As the seasons change from warm, sunny and outdoorsy to a cooler atmosphere where we want to stay indoors and start to hibernate we wanted to share a breathing practice to create balance at this transition.
Just like the seasons, it is also thought that we carry both warming solar energies as well as more cooling lunar qualities. This is part of the yogic philosophy and energetic anatomy.
Yogic philosophy says that we have an energetic system much like our circulatory system. These energetic channels are referred to as Nadis. Not physical veins or arteries these Nadis carry Prana, our vital energy or life force. Depending on which text you read the common belief is that we have 72,000 Nadis. But the three main ones are associated along and near the spine.
Sushumna Nadi is the main channel from tailbone to the middle of the head. On either side, we have Pingala Nadi and Ida Nadi intertwining and crossing over each other and finally ending at the right and left nostril respectively. And it is in Pingala and Ida Nadi we are connected with the solar and lunar energy.
Pingala Nadi carries the heating, solar, extroverted, masculine (not specified to gender), active energy. It is connected to the right nostril. We can relate it to the left hemisphere of the brain with its logical and analytic qualities. Yogandha Salute Rollerball has those uplifting and refreshing qualities too.
Ida Nadi is associated with the lunar, cooling, calming, meditative feminine (again not specified to gender) energy and the left nostril. This is also connected with the creative and emotional right hemisphere of the brain. You can find the calming and grounding aromas in Yogandha Ground Rollerball.
We need both energies. And we need balance. This is where one of our favourite breathing practices will come into play.
In this breathing practice, Pranayama, you will alternate the breath between the two nostrils thereby creating a balance between the active solar energy and the lunar calming qualities.
Either using fingers (or mentally) you will alternate your breath. If using the fingers, place the right thumb to right nostril and ring and little finger to left nostril. Middle fingers resting at the eyebrow centre.
Breath in through left nostril out through the right. Then in through the right and exhale through the left nostril. This is one round. Repeat twice more.
Once you get used to this Pranayama you can increase the number of repetitions. If it is easier to use your left hand please do so, but you still start inhaling through the left nostril.
If you get out of breath or confused simply stop, take a few breaths and start again. If you have a blocked nose or a cold just imagine this practice.
The alternate nostril breathing is also referred to as Nadi Shodhana, cleansing of the Nadis or energy channels. There are numerous benefits attributed to this pranayama including calming the mind, reducing anxiety and stress, helping against insomnia. It purifies the Nadis so our energy, or Prana, can flow in a balanced way. As well as balancing the left and right sides of the brain.
For an aromatic version to create balance we love Yogandha Balance Rollerball.
Now it’s your turn. Enjoy a few rounds with slow, relaxed, mindful breaths. You can enjoy it anytime. It’s an excellent way to start the day, to practise if you feel frazzled or stressed and perfect to end the day.
Please share your experiences in the comments below.
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