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
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
• 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
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.