Light on Pranayama

For the past few weeks I have been following BKS Iyengar’s pranayama course in his book Light on Pranayama. I am naughty because I do not have a teacher helping me and also because I haven’t read the book yet… I just skipped straight to the course.

I wanted a clear, easy to follow and in depth course of pranayama exercises. I am on week 6… of 200 weeks. That is almost 4 years so I would say that is quite in depth enough.

First week it was following your natural breath, then adding on extending the exhale and then the inhale in a preparation for ujjayi breath. Week 5 introduces the first non-ujjayi pranayam- viloma which is interrupted breath. So that is either inhaling in 4-5 parts before exhaling in one continuous breath or exhaling in 4-5 parts before inhaling in one go. All of the exercises so far are lying down, I have not progressed to sitting pranayama and will not until week 9.

One thing I’ve found interesting is that lengthening the exhale is substantially more difficult for me than lengthening the inhale. I’ve found with viloma that I can easily inhale in 5 parts of 2 seconds, but with the exhale I can only do 3 parts. I just run out of breath! I found it with the ujjayi too, inhales are long, smooth and deep, exhales short and strained.

It’ll be interesting to see how it develops, and also to see if I stick with it for the full 4 years.

Well what else do I plan to do with my life?


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