Ended up going to bed super late as my ten year old daughter had had a row with her sister who was minding her and suddenly realised she was missing me terribly. She’s usually pretty nonchalant about my comings and goings so I really wanted to be able to comfort her. Modern technology is an amazing thing – I sat writing my blog, while she sat eating her supper and we were able to keep each other company until the low mood had passed. She put me on top of the cooker so that I could talk her through making some dessert and it was almost like being there! So lights out was after 1am and then there was a very noisy, screamy row going on until 3am, either in my building or in the alley way outside. Once I finally managed to drop off, I woke up a short time later weak, sweaty and shaking with another big hypo – the very strong work we did with Geetaji on the thoracic is exactly where the pancreas is and that had set off a series of hypos after that area had got stimulated.
Luckily there was no class this morning so I blasted away the tiredness with some reggae in the shower followed by a leisurely practice. We headed to the modern shopping mall next to the Institute on the hunt for batteries and stopped for a chai on the top floor restaurant where we were well above the treetops looking out to the hills beyond Pune. Whenever you get up high, you really get a sense of just how green and tree filled Pune is – it’s the city’s saving grace and given that the air pollution level is defined as ‘extreme’, it’s hard to imagine what the air quality would be like without them.
Pranayama with Navaz was quite a contrast to the intense work of yesterday’s classes and I had to try very hard indeed not to be lured to sleep by her deep, soothing voice.
This is a pic of the institute taken from across the street, where you get an idea of the unusual shape and structure of the building. Hidden behind the trees on the top tier is an orange shrine to Patanjali.
Day 19 - Navaz Pranayama
Invocation and Guru Chant
Same careful explanation of how to lie down in Savasana 2 on the bolster, exactly as given in weeks 1 and 2. Supine Breath Observation. Ujayii 4
Ujayii 8 seated. Do not exhale with the throat, exhale with the release of the diaphragm.- there should not be a harsh or forced sound. Diaphragm firm, but not hard .Contained within the chest is the surya chakra where the heat is produced to fire digestion. The lunar chakra is at the top of the head. The heat of the chest and the cool of the head should be kept apart and the Jalandhra bandha makes this seal. Then the energy, the prana is made to flow through the ida, pingala and susumna nadi She told with a smile that Prasant had lectured her on the jalandhara bandha – how it is infact not a bandha at all but a mudra. He also asked her how she pictured these nadis – did she imagine them to great vessels? They are as fine as a wisp of hair – do you imagine your jalandhara bandha can control this very fine flow of energy? She said we are all students and we have a lot to learn. Then we worked on viloma inhalation, starting by taking the navel backwards towards the spine before commencing a divided inhalation - many small rapid inhalations to build up the capacity followed by slow soft continuous exhalation, with normal breaths in between cycles to recover. Next was viloma exhalation – Slow soft, continuous inhalation followed by many small rapid exhalations to build up the capacity– recovery breaths inbetween cycles – and finally viloma on inhalation and exhalation - Once completed return to ujayii 8 (The complete cycle of breath is puraka (slow soft continuous inhalation) anta kumbhak (retention of inhalation) rechaka (slow, soft continuous exhalation) baya kumbhak (retention of exhalation) and see what improvement has been brought.
We do not know where the life force comes from, but receive it as a divine gift with your palms folded and when our time is up - it’s up - and nothing in the world can bring it back again, so savour the gift of life for as long as it is yours.
Savasana – Release your spine down into the lap of the mother earth. Surrender yourself completely.