Aligning your two halves
Did you know you had two halves? You also may, or may not be aware that the left side of your brain controls the right side of your body and the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body.
The right side of the body (left side of the brain) is seen as the core of masculine qualities such as logic and reason. It is also related to the sun’s solar energy and the sympathetic nervous system. The left side of the body (the right side of the brain) is considered the core of feminine qualities like intuition, creativity and spontaneity. The left side relates to the cooling lunar energy and the parasympathetic nervous system.
Your breathing is actually closely connected to the natural shifts between these two sides of your brain. Did you ever notice that one side of the nostril is always more open than the other? In a healthy person this shifts about every 1.5-2hours. By working with a breathing exercise called Anuloma Viloma or alternate nostril breathing, you can start to bring equilibrium to the two energetic forces, restoring and reintegrating the two aspects of the male and female.
Alternate nostril breathing has some marvellous health benefits, for example, you will be bringing more oxygen supplies into the body and purifying the blood. On a mental level, it will calm those out of control emotions and release bouts of stress. As a result of this equilibrium the immune system will get a jolly good boost.
It makes sense, therefore, that if we focus on breathing through the left nostril we would be creating a calming and releasing breath. However, if we focused on breathing through the right nostril, this would have an energising, more stimulating effect.
Try these exercises to energise you in the morning and calm you in the evening for a natural sleep remedy!
The morning side
This is your 10 minute morning pranic energy boost. As we have seen, the right side of the nose relates to the rising, energetic warm energy of the sun, so we are going to work with the right hand nostril.
Get yourself in a comfortable position, sitting up straight, you can be in a chair or sat on a cushion on the floor. The key is to keep your back straight. Now you need to organise your right hand (even if you are left handed) in a special position. This position is called ‘Vishnu Mudra’ and it is used especially for specific breathing techniques in yoga. Ready? Raise your right hand, leave your thumb, ring and little finger open and the other two closed.
Now close your left nostril with your ring finger and inhale through your right nostril then close your right nostril and exhale through your left. Make your in breath as long and as deep as possible and your outbreath slow and complete. Slow the breathing as much as possible. Repeat for 10 minutes.
The evening side
This is your 10 minute evening nourishment and a natural sleeping remedy. As the left side of the nose relates to the cooling, inwardly directed energy of the moon, we are going to work with the left hand nostril.
Get into your chosen position of comfort, remember straight spine. Prepare your hand position as before and close your right nostril with your thumb inhale through your left nostril then close your left nostril and exhale through your right. Again, make your in breath as long and as deep as possible and your outbreath slow and complete. Slow the breathing as much as possible. Repeat for 10 minutes.
Enjoy the new integrated you!