Imagine you’re expecting a cherished guest – royalty perhaps or a much revered teacher – you would want to clean every corner. You would want to open all the windows, freshen and air all the spaces. And then you would want to stand open the gates and the doors and roll out the red carpet. This is exactly how it is with PRANA. The magic ingredient to yoga practice is PRANA, life-force, life-giving energy. The practice which actions the magic is PRANAYAMA.
We’ll begin this week’s practice with kapalabhati. Having cleansed our breathing apparatus and cleansed our skulls, we’ll move on to cleansing and unblocking all the joints of the body. Let’s work with Pawanmuktasana 1, which is the anti-rheumatic exercise. We move through all the joints of the body, methodically, working from the toes to the neck. Each movement is repeated 5 times.
Then we’ll work to cleanse our digestive system’s with Pawanmuktasana 2. This is the exercise where we work, methodically, through the entire digestive system. We’re preparing for the royal guest!
Before we move from lying on the mat, let’s practise the Eagle. We found last week that working with this quite challenging balance posture whilst safely lying had enormous benefits! We could really ‘feel’ the posture without anxiety about tumbling. That foot readily tucks behind the other calf whilst prone!
Now we’ll meet three movements from Pawanmuktasana 3. This is the energy-release group of movements. How cleansed and cleared do we feel? Can we go lightly into our challenge posture?
In meditation, we’ll visualise preparation for the royal guest. We’ll allow ourselves to understand the magic of PRANAYAMA in a deeper way. We will have the summer holidays for processing this essential part of yoga practice, and really understanding the PRANAYAMA techniques.
Relaxation is Surya Kriya. Let’s fill the energy reservoir in the solar plexus with wonderful PRANA. Surya means ‘sun’ and solar plexus means ‘the place of the sun’.
This is our last class of the summer term and this yoga year. It’s been a good one! We’ve looked, in depth, at Patanjali’s first 4 limbs. Have a great summer. I shall still post on the blog, and look forward very much to seeing you back on your mats on September 13th.
Meanwhile, only one week until the annual retreat! Yay! How I love reuniting with our larger yoga family…
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti