Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dancer, Half Moon & Warrior III + Lion's Breath & Ujjayi Pranayama - YTT Week 9

March 18th & 19th:

This weekend we learned three new poses - Dancer, Half Moon and Warrior III, along with some Pranayama breathing - Lion's Breath and Ujjayi Breath.  It was a super fast weekend and I missed class on Wednesday (where they discussed the Yamas and Niyamas) so this week flew by for me, in regards to YTT.

I made flash cards for the poses, you can find them here if you'd like a copy.  These were fun balancing ones, fun to learn how to talk students through them and fun to practice.

The Pranayama breathing was also fun to learn and fun to practice.  The owner of Desert Song Healing Arts, and one of our YTT teachers, said that breath is the most important thing you can learn in life, and if she could teach anything she'd teach people how to breathe.  We learned two different Pranayama techniques - Lion's Breath (two variations) and Ujjayi Breath.  The first was really silly to do in class and I almost cracked up a bunch of times. and the second will come in handy when I give birth or if I need to go back to sleep because my mind is racing thinking about giving birth (or having a newborn!).  More on this later, the fears are starting to set in . . .

Lion's Breath (Simhasana/Release Breath):

Takes mental confusion and lets it go, releases stress, removes tension, releases pent up emotion, very energizing, helps with sinus/throat conditions and is a natural face lift.

Here is Lemon practicing both versions of this technique:

Ujjayi Breath:

Means "victoriously uprising" and it is the most powerful because it both energizes and calms at the same time.  It relaxes and soothes the nerves, supports toning of the energy system, it's repeatative so it's soothing and calming for your mind while giving you something to focus on, helps remove phlegm at the base of the throat, good for high blood pressure, also helps with anxiety and insomnia, encourages mindfulness, assimilates prana into central channel, assists in prana flow, helps with pace, texture and depth of breath.  It also helps to bring us to the present moment.  Do this one while lying down.

One of my favorite Instagram yogis tells you how to do this one.  You are supposed to practice it in the morning at sunrise, for 1-5 minutes, and in the evening before bed, for 1-5 minutes.  Or, if you wake up in the middle of the night, it can help you go back to sleep.

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