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Re: Very simple yoga to start home practice

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amber1921 Views: 4,264
Published: 8 years ago
This is a reply to # 2,056,497

Re: Very simple yoga to start home practice

I reposting this from my other thread couple of weeks ago:

The Alternate Nostril Breathing

Hi, guys
I hope this might be helpful in recovery

You will need a metronome device that counts seconds for it to be effective. I have iPhone app called iBeat which is free and easy to use.

The technique is based on abdominal deep breathing so I won't explain that.

The idea behind it is to breath with the left and the right nostril on the even count of seconds which helps to balance the ANS.
In yoga they believe that have these two channels Ida and Pingala going along your spine which correspond roughly to two opposite qualities much like the yin and yang. (Cooling vs. heating, slow vs. fast, moon vs. sun etc.)
They also correspond anatomically to right and left cerebral hemispheres and in terms of the nervous system to two modes of the ANS: Ida -parasympathetic and Pingala -sympathetic.
Breathing through each nostril (left -Ida , right -Pingala) is thought to increase the activity of the PNS or the SNS depending through which particular nostril you are breathing.
They also believe that your body automatically switches between breathing more through one or the other nostril more than the other at even time intervals throughout the day in order to keep everything in balance. The total time of breathing through one particular side should never exceed the other.
When this process is disrupted the body gets sick.

So, when breathing on the precise count of seconds through each nostril you activate the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems for the even intervals throughout the breathing cycle and that helps to restore the balance without allowing one side of the ANS to dominate another. The body then will become more balanced not necessarily more calm or wired.. There is no immediate result because it works on more subtle levels.

That's the general idea.

How to do it:

You should be in a sitting position with back straight.

Inhale with the left on the count of 6 seconds, hold for 3, exhale with the right on 6 , hold 3, inhale with the right on 6, hold on 3, exhale with the left on 6 and hold for 3. The ratio is 2:1:2:1.

At first you should practice it without holding breath until it becomes more even and controlled. The ratio has to be precise, but how many seconds each breath should be depends on the individual capacity. I started with 6/3 and worked my way up to 18/9 over the past year. However when I moved to a more humid climate I had to go back to breathing on 12/6.

Always start with the inhale through the left nostril and finish with the exhale through the left nostril. That's one cycle.

You have to do SEVEN cycles. I don't know why seven but it seems to be important in the beginning.

Never force breath especially when holding it. It might trigger too much sympathetic activity if you do. The most important is to breath smoothly and for the exact number of seconds per each side.

It is not a breathing technique that helps you calm down or sleep. It might work sometimes but it is not meant for that. It is supposed to aid the body in regulating the ANS and is supposed to be practiced daily in the morning and preferably after shower.

After some time you might want to add visualization much like the spinal pranayama technique but in the beginning it's more important to just learn the basics.

I don't know if I forgot to mention something important
Ask me if I did.

Hope that helps


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