The moments of greatest possibility on a yoga mat tend to happen at two points in the breath cycle. The first happens at the vacuum point when the exhale has been completely exhausted but before the next inhale starts. For newbies this level of instruction might sound arcane. But if you’ve been rolling out your mat for more than a month, WANT QUICK BREAKTHRUs? Check it out.
Changes in pressure in closed system will move energy providing volume remains relatively constant. A simple example is ears popping at high altitudes. So if you create a low pressure zone by very slowly exhaling to the vacuum point, then hang out here all the while keeping the body & aura open, energy will flow out of the body in places that have been stagnant. Especially if the subsequent inhale is slow, unhurried and steady. New energy will flood places in body in ways that will feel marvelous.
You might ask, “What’s the hitch? Sounds too easy. Clearing stagnation & flooding the body with new energies just by hanging at the Vacuum Point of the exhale? How can this be true?”
It takes serious epiglottis dexterity coordinated with abdominal control to regulate slow steady flows of breath necessary to create these magical yoga moments. What it does NOT require is years and years of study. Almost every yoga teacher extols the virtues of Ujaya breathing. But what is this Ujaya? Well, put it simply, Ujaya is stretching out the duration of the breath cycle by using the back of the throat like a pressure value to regulate the flow of air. When this Ujaya is working properly, the vacuum point becomes a goldmine of exploration in Savasana (Shivasana) and other asanas. It works best in the afterglow coming out after holding strenuous active postures such as Camel. Eventually you’ll find yourself expanding in the vacuum point in the most active asanas. And if your practice is anything like mine, you’ll be amazed at the oceanic depths of relaxation that open up while the heart is working OT & sweat is drenching the floor around you.
Here’s the proviso: you must learn to remain relaxed and open without rushing to gulp the next inhalation. If you want some activity to do here before inhaling, pump your abdominal muscles back and forth rapid fire. Remember: Do NOT inhale while pumping. At the vacuum point you are purposely suspending the breath cycle. And when you do inhale, don’t rush it. Go slow and steady.
The refinement of the breath is the single important variable in a yoga practice. What are you discovering at the Vacuum Point?