Feeling sluggish? Harness the Power of Right Nostril Breathing
In the awareness practice of Kundalini Yoga, the breath is considered a powerful tool for balancing the body and mind.
One such technique, right nostril breathing, holds deep significance in both ancient understanding and modern scientific research.
In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of right nostril breathing while providing a simple and easy-to-understand guide to practice this transformative technique.
The Concept of Prana and the Nasal Cycle
According to ancient wisdom, the body's life force energy, known as prana, flows through the breath. This pranic energy is believed to travel through specific energy channels called nadis. In the yogic tradition, it is said that the right nostril corresponds to the heating and activating energy, known as Pingala Nadi.
The yogis noticed a pattern
At any point in time, there is one dominant nostril.
The left nostril, when dominant, corresponds with the "right brain" which can relax us, slow us down and put us in a more receptive state.
The right nostril, when dominant, corresponds with the "left brain," which can feel activating and can help us focus.
The pattern that the yogis found was a change in nasal dominance every several hours.
Modern Science and the Nasal Cycle
Scientific research has confirmed the existence of the nasal cycle, wherein the nostrils alternate in dominance throughout the day.
"At any given time, people do about 75% of their breathing from one nostril and 25% from the other," said Dr. Michael Benninger, a head-and-neck doctor at the Cleveland Clinic.
Breathing predominantly through the right nostril has been associated with increased sympathetic activity, alertness, and activation of the left hemisphere of the brain.
How Right Nostril Breathing connects you with your personal power
You can, with practice, tune in to your breathing and notice which nostril is dominant in this moment.
Then, you can shift intentionally into another state by closing one nostril to activate the hemisphere of the brain that you would prefer to work with in the moment.
If you need to be alert at a time when you feel sleepy, try the right nostril breathing technique!
The Technique: Right Nostril Breathing
Find a comfortable seated position, with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.
Close your eyes and take a few deep, calming breaths to center yourself.
Gently close your left nostril using your ring finger or thumb, allowing your right nostril to be open.
Take a slow, deep breath in through the right nostril, filling your lungs to their fullest capacity.
Pause briefly at the top of the inhale.
Close your right nostril using your thumb or ring finger, and exhale slowly and completely through the left nostril.
After the exhale, inhale through the left nostril, pause briefly, and exhale through the right nostril.
Repeat this pattern for a few minutes, focusing on the smooth and steady flow of breath.
Benefits of Right Nostril Breathing:
Energy Activation: Right nostril breathing stimulates the Pingala Nadi, increasing vitality, alertness, and activating the sympathetic nervous system.
Mental Clarity: This technique has been associated with enhanced focus, concentration, and clarity of thought.
Balancing Emotions: Right nostril breathing can help harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, promoting emotional balance and stability.
Stress Reduction: Activating the sympathetic nervous system through right nostril breathing can help alleviate stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.
Improved Digestion: This technique has been linked to improved digestion and metabolism, supporting overall wellness.
The practice of right nostril breathing, rooted in Kundalini Yoga, holds wisdom that is supported by modern scientific research. By incorporating this simple and accessible technique into your daily routine, you can harness the power of your breath to activate energy, enhance mental clarity, and promote emotional balance. Embrace the transformative potential of right nostril breathing and experience the harmonizing effects it brings to your body and mind.
Santora, T (2021, September 18). "At any given time, people do about 75% of their breathing from one nostril and 25% from the other." Live Science. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/breathing-nose-sides