Yoga Day Thirty-One: Prāṇāyāma

So here I am.  Day 31.  I’ve decided to give it another 30 (more like another a lot more than 30, but let’s start there).  I am being SLIGHTLY more flexible this month about when I practice and am allowing myself to use YogaGlo or MyYogaOnline practices if my schedule makes getting to a studio too challenging.

And I am adding more consistent yoga homework on back bends, shoulder stands and shoulder/leg holds (like bow).  All of this is to give me stronger and more open.  I’m giving myself another 30 days before I get too obsessed with diet (because I am literally hungry all of the time).  But I am going to try and add more meditation to my practice.

And I am definitely going to practice my breathing.

According to the sage wisdom of Wikipedia:

Prāṇāyāma (Sanskrit: प्राणायाम prāṇāyāma) is a Sanskrit word meaning “extension of the prāṇa or breath” or more accurately, “extension of the life force”. The word is composed of two Sanskrit words, Prāṇa, life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath, and “ayāma”, to extend or draw out

So I didn’t really get this concept, but harnessing your breath really does add power and length to your poses and different practices of yoga use different types of breathing.  I am most familiar with three, four, and six count breathing from my occasional “slow flow and meditation” class.  And while it’s a great preparation for breathing, it’s an even greater practice to calm the mind before a yoga practice or in the middle of something stressful (like being stuck in traffic on the way to yoga).

So simple, but so hard.  So I’m going to spend 30 days practicing breathing.

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