I started writing as soon as I stepped out of the shower. My keyboard froze, coincidentally, so I pushed it until later. Sunday evening now. I’ve since warmed up significantly since this morning’s routine. Today was different than the others in a few ways. I incorporated more yoga into the breathing. Previously I’d found that seated cross legged enabled me to exhale further than lying down. Curling the chin down toward the abdomen was really ideal for engaging the diaphragm and emptying the lungs. However, when seated, my knees always give me trouble.
At the start of every yoga class I’ve attended (less than a dozen probably) they start with child’s pose. This always makes my left knee pop. It’s like a starting gun. So, I used this to begin my practice today. It worked. I then performed the full exhale breathing using the arched and rounded cat back posture on all fours. I stretched my hamstrings in downward dog before performing the heavy breathing exercise in a full squat position. While I did read that the breathing could/should be performed in the squat position to provide a known discomfort to focus the brain on while breathing, I believe that the pose is the kung fu horse stance.
I’m not sure I’ll be doing that.
Following the squat, I found it comfortable to fall backwards and lay on the mat to relax and try and hold my breath. I am still very much uncomfortable doing this and unable to keep from gasping in 20 seconds or so. I am not sure what I’m doing wrong.
Otherwise, the breathing exercises were energising and warmed me up. I was much more prepared to jump in the cold shower after the breathing today than yesterday.
The cold shower was still pretty difficult. Upon entering I found that as I rotated around, the parts that were not in contact with the water would quickly warm up and be forced to feel the shock of the cold each time I turned. After staying under the shower for what felt like a few minutes but was probably only one, I counted in my head to ensure that I’d stay for two full minutes, from that point. Two minutes felt like a long time. I was shivering a bit when I opened the curtain, and for a few minutes after drying off. I felt good and energized. I think I’ll try and add more time under the water tomorrow.
I don’t know how I’ll learn to hold my breath longer. The urge to inhale is quite strong. I will try and read up a bit.