Friday, September 30, 2011

Alternate Nostril Breath

Why does the alternate nostril breath work?
Scientists have proven what yogis have always known... throughout the day we breath alternately from one nostril. That is one nostril will tend to be more open and that this will switch every 2-3hours.
Why does the body regulate the breath in this way? It is how we keep the left and right hemispheres of the brain in balance, by subtly stimulating one side and then the other. Rather than letting one dominate over the other. 
While breathing in the left nostril you are stimulating the right side of the brain, which governs creativity, lateral thinking and your intuition. This side is associated with the female energies in yoga, or the lunar cycle.
As you breath through the right nostril you are stimulating the left hemisphere of the brain which governs linear thinking, decision making, language and is associated with the male, solar energies. 
These two opposites are experienced in yoga and ida and pingala, the two opposing energies which run up the central cortex of the energetic body - at there meeting point is the shushumna. The aim of alternate nostril breath is to equalize the ida and pingala in order to activate and experience the energies of shushumna. 
1)Close your right nostril, and breath in through your left
2)Close your left nostril and breath out through your right
3)Still closing left, breath in through your right 
4)Close your right nostril and breath out through your left. Repeat
As your breath in take your awareness to the third eye. Begin to slow and lengthen the breath. Stay relaxed and continue for 5 minutes before silent meditation.


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