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 Building a Daily Practice with Self-Pacing
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6 Posts

Posted - Sep 17 2018 :  4:49:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
A bit of background first, I started doing yoga about 7 years ago and within a few sessions I started having energetic symptoms that initially were various pains that dissolved when I brought my attention to them and that has expanded to symptoms such as twitching, jerking, hot flushes, cold chills running down my spine etc.

The blockages have been my constant companion since then and can be pretty painful at times. When I bring my attention to a blockage I can experience various emotions/memories/thoughts that seem to be associated with the sensations. The blockage will dissolve with time, resulting in an emotional release or a pleasant feeling of energy that runs down my body from the where the blockage happened to be and then another one will "come up" almost immediately.

Even after taking months off practice and engaging in lots of grounding exercises only results in the blockages moving more into the background. I have been sober nearly a year now and this has helped a lot and I have been practicing pretty much consistently since then. I was doing 1 to 2 hours of breath meditation and some yoga asanas which was resulting in me working through a lot of difficult emotions and memories and I have definitely seen an improvement in my life as a direct result. After about 6 months of this the pain of the blockages and the severity of automatic yoga I was having had slowly increased in intensity so that I couldn't focus on the breath as my object of meditation and I was directed here from another forum.

As soon as I started doing SBP I noticed a relief from the automatic yoga and I made AYP my main practice. I have had some serious purification symptoms since and each time a big blockage dissolves I have flu like symptoms for a few days as well as headaches, nightmares and quite high frequency energy that feels very edgy. This causes me to back off all practice and then I start again.

I realize these are signs I should self pace but I don't want to cut back too much as I am not working at the moment and I want to make as much progress as possible. I have recently been allowing my automatic yoga to just happen on there own and this has blown my mind with the seeming wisdom of my body to know exactly which way to move which has resulted in a massive release of tension around my neck and shoulders in the last 2 months. I feel like if I left it my body would never stop twisting and releasing and the levels of purification would be unbearable.

I spend a few hours lying on my bed over the last few days letting my body move as it needed and this has resulted in my latest overload ( as well as a very pleasant release).

I am going to cut back to 5 mins of SBP and 10 mins DM for at least the next 2 weeks ( I was doing much more) and I will post here how I get on. Like I was saying I'm not working so I want to make as much progress as possible without going overboard and I dont mind some amount of unpleasant symptoms outside of my practice time if i can make some good progress. I will also increase my grounding practices as well. I tend to get carried away with my enthusiasm for practice as soon as the negative symptoms receded so I hope that writing here can help keep that in check!

The blockage are now almost always in my neck and shoulders and are back with a vengeance again. I feel like my energy levels are way too high at the moment and are a bit unpleasant. I plan on going for a long hike tomorrow and I just did and workout that helped a little.

In regards to self pacing and automatic yoga. I know that the recommendation is to count this as mediation time and I don't want to stop doing SBP as this has been the most effective practice for me so I was wondering If it would be OK to do the 5 mins of SPM and then lie down and let my body do as it knows best for 10 mins?


490 Posts

Posted - Sep 17 2018 :  7:57:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
In AYP, we don't recommend only doing spinal breathing. It has to be followed by meditation. The answers are in the lessons somewhere. Also a visit to a chiropracter would be of help I feel.
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United Kingdom
1634 Posts

Posted - Sep 18 2018 :  05:00:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello AnotherYogi
Originally posted by AnotherYogi
I know that the recommendation is to count this as mediation time and I don't want to stop doing SBP as this has been the most effective practice for me so I was wondering If it would be OK to do the 5 mins of SPM and then lie down and let my body do as it knows best for 10 mins?

The recommendation, for those with a tendency to overload, is to count automatic yoga as practice time, not necessarily as meditation time. Automatic yoga is more like asanas.

As Jusmail has pointed out, meditation is the fundamental practice. When self-pacing, it is the last practice we take out, before cutting back to zero. If I AM meditation is too strong, we replace it with breath focused meditation. See Lesson 367.

It sounds like you are doing a good job of self-pacing and grounding.

All the best
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6 Posts

Posted - Sep 18 2018 :  05:33:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the replies.

I do find DM much more intense than breath meditation the problem is since I started doing SBP when I try to do breath meditation now I immediately start doing spinal breathing and things start to get intense!

OK I'm going to do 5 mins SBP and 10 mins DM and and at the start of my rest time when I lei down I will do 5 mins of automatic yoga and then do just rest for a few more minutes.

I slept a lot better last night, I'ms till feeling a bit fried but I'm definitely better after cutting back.
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672 Posts

Posted - Sep 18 2018 :  07:09:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Another Yogi,

It is good that you have added DM after SB. If DM is too much, you can go back to the meditation on breath. Just do some meditation after pranayama.

Here is what Yogani writes in lesson 43 about the relationship between pranayama and meditation:

On the other hand, practicing pranayama alone without meditation can leave the practitioner vulnerable in some ways. Imagine you plow a field, turning the rich soil over and over. It is exposed, fertile, and ready for the seed to be planted. What will you plant there? If you meditate deeply with an effective method, you will plant the field full with the seed of pure bliss consciousness, and it will germinate and grow strong, filling the field with joy. But what if you don't meditate, and you don't plant anything in particular in your fertile pranayama field? What will grow there? Something will. But what? Whatever happens to be around. Some desires, some thoughts, some emotions, whatever happens to be blowing over the field. To tell you the truth, a lot of weeds can grow there, because there is no crop of pure bliss consciousness filling up that field. This is why pranayama, practiced as a stand-alone over months and years, can lead to less instead of more. In some people this type of imbalanced practice can lead to increasing rigidness, egotism, anxiety, anger, and just plain bad luck. Meditate every day after you do pranayama and you will experience the opposite of these things in great profusion - flexibility, compassion, peace, joy, and lots of good luck. That's how it works.

Best wishes!
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