The first skill we learnt when we were born was to breathe. Somehow or rather, it came so easily, naturally and effortlessly since our birth that we don’t even consider breathing as a skill. We then start to pay less attention to our breath and took the most important thing in our life for granted.
When I first started practicing Yoga, I am more interested in the end result of the posture than the awareness of the subtle breath I was taking. Even with the constant reminders from the yoga instructor to keep breathing , I was still holding my breath on many occasions to try to get into the challenging yoga postures.
And then, I was being introduced to Pranayama (practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force) during the Yoga Teacher Training. On that faithful day, I started to pay attention to my breath, so much so, I integrated pranayama into my daily routine.
These are the different pranayama techniques I perform first thing in the morning on a daily basis:
- Kapalabhati (also called Skull Cleansing)
- I do it with the purpose of clearing my head to keep my mind fresh and to kick start my day with a positive feeling)
- 40 pumps for 3 rounds
2. Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing )
- I do it with the purpose of keeping my mind and body calm,composed and relaxed
- Inhale 6, Hold 12, Exhale 12 for 10 rounds
- I do it with the purpose of giving me courage and clarity and increasing my Aura
- 20 pumps for 5 rounds
Doing these 3 pranayama will only take 15mins. Im glad to say this worthy 15mins keeps me sane and balanced.
On the aspect of asana practice, I do make it a point to be aware of my Ujjayi breathing throughout the practice. Our trainer, Paalu, once said, when you can’t hear your breathing during your asana practice, it means that you are not doing the pose correctly. And I come to understand that without breath, there is in fact no yoga.
Now, I appreciate my Breath so much and breathing will continue to be my lifelong learning skill.
Jeslin (March 2018 Weekend YTT)