Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yoga Breathing 101.

Yoga breathing can be very intimidating and
complex if you're just starting out...
... BUT the great thing is that everyone can do
simple breathing practices with little or no training
that will deliver immediate benefits.
Traditionally, there are different breathing practices
for different purposes: some are cooling, some are
heating, some are relaxing, some are stimulating.
But 99% of the time, for 99% of people, you'll
use breath to (a) relax the body, (b) cool the
body, and (c) focus the mind.
So assuming any (or all) of those 3 are your aim,
we can accomplish that very effectively, very
(1) Take your index finger and put it underneath
your nose like this:
(2) Exhale through your nose quickly a few times.
(3) Notice which nostril is MORE open (more air comes
RIGHT NOSTRIL DOMINANCE* is associated with the left
brain activity and is conducive for active states like working,
eating, exercising, etc.
LEFT NOSTRIL DOMINANCE* is associated with the right
brain activity and is conducive for meditative states, relaxation,
sleep, and creativity.
As your brain activity changes throughout the day, so
does your dominant nostril. And simply sticking your
finger under your nose is the easiest way to get an instant
read on where your head is at.
When you're super hungry, for example, you'll almost
always be in your right nostril.
When you're about to fall asleep, almost always it'll
be your left (and if you're not, you should get there...
more on how to do that later).
Naturally, your body will switch every 90-120 minutes
(there's no rule on this). So our breath tells us which side
of our brain is most active; and the cool thing is that we
can turn around and use the breath, control the breath,
to influence our brain.
It really does work.
This is why people get so excited about pranayama,
or yoga breathing. It's a very powerful tool for "mind
To start, let's better understand our current mental state.
Do this "finger-under-the-nose" test through the day today.
Do it before every meal, right when you wake up, and right
before sleep... you'll likely discover some imbalances right
Take notes for the next 24 hours, and then we'll move
on to some new practices.
Stay bendy,
p.s. Ever wonder why people who sleep on their side
always sleep on their right side? Tomorrow, I'll tell you

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