“The reason you keep on coming back to see me is very simple; every time you have seen me your body has learned certain things, even against your desire. And finally your body now needs to come back to me to learn more. Let’s say that your body knows that it is going to die, even though you never think about it. So I’ve been telling your body that I too am going to die and before I do I would like to show our body certain things, things which you cannot give to your body yourself… So let’s say then that your body returns to me because I am its friend.”
Carlos Castaneda

Journey to Ixtlan

A Refreshing Breathing Practice

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It is common knowledge that taking a deep breath is relaxing – how about taking a few deep breaths?

For this practice you will need a place to sit, a few quiet minutes and familiarity with Ujjayi breathing:

  • Find your quiet place and a comfortable seated position with your eyes closed.
  • Sit quietly for a minute or two and observe your natural breathing.
  • Gradually move into Ujjayi breathing – let it build until the length of your exhale is longer then (or at least equal to) the length of your inhale. Do this until you have a steady pace of breathing.
  • Count 8 breaths.
  • Count 8 more breaths adding a short pause after exhaling.
  • Count 8 more breaths adding a short pause after inhaling (in addition to the pause after exhaling).
  • Count 8 more breaths without any pauses (like the first 8).
  • Resume natural breathing and stay for another minute or two to observe.
  • Gently open your eyes.
  • Resume life 🙂

If you have a tailored pranayama practice you can ask your teacher for a shorter variation you can use instead of this general sequence.

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