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Yoga Alchemy: The Two Tools

Mark Morford

Just two? Yes, just two. Just the essentials, really.

Just the breath, and your intention. Pranayama, and sankalpa. With these, miracles happen. With these, you can transform worlds.

It begins with nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing – literally “channel purification”) to clear and tonify the primary left, right and center (ida, pingala, shoshumna) energy pathways – essential to moving pranic dynamism more freely through the body. There is core work to awaken heat and enhance stability. There is increased awareness of the depth and pacing of the breath, to calibrate effort and control heat, without exhaustion or slumping out. Throughout it all, a continuous refreshing of the intention set at the beginning of the practice, to prevent the mind/emotions from wandering hither and yon.

Listen. If nothing else, hone and revere these two potent yogic tools. After all, you can practice juicy asana all day, you can meditate and chant and drink gallons of organic grass-fed tea made from the laughter of baby dolphins, but without these two vital guides, none of it makes much sense.

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