Chanting the mantra took a slow but steady start. I have never really liked the sound of my voice so I thought that this part would be challenging. I found over time that I did not hear my voice but only the vibrations of the sounds. I felt light. I normally feel heavy in my head and heart region. It is a little hard to explain in words but it seems similar to carrying a heavy weight, all the time. I would finish the mantra and find my sadhana practice easier to settle into and I slept more soundly after the evening chanting. My dreams were not heavy or dark. My husband commented that when he awoke in the morning he would see me smiling as I slept. He told me he could not recall in the 23 years we have been together a time when he has observed that in me while I slept. I felt rested and had more energy.
I started my asana practice with more heart opening poses, especially Ustrasana. I do not fully move into the Ustrasana pose when practicing because of the intense feelings that are brought up. I have in the past gone just far enough to feel the emotions begin to bubble up and then move out of it into Balaasana. So, I dreaded my asana practice knowing where I needed to go. I left the pose towards the end of the practice for two reasons. First, I thought I could “recover” from the pose better in shavasana and second, as stated before I dreaded it. I was determined to stay in the pose five breath cycles the first week and then try to increase breath cycles as the weeks progressed. Most days I was able to keep this commitment to myself. Tears would well up and intense feelings would seem to pool around my heart. Once in shavasana I felt the emotions float away. I did not have any moments of “ah ha” as to the origins of the emotions nor did I come to any conclusions as to how to fix the emotions. I just allowed them to bubble up and let go of them. Sometimes, I would lay in shavasana for 15 minutes. I noticed and wrote in my journal that I would feel light headed and unable to focus for a few moments after an intense practice. As the day progressed, I felt very calm and did not judge myself so harshly.