I am thrilled to offer a second opportunity for online students to participate in my biweekly live online chats. I now offer a Tuesday 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) chat, in addition to the 7:00 p.m. ET chat that’s been going on for years.
Here’s a little taste of this afternoon’s exchange:
Student A: I have a question about the Foundation class (editors’s note: “Foundations and Origins” is the first Practices class). When you asked us to place the attention on the chest in the inhale and on the belly on the exhale, my breath turned automatically to ujayyi. Is that what you wanted us to do? I don’t think I have a “ujayyi-always pattern” but with this exercise even if I tried to come to a neutral breathing it will go again to ujayyi.
Student B: Anytime I slow my breath it seems to be ujayyi!
Leslie: Ujayyi is really helpful when it’s needed to slow down and stabilize the breath.…It’s also something that many people tend to over-do, even when it’s not needed.…We like to be in control, and we use the breathing to accomplish that.
When we get away from the idea that there’s a “right” way to do these practices, and simply use them as a way to experiment, it really frees us up.
If you simply ask a student to slow down their breathing so that it matches a slow movement of the body, they will discover ujayyi naturally.
Student C: Why is it that we can breathe longer when we go from top to bottom?
Leslie: To make the belly move first, you need to restrain the ribcage, which means you have to figure out how to release it for the rest of the bottom-to-top breath.
When you start at the top, you are only releasing the ribcage – not restraining, and then releasing.…
I usually don’t teach ujayyi. I let people find it on their own, then get them to notice what they are doing.
If you’re already an online student, please join us for the next live chat, Tuesday January 28, 2014 at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. ET. If you’re not and would like to join us, you can sign up at YogaAnatomy.net.