From Which Nostril are you Breathing?

In a healthy human, the breath alternates between left and right nostril throughout the day. The pattern can vary but one nostril is typical dominant for about 88 minutes, followed by only two minutes where there is equal air entry through both nostrils and then it switches to the other nostril.

The nasal cycle was studied and discussed in the ancient yoga literature as well as in modern western literature it was first described by the German physician Richard Kayser in 1895.

The nasal cycle is controlled by the central nervous system. This is different to breathing more from one nostril due to a nasal congestion such as hay fever, sinusitis or a common cold.

In yogic thoughts the right nostril along with the right half of the body carries a warming SOLAR energy. It connects to the Pingala Nadi. In Ayurveda the Pitta dosha relates to the right solar Nadi.
The power of Pitta gets increased when the breath flows through the right nostril which will improve

• Bodily heat
• Digestion
• Perception

The left nostril along with the left half of the body carries the LUNAR energy and connects to Ida Nadi. In Ayurveda the Kapha dosha relates to the Ida Nadi. When the breath flows through it, it will promote

• Relaxation
• Tissue formation
• Bodily coolness

This can also explain why you might feel more irritable, increased heat sensation or disturbed sleep if your left nostril is blocked while you might experience more heaviness, coolness, sluggishness if your right nostril is blocked. When our sinuses are blocked, we cannot receive our proper prana which will result in an imbalance of body and mind.

On a spiritual level the right nostril breathing develops Shiva energy (the cosmic masculine force) and the left side breathing develops Shakti energy (the cosmic feminine force).

An ideal way to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain is the combine the use of the NETI pot and alternate nostril breathing. This is very helpful for everyone who wants to balance their physical body, mind and emotions.

All you need is
1. A Neti pot
2. Non-iodized salt
3. Water
4. Small towel

If you have never used a Neti pot we are more than happy to guide you through it. All you need is available at our clinic if you are new to the practice.

You are also welcome, to join our weekly Saturday morning 7.30am yoga class (by donation) where you can learn the practice of alternate nostril breathing and meditation.

* 𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘎𝘈. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘺𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘯. 𝘞𝘦 𝘥𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘺, 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘴.


4 replies
  1. Rabetwoirr
    Rabetwoirr says:

    Hi, I just came across this article “From Which Nostril are you Breathing?”. I have had ployps in the left nostril for a long time. I was operated upon for this about 23 years back. It has come back again. I am not able to breathe through the left nostril. I am feeling very overheated and having burning in the hands and feet esp the soles and palms. Should I undergo operation for removing the nasal polyps again or are there any alternatives. Pl suggest.
    Many Thanks

    • Karin Lakshmi Gunthor
      Karin Lakshmi Gunthor says:

      Thank you for sharing. The best place to start would be scheduling in for a consultation with one of our practitioners. We offer both in person and online consultations for those not located in Perth. To book an appointment you are welcome to do so by calling us or by clicking the ‘book an appointment’ button at the top right of the screen.
      Wishing you a great day!


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