Yogis have long recognized the power of nostril breathing that was discussed in the previous post and have developed numerous powerful practices to harness this power to very specific aims.
According to Yoga, when we are in good health, roughly every two hours our breathing pattern shifts in which one nostril is dominant and that quality of mind will dominate at that time. When we are ill or stressed this rhythm is undermined. This can be felt easily as the sense of one nostril is more obstructed than the other at any one time,
Modern medicine is now confirming that there are two sides of the body and brain with qualities of mind and body associated with each. According to the “Holistic Online Website(www.holistic-online.com) some research is showing ”The right side of the brain controls creative activity, while the left side controls logical verbal activity.(1)
In support of this, the research showed that when the left nostril was less obstructed, the right side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects were indeed found to do better on creative tests. Similarly when the right nostril was less obstructed the left side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects did
better on verbal skills.”(2) Additionally, when stimulated, the left side of the brain is seen by Yogis to support outward moving, extroverted active energy and the stimulating the right side of the brain brought a calming quality of energy.(3)
A basic Yogic breath(pranayama)breath to restore energetic balance to this innate process is called:
- Form the hand mudra(gesture) with your right hand by placing the index and middle finger of your hand into the palm. This will leave the thumb and last two fingers opposing each other to use to block the nostrils as described.
- Close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Do this to the count of four seconds.
- Immediately close the left nostril with your right ring finger and little finger, and at the same time remove your thumb from the right nostril, and exhale through this nostril. Do this to the count of eight seconds. This completes a half round.
- Inhale through the right nostril to the count of four seconds. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and exhale through the left nostril to the count of eight seconds. This completes one full round.
- You may bring a meditative focus of your gaze at the space between and behind the eyes to increase the meditative effects of practice.
(You may begin the practice with a ratio of 4-4 seconds on the inhale and exhale and build to the 4-8 ratio described in the instructions).
***Begin slowly(1-3 minutes with this and all pranayama and build your practice slowly over time to avoid unpleasant side effects. 5-7 minutes is enough to bring very healthful benefits. Please contact me with any questions or issues. As always, accept responsibility for your practice and read the site disclaimer before beginning,
To energize: To recharge your energy you can inhale and exhale through the right nostril at the same ratios as above to stimulate the active(left)side of the brain(right nostril breathing.
For relaxation: To bring calm and support restful sleep you can breathe in and out through the left nostril at the same ratios(left nostril breathing).
(1), (2), (3) “Holistic Online Website www.holistic-online.com