Intermediate Pranayama Cycle: Day 1

pranayama
I was away for a couple of weeks in the San Francisco Bay Area staying with friends and taking part in Donald Moyer and Mary Lou Weprin’s Summer Intensive at the Yoga Room. The Intensive was excellent. Six days of six hours of yoga each day. (I hope to blogging a little bit about some of the ideas Donald was working with over the next few weeks.) I came back energized and revitalized. I managed to practice 3 hours a day for about five days and then I crashed. All I’ve been able to practice for the past couple of weeks has been pranayama, which has been great. So here are the pranayama practices I’ve been doing of late. These sequences are based on the pranayama work we did with Donald in the Intensive. Each practice takes about an hour. It’s best not to practice pranayama without some in-person instruction beforehand. NEVER FORCE THE BREATH.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) - 5 min
• Bolster under the knees and low lift under trunk.
• Soften and spread into the back body, filling the latissumus and rhomboids.

Child’s Pose - 5 min
• Over bolster.
• Send breath down into pelvis, softening and broadening out into the hip joints.

Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath) - 5 min
• In Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with bolster under the knees and low lift under the trunk.
• Loose belt around lower abdomen, just below navel.
• Full Ujjayi inhalations and exhalations.
• As you breathe, monitor the movement of the abdomen, sides and back into and away from the belt. Balance the movement so that it is soft and uniform.

Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath) - 5 min
• In Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with bolster under the knees and low lift under the trunk.
• Loose belt around floating ribs.
• Full Ujjayi inhalations and exhalations.
• As you breathe, monitor the movement of the ribs into and away from the belt. Balance the movement so that it is soft and uniform.

Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath) - 5 min
• In Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with bolster under the knees and low lift under the trunk.
• Loose belt around center of sternum.
• Full Ujjayi inhalations and exhalations.
• As you breathe, monitor the movement of the ribs into and away from the belt. Balance the movement so that it is soft and uniform.

Viloma 1 (Interrupted Breath) - 5 min
• In Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with bolster under the knees and low lift under the trunk.
• Interrupted Ujjayi inhalations in 3 to 5 segments.
• Return to simple Ujjayi or regular breath if breathing becomes distressed.

Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath) - 5 min
• In any comfortable, easily-sustained seated pose.
• Loose belt around lower abdomen, just below navel.
• Full Ujjayi inhalations and exhalations.
• As you breathe, monitor the movement of the abdomen, sides and back into and away from the belt. Balance the movement so that it is soft and uniform.

Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath) - 5 min
• In any comfortable, easily-sustained seated pose.
• Loose belt around floating ribs.
• Full Ujjayi inhalations and exhalations.
• As you breathe, monitor the movement of the ribs into and away from the belt. Balance the movement so that it is soft and uniform.

Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath) - 5 min
• In any comfortable, easily-sustained seated pose.
• Loose belt around center of sternum.
• Full Ujjayi inhalations and exhalations.
• As you breathe, monitor the movement of the ribs into and away from the belt. Balance the movement so that it is soft and uniform.

Viloma 4 (Interrupted Breath) - 5 min
• In any comfortable, easily-sustained seated pose.
• Interrupted Ujjayi inhalations in 3 to 5 segments.
• Return to simple Ujjayi or regular breath if breathing becomes distressed.

Anuloma 1a (With the Grain Breath) - 5 min
• In any comfortable, easily-sustained seated pose.
• Full Ujjayi inhalations and exhalations.
• Inhalations made with open nostrils, exhalation made with nostrils partially blocked by the fingers.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) - 5 min
• Any variation.