Beyond Asana: My Experience

I looked forward to getting up every morning and performing my routine, especially singing the Gayatri Mantra. Some days I would sing it three times and other days I did not want to stop and sang it at least ten times one morning. The Mantra made the space my own and the action of singing relieved some of the pressure I had felt in the past about sitting alone with my thoughts. My first week I successfully sat in silence and for a maximum of 20 minutes, and as the weeks progressed I was able sit for 40 minutes, some days going over time. My first week I felt I had more energy, relied less on caffeine, and was overall clear minded and content.

My second week of this experiment, I began to experience very vivid dreams of events that had happened to me in the past. These were event I did not remember or perhaps chose not to remember, but knew they had happened. I, myself was not the main character in the dream, but rather watched the same event I had as experienced happen to another person. I was an outsider looking in on my own life’s history. I did not feel nearly as happy or clear minded my second week as I had my first and debated stopping my pranayama practice because I did not want to be burdened by these dreams every night. I did not realize how much I lived my life day to day, and chose to ignore how past experiences shaped me. It was not a pleasant experience to look at a direct reflection of myself, but realized it was something I had avoided and needed to finally face. My second week could be described as an inward discovery of myself, where my life’s path had led me and where I wanted it to lead me.

By the third week of my experiment, my practice started to come full circle and felt calm, happy as I did the first week. Diving deeper into my subconscious was difficult at times, but in the end I had gained perspective on my life. In my dreams I had experienced events as an outside party, allowing me to suspend judgments about myself and move forward rather than feel stuck by one event in my life. The intention I began during my third week was asking for more patience and understanding of myself therefore allowing for a greater amount of self-love.