26th October - Navaz Pranayama
Pah! and Meh! Will be out of action this week in 'Ladies Corner' which rather puts a spanner in the works for keeping up momentum of exam practice. So a much briefer practice this morning, quiet forward bends, head supported and supine chest opening. Ho hum, has its compensations I suppose. After lunch we headed off to the silver shop, but didn't really find what I was looking for. Finished off with watermelon juice and kulfi on top floor of Central Mall, which has a lovely view of the treetops in the Agricultural College grounds. Today Navaz's class focussed on digital anuloma pranayama, revising last week's work and moving on a stage further. She displayed a little of Geetaji's hawk eye capacity this eve - picking up someone's rogue eyeballs behind closed lids and spotting uneven nostrils and deviated septum from up on the stage with subdued lighting! You'll notice that the two savasanas are light on notes, as in both cases I fell asleep the second I led down, which is a shame as I was really looking forward to working on some pranayama in the horizontal bolster variation.
26th October – Navaz Pranayama
Invocation and Guru chant swastikasana seated on 2 bolsters. Right buttock to right side, left buttock to left side, in such a way as to spread the perenium. Sacrum lifted and a little concave, lumbar region back towards the spine. Take your eyeballs back and take the top eyelid down to the bottom eyelid and let the eye settle and become still. The eyelids may flicker a little to begin with, but with practice they will become still. At this point she spotted someone whose eyeballs were lifting up under the eyelid and she told them to descend the eyeball and stop ‘playing with the eyballs’.
2 bolster savasana
2 bolsters horizontally across the mat, one behind armpit chest / lower shoulder blade, the other supporting head with folded blanket also. Vertical bolster gives vertical extension, horizontal bolster gives the spread of the chest and clavicles.
Start with legs bent. Extend over bolster vertebrae by vertebrae. Lift skull and use hands to lengthen neck, placing the head on the two occipital bones. Take hands to buttock flesh and spread it - right to right side, left to left side and also away from the waist. Lengthen the legs carefully one by one. Go wider with the feet so that the pelvic abdominal organs can spread and settle. Shoulders rolling down into the gap between the two bolsters, but should not touch the floor. Chest has to go even higher, so that the lift is there and the bottom ribs are wide open for the prana to travel through.
Ujayii 1 – 4
Viloma on exhalation
Viloma on inhalation
Ujayii 4 – any improvement in capacity?
Feel your own nose and work your way down, until the bone gives way to the cartilage. Inside the nose you have the mucous membrane. Use the tips of your fingers to bring the mucous membrane closer to the septum in the centre. In this way you adjust the size of the aperture so that the flow is finer. Again Geeta had asked her to give the analogy of the workforce leaving the factory, each one being carefully examined before he could pass through the gate, one by one, rather than all just flooding out. In this way we have to partially close the aperture to examine each particle of breath as it leaves the nostril. When working with the exhalation, the important thing is to pay close attention to the sound, so that by listening carefully you can hear whether the flow is maintained. Sound should not be harsh, but very smooth and steady. Use the tips of the fingers sensitively on the nostril so that you control the rhythm and flow, the same way a skilled musician plays the instrument. We worked through approximately 5 cycles of the following stages of Anuloma. We started in swastikasana and then those that could, to virasana. All stages done with Jalandara Bandha – this cannot be neglected as it prevents the breath from coming up into the skull and inflating eyes and brain. In the single nostril variation, one nostril was completely closed and the other partially closed.
Exhale normally, inhale both open, bring hand up, exhale both partially closed, bring hand down, recovery cycle(s).
Exhale normally, bring hand up, inhale both partially closed, release hand down, exhale both open, recovery cycle(s).
Exhale normally, inhale both open, bring hand up, exhale through right nostril, bring hand down, recovery cycle(s), inhale both open, bring hand up, exhale left nostril, release hand down, recovery cycle(s).
Exhale normally, bring hand to nostrils, inhale right, release hand down, exhale both open, recovery cycle (s), bring hand up, inhale left, release hand down, exhale both open, recovery cycle(s)
Savasana with bolsters and blanket on the root of the thighs (not the knee, not the thigh, but the root of the thigh. Relaxing the thigh relaxes the nervine body also. Before you come out of your savasana, say a silent prayer to the Divinity within. Come out very slowly, come back from the subconscious to the conscious. If you come out quickly, then you weren’t in true savasana at all.