Life is cyclical, so it is best to go in tune with it rather than against it. Vimalananda in Robert Svoboda’s book Aghora says: “It is always better to live with reality, because otherwise, without fail, reality will come to live with you.”
The moment you started breathing signaled your entry into the world, and the moment it stops signal your departure. This shows how important breathing is to one’s life. If you consider your body as a battery that needs regular charging, it can be done through exposing oneself to sunlight, sleeping/meditating, breathing, drinking, eating, from earth and through other ways as well. Each one of these ways needs to be looked at to live a healthy life. But first lets look at breath.
One’s breathing will normally be dominant in either your left nostril or your right. When the breath in your left nostril is freely flowing this happens:
Left nostril — right brain – left side of your body
And, when in your right nostril:
Right nostril – left brain – right side of your body
It means the prana in you nerves is concentrated in that part of your body. When your prana flows freely in right nostril it is the time to eat solid food and when, in the left nostril, eat liquids. In yoga they say drink your solid food and eat your liquid food. It means you chew the solid food to a liquid form and you should drink water sip by sip and swallow after thoroughly mixing with saliva.
The following is a list activities which has to be done according to the dominance of prana in your left and right nostril.
Left nostril dominance (right brain activities)
Right nostril dominance
(left brain activities)
|Beginning of regular intellectual studies||Learning or teaching martial arts|
|Long-term activities||Temporary activities|
|Stable business; requiring no movement||Unstable business; requiring movement|
|Worshipping the guru||Seeing the king, addressing officials|
|Playing musical instruments, singing, dancing||Writing a manuscript, practice of tantra, mantra, yantra|
|Planting, gardening||Chopping wood, lighting fire|
|Construction of a hermitage, temple||War, destruction of the country|
|Building wells, swimming pools, ponds||Cutting jewels, gems, sculpting|
|Giving charity, lending money||Accepting charity, borrowing|
|Opening bank account||Gambling|
|Journey to far off places||Journey to nearby places / return journey|
|Enjoy meditation||Sexual or angry expression|
|Performing auspicious acts||Worshipping evil spirits|
|Service||Ordering or giving commands|
This flow of breath takes about an hour to shift dominance and should alternate. If your prana alternation is not regular then by practicing Nadi Shuddhi can regularize it. It is a very simple pranayam.
- First sit in a comfortable posture on the ground in sukhasana.
- Keep your head, neck and spine in a straight line.
- Place your left palms loosely on your lap.
- Exhale completely through both nostrils.
- make a vishnu mudra with your right palm
- close your right nostril with your thumb.
- Inhale to a count of four through your left nostril.
- Then immediately exhale through your right nostril by closing the left with end of your ring finger.
- Then inhale through right and exhale through left by closing the right with the end of your thumb.
Always keep in mind that the inhalation should start on your left and finish it by exhaling through your left. This makes one round. Practicing it for 10 minutes daily can do wonders. One can gradually increase the count as long as it is comfortable and there is no need to retain the breath.
This science of breath is called Swara Yoga. If you are interested to know more about it refer:
1. Secret Power of Tantrik Breathing:Techniques for Attaining Health, Harmony, and Liberation By Swami Sivapriyananda
2. Shiva Swarodaya
3. Swara yoga by Satyananda Saraswati
WARNING: Books for reference is given only for reading and not for practicing.