i have been shooting short single-pose videos for years on youtube and it’s all been lollipops and rainbows. but when i started making full-length videos, i’ve found myself getting really, really tired. like, my-legs-and-arms-might-fall-right-off-my-body tired.
and it’s not because the classes are so very difficult.
in fact, every class i shoot is significantly less challenging than my daily personal practice…some very, very less. for example, despite doing 35 handstands of varying entries and exits every morning in my own practice without faltering, i find myself unable to do more than one or two in my videos before i start apologizing that “my handstands are off today” (again).
this exhaustion had baffled me for a long time and then the lightbulb went on: the reason that i am getting so tired filming these classes is that i am talking instead of breathing.
in my normal practice, the deep ujjayi breath underlies my every movement and carries me through the flow.
when you build any asana, you always start with the foundation, with what’s on the ground. feet for warriors, hands for handstands…but your physical foundation isn’t the real foundation of your work. your pranayama is.
pranayama (and i’m all about the ujjayi) is the foundation beneath your foundation. everything builds on top of it.
here’s the truth: if you are missing out on your breath, you are missing out on your practice. i preach it all the time, but now that i am experiencing practice without pranayama, i’m experiencing it firsthand.
so breathe, darn it! and breathe deeply. then watch how your whole practice changes.