Monday, June 13, 2011
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Did you know your nostrils play a key role in balancing your brain? According to yogic science (and recent medical studies), your nostrils switch dominance every 2 ½ hours so that your brain and body stay balanced during a 24-hour cycle. At any time, one nostril is dominant. The energy channels (nadis) in your right nostril stimulate your sympathetic nervous system, while the nadis in your left nostril stimulate the para-sympathetic nervous system.
Creating balance in your sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems can help you avoid high blood pressure and anxiety, as well as depression and hypothyroidism (not to mention brain fog!). The wisdom of the body keeps your nostrils switching and you can do yoga to reset your breathing. Do 3 minutes of alternate nostril breathing (nadi sodhana) to feel blissfully balanced in your body and brain. By breathing through your left nostril (to calm yourself) or your right nostril (to energize) you will experience the power of your nose!
I do 4 minutes of this alternate nostril breathing every day. It's the start of my 20 minute meditation and it's wonderful. Without this start to my meditation I could never clear my mind, but this really helps. When I first started this I found it to be challenging to slow down my breath. I felt like I just couldn't get enough air through one nostril, but it only took one week of practice before my breathe naturally settled down so that I can effortlessly breath nice and slow, while feeling completely satisfied by the amount of air entering and exiting my body. Give it a try today!
Recommended Read: The Little Book of Yoga Breathing: Pranayama Made Easy. . . by Scott Shaw