Pranayam – Where do you find the time?

Student’s Question: If a student’s schedule does not allow for and hour or more at a time, what should be the ratios of time allotted to asana/pranayama and meditation? Or should it be purely be feel?

A timetable for beginners is easy enough to develop, but our suggestions should always be taken within the larger context of making sure your practice leaves you able to function effectively in life, avoids generating increases in irritability, allows you to meet all your obligations in life, and leaves you with a deeply gratifying experience of practice that always leaves you wanting to return to it.  The time spent in practice is not as important as the quality of practice and the ability to stick with the practice over a long time.  Timing for a beginner might look like 5-10 minutes of spinal breathing followed by 5-10 minutes of meditation.  If you can do this twice a day you will enhance the results significantly.   This is surely sufficient for any beginning practice.  As you feel comfortable and have time, you can add additional practices like kapabhati, anulom viloma, siddhasana posture, yoni mudra, mantra meditation, and samyama.

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5 Responses to Pranayam – Where do you find the time?

  1. Pat says:

    For me personally, I more and more experience asana as preparation for meditation: the time it takes to get to that spot can vary a lot based on the prior days events/how I slept/if I am traveling etc etc. But I tend to be more comfortable “playing it by ear.” I could envision most students would want, at least to start off, a timetable. The same sense holds for pranayama and then meditation following—–except of course for those days when there is just lots of resistance: then it would seem like one should have a ‘framework”– or not?

    Since both pranayama and meditation are each distinct separate limbs on the 8 fold path, are there instances where one would do just a pranayama practice without meditation to follow?

    I’m also a little frustrated with myself because I am still unco-ordinated and have not learned to drive this car!!!!

  2. admin says:

    We understand the frustration that comes with trying put together all the different techniques of breath control, visualization, concentration, posture, etc. It can be hard to master. Unfortunately all we can suggest is more practice. As Patanjali says “persistant practice along with non-attachment to the fruits of that practice bring about the dimunition of obstacles.”

    – Dinabandhu

  3. Pat says:

    Thank you so much! This makes so much sense and it is so good to ‘hear’ your level headed wisdom again! So far i am just amazed at the effects of the practice and I still do keep wanting to come back to it. To be honest, twice a day is not something I have been able to manage: I am so fried by the end of the day and my days are so irregular. But it is an aspiration. For my purposes, I have continued always to begin with kapalbhati just as you showed us: having experimented without doing it or with variations on how much and doing it alternate nostril, I find that for me it seems to ‘prime the pump’ for lack of a better expression. Kind of like giving a little gas to the old carburetor before the engine kicks over (dating myself here i know): it helps quite my mind and bring focus in a way nothing else can. I also totally understand getting to the point of feeling like it is time to add more. The best thing that happened to me was drawing the quote about “all life is an experiment, experiment often”—- and that you both stressed that and gave ‘permission’ to do so—thus nipping in the bud any tendencies (though they are still there) to want to feel like the practice has to be A followed by B and then C. I just love the image of spinal breathing as ‘polishing the nadis’ and can see Dinabandhu sitting there making the hand motion: sometimes it feels right to just be polishing for a bit longer and sometimes it feels right to to ‘juice it up’ some: though in the back of my mind is also constantly echoing: got for the practice, not the experience. I am very mindful of that, but then I also have this need to feel like I am doing it “right’ (you comment about the quality over quantity aspect) and it is so tempting to want to have the immediate experience be the gauge of the quality of what we are doing.
    Again, I really appreciate you both so much. Hope all is well and that things are falling into place for you—— in the way you want of course!



  4. Yoga Teacher says:

    We ive in a hectic world. To find time, we have to make time. 15 minutes for a begineer is indeed. There are days that it might seem impossible to devote those few minutes! Tiime management does help accomplish what you aspire to do.

  5. Ganesh says: has more information please check if need more information

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