YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 01.16 – 01.22

“To realize the Self is to be still.” –Ramana Maharshi

Weekly Focus: Pranayama (breath control)

Winter brings a sense of stillness — the surface feels quiet, though natural processes of growth happen deep beneath. We might form a connection to this calm through pranayama. Pranayama doesn’t always look like much, but the benefits it brings spread throughout our body + mind. Prana is not only the breath, but our vital life-force. This helps to bring us nourishment + restoration to not only our bodies, but also our mind. How can we use the breath to help sustain this winter on the physical + mental plains?

Active Pose of the Week: Kapalabhati (skull shining breath)

Illuminate the darkness of  Winter + bring warmth to your body with this tapasic (fiery) kriya (clearing) practice. To take skull shining breath:

  1. Inhale 3/4 of the way
  2. Exhale from the nose, in short spurts, pumping the belly to push out the air, until you empty completely (about 20-30 pumps)
  3. Take a normal inhale/exhale before continuing. Passive inhales/forceful exhales.

Passive Pose of the Week: Sama Vritti (box breath)

Vritti is also translated as “waves” or “ripples” upon the mind. Use this breath to help calm these “ripples” + calm the tides of the mind. To take box breath:

  1. Inhale to a count of 4
  2. Hold for 4 counts
  3. Exhale to a count of 4
  4. Sustain for 4 counts. Repeat.