Take my breath away…

Read the previous part here…

Tomorrow is International Yoga Day.

How do I start yoga? Quite a common question yes?

Most people are used to enrolling in the neighbourhood yoga class, where the instructor quickly takes you through preparatory stretching, gets into simple postures and wraps it up with a 5 or 10 minute meditation routine.

While this may work in a gymnasium or a karate class, yoga is a lot different.

As said yesterday, yoga is a way of life, not just a class every 2-3 days.

And the best place to start, is at home.

And the best way to start, is to recognize how you breathe.

It’s funny that something you do all the time, and something that keeps you alive, is so underrated.

People jump into confusing postures, when all they need to do is focus on sorting out their breathing,

Today, on day 2 of the mini-series, let us have a look at how we can observe our breath.

For the journey of a hundred years, starts with a single breath.

21-day Sādhanā challenge – Day 13

Did you know that most of the time, you breathe through one nostril only?

Yes, this is true. Try it for yourself. Hold your palm below your left nostril and breathe normally…now hold it below your right nostril. You will find that one nostril dominates the other. Repeat this exercise after around 2 hours. You may find that the other nostril is dominant now. Try again after 2 hours. It switches back. And so on and so forth. 

We have all heard of prānāyāma, which as I mentioned earlier, is confused to be a synonym of breath. Prānāyāma can thus be thought of as āyāma of Prānā ( loosely translated as life force), where āyāma means expansion (and in some definitions, contraction as well). In other words, it is the manipulation of prānā – techniques to redirect, store and control it. Ancient Indian sages also studied breath and prānā more intensely – they analysed every aspect of breath, and developed a science around it. 

This science is called Swara Yoga.

Swara means ‘the sound of one’s own breath’, and yoga means union. Swara yoga thus enables the state of union to be reached by the means of one’s own breath. 

We have all heard of the word ‘mantra‘ as well. It is now part of the English dictionary, and the listed meaning is – 

  1. a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation; and
  2. a statement or slogan repeated frequently.

Quite a shallow way of looking at a concept that goes beyond a mere word or sound.

मननत् त्रायते इति मंत्र:

Mananat trayate iti mantrah

It means that by repetition (mananat) of which, you overcome or are protected from troubles/cycle of births and deaths (trayate), it is (iti) called Mantra.

To read more, visit https://www.rohitghai.com/21-day-sadhana-challenge-day-13/

Tomorrow is Ekādashi as well, so make the best use of it…start to prepare for yog, with a fresh mind, a fresh body, and a fresh spirit.

See you tomorrow!

to be continued…