“…insight, vision, moments of revelation. During those rare moments something overtakes the man and he becomes the tool of a greater Force; the servant of, willing or unwilling depending on his degree of awakeness. The photograph, then, is a message more than a mirror, and the mans a messenger who happens to be a photographer.”
Minor White

Recovering with Pranayama: Flow, Space, Ease

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The past week (give or take) has been awkward. It began with a disturbed feeling all over –  I felt energetically drained and emotionally heavy – this lasted two days. Then the disturbance moved into my digestive system – I lost my appetite – also for two days (though it still hasn’t resumed completely). Then it was as if a weight was lifted from me.

My Pranayama practice was irregular during the stormy days but over the last few days (4 at least) I have been practicing consistently. Over these days I’ve seen a gradual recovery of my breathing, which seems to be aligned with my overall recovery:

  1. Flow – at first the flow of the breath was shaky and that effected everything else. That was also the first thing to improve – a steady quiet flow of breath.
  2. Space – when the flow was better I felt that my capacity to exhale was limited – as if I had just enough breath to complete the long exhale. I know from past experience that I do have the capacity for this practice – which meant that it was again a reflection of my overall process of recovery.
  3. Ease – today it all came together again – there was both a quality of flow and space and I returned to the overall ease with which the practice usually comes to me.

This is an example and confirmation of my intuitive choice to not change my Pranayama. Having a steady and accessible practice gives me an anchor, something I can come back to and know myself again in this turbulent period of life.

I came out of this mornings practice with a somewhat startling realization. On March 6th I published a post celebrating two years of Feminitate in spite of feeling down and disturbed. In the first sentence of that post I wrote “is there a tsunami happening some where?”. Yesterday a tsunami hit Japan.

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