This week my Yoga lesson theme was ‘Rhythms’ of which there are many in our day to day lives. The natural rhythms of Life: birth life, death and reincarnation if you believe. Our seasons; spring, summer autumn and winter, day and night the rise and set of the sun, cycles of the moon and all the rhythmic sounds of nature for example the birds songs and the rivers flow.
The natural rhythms of our body: heart beat, pulse, circulation, our biological clock and of course the natural rhythm of our breath and the rhythms of the movement of our bodies.
Pranayama is the 4th Limb of Patanjalis Eight Limbs of Yoga, the practice of controlling the ‘vital force’ usually through breath control. Savitri Pranayama is a three part breath (see week 1) that is rhythmic and slow in a 2:1:2:1 ratio pattern. It is a way of breathing that will bring you peace and quiet and rejuvenate the body, mind and emotions. It is said that an advanced practice of 20 minutes can be equivalent to 8 hours sleep!
This Pranayama can be practiced in a sitting position or lying down. In this breathing practice there are 4 parts:
- Inhalation 2. Holding the breath (khumbaka) 3. Exhalation 4. Holding the breath (Khumbaka)
The amount of time for holding the breath after the inhale and exhale is always half the inhale and exhale.
A count of 2:1:2:1 – said to be a good rhythm for increasing respiratory rates and to strengthen the heart A count of 4:2:4:2 – said to be a good rhythm for recovering from sickness injury and for asthmatics A count of 6:3:6:3 – said to help to control the emotions and help people suffering from nervous depression A count of 8:4:8:4 – this is the rhythm that is said to strengthen and rejuvenate the body and bring excellent health. The rhythm is in perfect harmony with the vibrations of the body’s cells and a perfect rhythm for achieving a state of meditation.
This week practice Savitri Pranayama and just take time to notice all the natural rhythms that are in our lives and the natural sounds of nature.