Prāṇāyāma – Where to Start? Part Two

Prāṇāyāma – Where to Start? Part Two

Continuing on from the previous post introducing the question of where to start in our investigation of our breath in Āsana in preparation for establishing and sustaining a consistent base within a Prāṇāyāma practice.

This also needs to be a base practice that both supports our day to day needs and yet allows it, as in any relationship, to grow and develop in terms of intensity and progress.

In this earlier post on where to start there were some key points that I would summarise around:

  • The idea of developing the breath aspect of the students practice, initially through Āsana and Mudrā and ultimately through Prāṇāyāma.
  • From this information determining the potentials and direction, also exposes any blockages or imbalances
  • Investigate specific Āsana, with specific breathing patterns or specific foci, in order to transform and transcend my existing expectations.

At this point before moving, from exploring the processes around starting and establishing a formal and committed Prāṇāyāma practice, towards discussing and offering suggestions around actual content, I would also refer the interested student back to earlier posts such as:

The breath can be a key to unlocking the mystery of the relationship……

In this post our developmental and progressive relationship with our breath is considered in the relationship between the different aspects of the practice of Āsana, Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma, such as:

  • This means firstly knowing what is our basic practice breath rate per minute and then progressively slowing that rate as we progress from Āsana, through to Mudrā and then to Prāṇāyāma.
  • For example when working with Āsana we can start with four breaths per minute, then with Mudrā slow it to three breaths per minute and finally with Prāṇāyāma, slow it again to two breaths per minute.

Furthermore:

The maturation of the fruits of Prāṇāyāma takes many years……

  • A maturation of the fruits of Prāṇāyāma takes many years to appreciate.
  • Choosing to spend more time in Prāṇāyāma than Āsana is not that appealing as a transformative tool.
  • Do we have a real and biding interest in these deeper practices of Yoga?

Also:

Leave more than enough time for Prāṇāyāma……

  • Do not forget to leave more than enough time for Prāṇāyāma, rather than it being the token twiddle at the end of the practice.
  • (Leaving more than enough time) both automatically lengthens and deepens the flow of the breath without any conscious effort on my part.

Finally:

The Link between the practice limbs of Āsana, Mudrā, Prāṇāyāma and Dhyānam

  • A knowledge of the practice and planning principles within Āsana are necessary to appreciate the practice and planning principles within Mudrā.
  • A knowledge of the practice and planning principles within Āsana and Mudrā are necessary to appreciate the practice and planning principles within Prāṇāyāma.

I hope the reader here is prepared to consider my request to re-mind themselves that there is a process around the practice of Prāṇāyāma to be considered, rather than just wanting to just get on with embarking on it as a mathematical or psychic exercise.

This attempt to communicate the principles and practices in Prāṇāyāma is also something that is influenced from my own perspective of not knowing who is reading this or what they may or may not do with or from it. A situation where I feel influenced towards offering general guidelines that would be more specific within a direct 121 situation.

Thus with the above in mind, from here we can attempt to move from Prāṇāyāma as a process towards Prāṇāyāma as content. Thus we will look at what we need to be focusing on in Āsana in order to prepare the ground for an intelligent and personally relevant Prāṇāyāma practice.

Further posts will then look at how we translate this information arising from Āsana practice and transfer and translate it within the practice of Prāṇāyāma.

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