Meditation and pranayama before yoga

I went to Thrive Yoga at 8:00 am today to take the meditation and pranayama session before Susan Bower’s Sunday morning class of yoga. Several friends had told what a great prep, putting them in a mellow state before they started their practice on the mat. I have to confess that it was a real change of pace for me. This time around, the pranayama practice was designed to slow down and calm the mind. I’ve been more accustomed to an energized pranayama practice. We used bolsters with added blankets under our backs, and the position threw me off. It took me a while to realize that the accentuated curvature of my spin was shortening my breath. Finally, we sat for about 20 minutes. Susan’s voice guided us through the process. I am used to silence during my meditation. So, all in all, I was outside my comfort zone.

I had been promising myself to take this Sunday meditation class since it started up about a month ago. But I am not an early bird by nature and Sunday mornings have their rituals that are hard to break. Despite my quibbling about the session and it being my first time, I will definitely go again. It really did help prepare me for a more mindful yoga practice: it usually takes me 20-30 minutes to shake off what I call the “debris of life” (all the to-do lists, internal dialog and white noise that go on in my head) and surrender to my practice; this time around, I eased into almost immediately. Should I have expected anything less?