Hello Fightmaster yoga community!
I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a lovely time. This week's class is a morning flow. Sarah Hanagarth requested it and also asked for some pranayama to be included. I chose to incorporate the Kabalabhati (or skull shining) breath. This pranayama can be challenging. It's a practice that warms up the body from the inside. Here is some information and instruction that's taken from Yogajournal.com:
Kapalabhati consists of alternating short, explosive exhales and slightly longer, passive inhales. Exhales are generated by powerful contractions of the lower belly (between the pubis and navel), which push air out of the lungs. Inhales are responses to the release of this contraction, which sucks air back into the lungs.
Focus on your lower belly. Many beginners aren’t able to isolate and contract this area. If needed, cup one hand lightly in the other and press them gently against your lower belly.
Now quickly contract (or pump your fisted hands against) your lower belly, pushing a burst of air out of your lungs. Then quickly release the contraction (or your hands), so the belly “rebounds” to suck air into your lungs. Pace yourself slowly at first. Repeat eight to 10 times at about one exhale-inhale cycle every second or two.
As you become more adept at contracting/releasing your lower belly, you can increase your pace to about two exhale-inhale cycles every second. Imagine the exhale sweeping out or “brightening” the inner lining of your skull.
Do 25 to 30 cycles at first. Gradually increase the number of cycles you do each practice to 100 or more.
*Do not practice Kabalabhati breath if you're pregnant or have high blood pressure. Please discontinue if you feel any pain or dizziness.
Kabalabhati breath is a detoxifying practice that helps to release stress and toxins from the mind and body. I hope that you enjoy this pranayama practice and that you also enjoy the morning flow class. Remember, it never matters how deep with get into a pose or if we can get ourselves into the crazy "pretzel-like" postures. Our yoga practice is a way to connect to our best selves! As we get to know, love and accept ourselves for who we are, we also send out that same love and acceptance to others. Today, I invite you give 5 compliments out to people that you encounter today!
Have a wonderful day!