|Alternate nostril breathing
second breathing exercise can be used as a highly effective tool to balance
your nervous system. In each of our nostrils there are nerves that lead into
the center of the rain. The brain has two sides. The right side is creative,
inspirational, and relaxing. The left side is mechanical and calculating.
The yogis have found that there is a body rhythm in which every hour and
twenty-eight minutes the sides of the brain alternate dominance. The
nostrils reflect this. One nostril will also be dominant during that period.
If the right side of the brain -- the healing, resting side -- is dominant,
the left nostril will also be dominant. If the left side of the brain -- the
mechanical calculator -- is dominant, the right nostril will be dominant.
In our typical fast-paced Western life-style, most of our time is spent
employing the mechanical and calculating activity of the left brain. It is
difficult in our society to structure one's life for the creative,
inspirational, healing, and relaxing activities of the right brain. These do
not harmonize with the frenetic qualities of the American life-style,
especially in the cites. Our very life-style forces an imbalance between the
two sides of the brain, which creates a great deal of tension in our lives.
By understanding that each nostril connects to the opposite side of the
brain and using this information in a breathing exercise, you can actually
balance the two sides of the brain, and the result is an amazing sense of
Sit in a chair or comfortably on the floor with your back
straight. Essentially, what you will be doing in this exercise is breathing
in one nostril and out the other, then in the second nostril and out the
first. In other words, you will breathe in the left nostril to the count of
six, using your finger to hold the right nostril closed. Hold the breath for
three counts. Then release the right nostril and breathe out to the count of
six, closing off the left nostril with your finger, and breathing back in
the right nostril for six counts. Hold for three counts. Then release the
left nostril and breathe out to the count of six. By alternating the flow of
air through your nostrils six times, you will experience an unbelievable
sense of relaxation, and the balancing effect this will have on your brain
will be miraculously tranquilizing. A tremendous peace and harmony will come
into your being.
You can do this exercise as often as you wish, but you
should try to do it at least once a day. It is especially helpful before a
meeting or in preparation for a stressful and emotionally charged event.