Pranayama: Systematic breathing and holding of the breath. The lengthening of life via control of prana (life force). This practice is already changing my entire life. Every day I learn a new pranayama exercise from the Guruji. I sit for about an hour and count and breathe and hold my breath and count and breathe…and by the end of the practice I am a ball of sweat and exhausted and hungry. Every morning I am awakening with an entirely new set of lungs.
As an occasional smoker of weed and other things, I could easily do an asana practice regularly and not feel affected. Pranayama, however, does not allow for this kind of habit. The first day I did the practice, I felt ill. I have had a little head cold ever since, which I think is directly related to the practice cleaning me out. Gutting my lungs of the filth I have accumulated in there and filling them with power. I have been sneezing and coughing and have been forced to go to bed early (even more early than usual) as a result of my stupid “cold”. Today, however, I am feeling better than ever. I don’t think I have ever felt this strong. My body has never felt more open, or more able, and my mind feels the same. It is amazing what not drinking and not smoking for any extended period of time, even if one has only done these things occasionally, will do for the body and subsequently, the mind. Imagine what three months of this practice will do for me! Hazzaaaah!
Every day in Seattle I felt a tightness in my chest. Social interactions, work, and pretty much anything was enough to set off the tightening in my chest. Constant anxiety. My feet hurt, right where my solar plexus is located according to reflexology. My power, my sense of will, the center of my divine self, was constantly being compromised somehow. But the second I left, the minute I arrived in India, these aches and pains completely disappeared. Completely. My feet are so happy. My chest is wide and my eyes are bright. And it has only been two weeks. My singing voice, which had grown weak in Seattle, is pouring out of me like liquid gold. I sit on the rooftops in the evening and sing the colors of the sun right back to it. I sing my gratitude back to the sky.