Prana & pranayama – life force & breath

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Blog

Yoga is so many things, and so many different things to so many different individuals that is perhaps not prudent to make any ultimate statements about what it is, or isn’t. For me, personally, and I’m sure on some level, universally, yoga is all about prana and pranayama – the life force and the breath.

I like yoga so much because it investigates everything based on prana and pranayama, in terms of a philosophy, a physiology and a practice. For the yogi breath practice is a connection to the life force as a consciousness, not only a key ingredients of organic life in terms of oxygen. This consciousness “is yoga”, and the practice of yoga and the yogi and “all that is”, is both “being the life force” and “the knower”.¬†Without such consciousness we are unconscious, asleep, covered in the veil of ignorance. Unenlightened, without light.

In terms of a yoga class this is all pretty intense stuff. To express all this, and cover, or uncover such a journey into deeper knowing, in one hour! What I guess everyone who attends my classes already know is that this is the passion for yoga that drives me. And the fact that the full force of yoga is best explored in terms of the full supporting spectrum of all its facets. For example, excellent breathing is just not possible without contextual good posture, and good posture alone contains so many aspects, dimension and nuances that are interwoven into the whole.

pranyama

Yoga is a great tool for this exploration, in my opinion, the very best organic technology on the planet. Through acute bodymind and mental awareness, we can investigate the spirit and our human beingness of this tremendous technology. As a teacher I constantly explore through my own bodymind awareness how this system functions. My feeling is that one can, at best, fathom the mysteries of life, seek understanding and kind of “hope for the best” in the sense that well-being an insights and mastery of yoga and all the great idealisms of enlightenment is never guaranteed.

It is this whole, the holistic sum of the parts that yoga practice masterfully approaches with technique and insight that fascinates me as much as it blows me away. Because of the vastness of the whole – universally speaking, and our complexities as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings – I feel great importance and value in not getting lost in the details of this immensity, and focus on simplistic, practical functionality, without losing sight of the magic and wonder of who and what we are.

Anything can, and will, happen – pre-destiny and self-will, control and letting go, and so on are topics one can debate until the end of time. Without any real answers, because there aren’t any. When we investigate life in terms of prana and pranayama, the life force and the breath, this becomes very clear. It is a zen thing, an un-knowable that becomes crystal clear in the light of consciousness.

Best thing we can do, trust me, or better still, trust yourself, is to immerse ourselves in this exploration of our nature as beings of light. This “sense of prana” as the guiding light of our bodies and spirits, as the home of our souls, are what brings me to each yoga class, and in some way or another, wakes me up every day of my life.

Acknowledgement of how little I know about how much there is to know has become for me a practice of practical wisdom, grounded in the very practical practice of yoga. All the warm up movements and meditations that let’s us loosen and stretch our limbs and joints, and energise our organs and its respiratory, circulatory, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems is possible through careful development of technique and constant practice of the practice.

This doing is now, going on 25 years of teaching, becoming a more and enjoyable or lighter experience, as I develop my own lightness of being, in my own unique reflection of the greater light of all that is. For this reason of sharing, as one of the insights of I came into the other day is that I think more of myself as a sharer than a teacher.

Bonus time longer classes on Saturdays

For this reason I am introducing the new Yoga Day Saturday Extended Sessions, starting this Saturday, the 17th. My plan for the next while at least, is to offer slightly longer, double time and occasionally longer or 3/4 day yoga classes. This is how the Saturdays will work – come to class, as normal, 9-10 a.m. Leave as usual at 10, or stay longer if you have the time, for whatever is in the offering.

I will send out notification in advance of double time or longer classes.

I will announce and charge, or not charge, a fee for some of the longer sessions, depending on the length, especially when food is included in events or not. While I honor that teaching yoga is my business and an income I also recognize that not everyone wants to or can afford to pay for additional classes, so I’m asking for that to not be an issue. Please let me know whenever a money problem is preventing you from attendance, of workshops, or classes for that matter.

I really, really would like you, if you are that way inclined, to attend an occasional longer session, because a double or triple session may take one deeper into yoga practice, be it on a physical or metaphysical level. Of course the two are not separate, you know what I mean. My intention for the Saturday Yoga Day Extended Sessions is for it to be a fun, possibly entertaining and healing space, and whatever else happens, happens.

Beginners are welcome, even when the practice is advanced – you know that the physical practice is always mostly do-able. Please bring a friend, or relative, free of charge, after checking with me if it is okay to do so for reasons of space and such considerations.

Yours truly,
Johann
Muizenburg,
15 May 2014

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