“Fright is something one can never get over. When a warrior is caught in such a tight spot he would simply turn his back to the ally without thinking twice. A warrior cannot indulge thus he cannot die of fright. A warrior allows the ally to come only when he is good and ready. When he is strong enough to grapple with the ally he opens up his gap and lurches out, grabs the ally, keeps him pinned down and maintains his stare on him for exactly the time he has to, then he moves his eyes away and releases the ally and lets him go. A warrior, my little friend, is the master at all times.”
Carlos Castaneda

A Separate Reality

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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