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What GI Joe has to do with Pranayama 🤔

When I teach, I often mention the GI Joe Fallacy. Do you remember GI Joe (a real American hero)? My brother was little when the cartoon was on TV, and I remember him watching it. GI Joe (an American soldier battling the evil Cobra organisation) would save the day. At the end of the episode there would be a short PSA. Little Jimmy would kick the soccer ball into the street and almost be hit by a car. “Don’t forget to look both ways before you cross the street, Jimmy,” GI Joe would say. Jimmy would then safely retrieve the ball, and all the kids would say, “Thanks GI Joe!” GI Joe would reply, “Now you know. And Knowing is Half the Battle.” This is the GI Joe fallacy. In 2014, two researchers at Harvard (Santos and Gendler) coined the term. Knowing is not half the battle. Knowing something doesn’t change your mind, nor does it change your behaviours. I spend a lot of time teaching people about breathing. But breathing isn’t something you can just talk about, breathing is something you do. You’re doing it right now. And again. 20,000-30,000 time today, you will inhale and exhale. And if I talk to you about how to do it differently, that won’t change the way you take that next breath. What does make a difference is practice. I spent a this morning reading research papers on pranayama practices. Pranayama helped people with anxiety, hypertension, lung efficiency, and general fitness levels. The one thing that all these papers had in common was regularity of practice. You have to practice daily to start to experience the benefits of pranayama. Traditionally, pranayama was practiced 4 or 5 times a day, not twice a week when you made it to your yoga class. I realise that we can’t find time to practice 5 times daily. We don’t live in ashrams with our lives centred around our practices. But we can practice daily. This is why I created the Pranayama courses: Pranayama 101, 201, & 301. Each of them is 4 weeks long, and one builds on the next. No, it’s not necessary to take 101 to take 201, but the skills learned in the first course are helpful as you progress.

After trying (unsuccessfully) to create a daily breathing practice on my own, I joined Jennifer for Pranayama 101. It was helpful to have the accountability of a group to join each morning. Getting up in time for Pranayama Practice was easy, and practicing pranayama first thing in the morning set the tone for the day. I have been calmer, more focused, and generally a happier person since starting Pranayama with Jennifer.

We gather on Zoom once a week for a short meeting, 30–45 minutes long. Here we talk about what the breathing practice will be for the week, you can ask questions, and we can debrief on your experiences. The most important part is practice. Live sessions together daily (M–F). I’ll be on Zoom for 20 minutes every morning at 7:10am ET, AND (added this fall) every afternoon at 3:10pm ET. Come once, come both times, or join me in the recording when you are able.

I’ve been practicing pranayama and yoga for a long time and thought that I wouldn’t get much out of this. Boy was I wrong! This has been the best breathing course I’ve taken in a long time. Sign up and join Jennifer – you won’t regret it.

Practicing with a group of people makes it easier, more enjoyable, more accessible. You don’t have to figure out where to start, or which breathing practices to do. Just show up and breathe. The early bird pricing for Pranayama 101 (10% off) ends next Friday. Or sign up for the bundle and save 15%. Make a commitment to practice, and see the results. I hope to see you soon! Warmly, Jennifer p.s. If you have questions, please email me!

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