Sunday, October 31, 2010
Deep inhaling when back bending
1. So far my focus was to make the inhaling equally long as the exhaling. The inhaling tends to be shorter. It's somehow easier to exhale.
2. I'm working now on prolonging my inhaling. To have a deep inhaling is necessary when I practice urdhva dhanurasana. Like in every asana the breath helps to perform it. So far when I try to come up from urdhva dhanurasana my lungs seem to be full of oxygen, but there is still a long way to go up. No more inhaling is possible. I can now either stop breathing or exhaling, but I'm in the middle of the way up. When I exhale I fall back on my hands.
In order to be able to get up from urdhva dhaurasana it is necessary to be able to inhale as long as it lasts to come up from this pose. This is the inner work that must be done.
To breathe deeply when in a relaxed sitting position or lying position and to breathe when the body is in an asana is something different. It's more difficult to inhale when the body is in a back bending position. With deep inhaling the chest opens. It seems as if the gap between the ribs becomes wider, more flexible.
My breathing exercises that I do before every practice: I lie down on a block (sort of back bending) and then I practice uddyaj breathing. I try to prolong the inhaling (see picture). The block can be posed on the sides, then the body must arch a bit more.
I realized already little successes: I have the feeling as if my chest opened, the gap between the ribs must be a tiny bit larger or more flexible. Whatever, I have not so much clue on anatomy (not yet). I have a cold now and I had to sneeze. I always had the feeling that I wanted to inhale more before the air and virus was pushed out. It hurt even a bit. Sneezing was lately less painful. I could fill my lungs with more oxygen. without feeling the limits of my chest. This is so.
I consider this exercise as very important. M gave it to me. M also draw my attention to the fact that my inhaling is done when I'm only half way up to samasthithi when I want to come up from urdhva dhanursana.
I'd never realized this. I'm so thankful to have such an excellent teacher.
Working with the breath is inner work. It cannot be seen. It is so effective.
Yesterday night I read in the book about Guruji again. This time I read what David Swenson said and it was so touching:
I love his definition of Ashtanga yoga (page 85): "In a nutshell, I'd say ashtanga yoga is a universal tool to enhance life.
Some other quotes by David Swenson I really like:
Page 97: "We will have the same kind of problems. But this yoga as a tool somehow gives us strength of character."
Page 98: "A yogi is one who leaves the place a little nicer than when they arrived."
Page 101: " There is a saying of the alchemists: through repetition the magic is forced to arise."
Page 102: "Successful or not, I've done my duty, I've done everything I can. Now I've got to let it go."
Page 106: "In the most simple terms, the best advice I can give anyone is enjoy your yoga practice."
Enough quotes: Get the book: here.