  • Left nostril flow better then right nostril flow
  • Presence poor – things on my mind struggling for stage time – but practice OK
Afternoon
  • Just pranayama – at a surprising time
Sep 15 Morning
  • A complete asana practice + pranayama + short meditation
  • The first complete asana practice since returning home – it was a nice practice but it also exposed weakness – still not fully collected. Right knee in warrior pose acted up – hasn’t happened in a long time.
  • Nice pranayama – left and right fairly balanced
Sep 16 Morning
  • Pretty much the same as the previous morning.
  • Left and right fairly balanced – right slighly better.
Sep 17
  • No practice
Sep 18 Morning
  • Tired and heavy – short standing sequence + savasana + pranayama.
  • I didn’t feel I could make the transition from savasana to sitting – but I did.
  • Pranayama was soft and subtle.
  • I drifted off in the first sequence and ended up doing 8 breaths instead of 6 – so I stuck with 8 breaths for the entire sequence.
  • Overall the flow throgh nostrils felt lesser after the practice then it did before.
Sep 19 Morning
  • Again tired and heavy and also stiff – short standing sequence + long savasana with a “body-scan” meditation + pranayama.
  • Pranayama was nice and subtle … refined despite the heaviness (or because of it?).
  • Again overall flow through nostrils felt lesser after the practice then it did before.
  • I am not feeling a well – but the pranayama practice left “me” feeling “apart from” my feelings.
Sep 20 Morning
  • Still stiff, tired and heavy … getting out of bed was hindered.
  • Shakuhachi + Breathing practice + Short Meditation
  • I did 12 rounds of 10.015.0 AU and when I realized that I didn’t have the vitality to carry on with the practice, turned off the metronome and stayed in free Ujjayi breathing around the same ratio.
  • Still not feeling well – today it is less remote and more encompassing.
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