“Fortunately, it is not reason which puts an ally together. It is the body. You have perceived ally in many degrees and on many occasions. Each of those perceptions was stored in your body. The sum of those pieces is the ally … Our reason is petty and it is always at odds with our body. This, of course, is only a way of talking, bu the triumph of a man of knowledge is that he has joined the two together.”
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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