“One day I found out that personal history was no longer necessary for me and, like drinking, I dropped it… Little by little you must create a fog around yourself; you must erase everything around you until nothing can be taken for granted, until nothing is any longer for sure, or real. Your problem now is that you’re too real. Your endeavors are too real, your moods are too real. Don’t take things so for granted. You must begin to erase yourself.”
Carlos Castaneda

Journey to Ixtlan

Recovering with Pranayama: Flow, Space, Ease


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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