By Amanda Bailey
During Foundations, my favorite pose was Ujjayi Pranayama while lying in Shavasana. The way it was taught completely changed my experience of Ujjayi. It resonated deeper in my body and consciousness in a way I had never noticed before.
One evening, we paired up and listened to the sound of our partner practicing Ujjayi breathing WITHOUT JOINING THEM — a challenge for me! As I listened to my partner breathing, I felt a unique connection to him. It was a knowing without knowing. I didn’t know anything about the details of his life. Yet listening to his Ujjayi breath, I had an embodied awareness of him. Sharing my own Ujjayi breath, I felt as if I was giving him a gift beyond anything material that I could ever give.
Just as my own experience was profound, so were others. To share their experiences, fellow students used beautiful words: connection, love, peace, a sense of no longer being alone or having to be afraid.
I am so grateful for Foundations and how all of the Svaroopa® yoga poses lead me deeper into myself. They give me the awareness of the ever-present connection, love and peace. Yet Ujjayi Pranayama has been the foundation of my practices since I learned it in my first Svaroopa® yoga class. On days when I don’t do a full yoga practice, I still do Ujjayi Pranayama, because I have an embodied knowledge of its effect. It keeps my head above water in the whirl and swirl of life. Deepest gratitude to Swamiji, my Foundations Trainers (Bhakta and Kamala), and to all of my fellow yogis in Foundations.