Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - November 2017 
 
   
 
   

Thoughts on Breath Retreat

by Ruby Hand

I attended Marilou Hermen’s Science of Breath Seminar in early November, seeing it as a perfect preparation for the Level 1 TTP. It was that, and more!!

As someone who has enjoyed sporting and outdoor activities all my life and who has been passionate about promoting a healthy life-style for family and clients, I thought I had a good grasp and understanding of the physiology of breathing.

An hour into Marilou’s first class, I realized I was seriously under-informed about diaphragmatic breathing. The bio-mechanics, the wholistic benefits flowing to the self at a physical, mental and spiritual level, and especially during meditation, became clearer as days of constant practice and refinement unfolded.

Marilou’s classes flowed dynamically; theory and practice led to group discussion, feedback and practice teaching where our skill levels permitted. Marilou raised our awareness about active and passive nostril flow, linking it to the Ida and Pingala energy channels. She challenged us to be aware of our diaphragmatic breathing when rising and showering in the morning and suggested how easy one forgets to breathe properly when shifting focus i.e. reaching for the soap, turning on a tap etc.

Using her trade-mark humour, Marilou taught and emphasised the benefits of digestive breathing, especially during celebratory occasions when over-indulgence at the dining table puts pressure on the digestive system.

Teaching the subtle practices of breath regulation related to Pranayama, Marilou guided the class in Kapalabhati, Bhastrika, Ujjayi, Bhramari and Nadi Shodhanam techniques. She assisted each member of the class individually, observing, making adjustments to our posture, pointing out anomalies in our breath flow and suggesting corrections.

She made us AWARE and she constantly reminded us to be Aware of becoming Aware.

Throughout the seminar, Marilou’s commitment to the Himalayan Yoga Tradition’s and to Swami Rama's and Swami Veda’s teachings illuminated her motivation for sharing her knowledge, her professional and personal experiences.

Fortunately I had also participated in the Foundational Breathing classes led by Ahymsin Faculty teachers. They individually demonstrate so skillfully the Makarasana and Shavasana asanas that practising them during Marilou’s classes felt welcome and familiar.

A surprising but very happy outcome using Diaphragmatic breathing was that my Yin energy felt reignited! For as long as I can remember I have operated from a ‘Ha’/Yang dominant perspective using its strength and energy to organize my life. I now realize I have been sorely missing the silence, creativity and subtlety of the ‘Tha’/Yin energy. To walk lightly on the earth was how I experienced this palpable energy shift - a beautiful and heartwarming transition which I now treasure.

My love to all,
Ruby Hand

Photos by Jay Prakash Bahuguna.

 

   
       

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