I should have included the five minute paschimotanasana come to think of it, but I forgot. This was good anyway, it does indeed leave you in good conditions for concentration.
After the sun salutes and the sub-routines I did what Ramaswami taught us in the workshop last Saturday, for which I am so grateful. Kapalabhati with arms to the side, raised and raised and crossed, still having difficulty getting to 36 pumps with the arms up. Then nadi sodhana with bandhas for both retentions when the breath was in and out (he did not tell us to do it with the breath in but I am used to it so it was OK).
Then two minutes of pratyahara, sense withdrawal with the mudra followed by sweet concentration.
I am surprised at how much of an effect in the nervous system a short practice like this can have. I was left a lot more focused and centered.
Here are some pictures of the routine:
|Transitioning into pranayama|
|preparing for pranayama|
|kapalabhati with arms lowered, two rounds, 36|
|kapalabhati with arms raised, a challenge|
|even more “interesting”|
|preparing for pratyahara mudra -sense withdrawal-|
|focusing on the breath – Ramaswami does it on mantra
but I have been working on the breath since the Vipassanas