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"Breathing through Your Nostrils: Balancing Your Life, One Breath at a Time"

February 13, 20233 min read

"Breathing is life, and controlling the breath is controlling life itself." - The Shiva Swarodaya

In this whimsical world, we're always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to balance our busy lives. And who would've thought that the solution could be as simple as breathing? That's right, folks, the secret to a harmonious existence lies within the power of pranayama!

This blog will delve into the mystical world of alternate nostril breathing and its interesting variations, Surya bhedana and Chandra bhedana. Say goodbye to stress and hello to tranquillity as we explore the science behind these ancient yoga practices. From clearing the channels in our body to tapping into our inner balance, this blog is your guide to unlocking a world of peace and serenity. Get ready to breathe your way to bliss and say hello to a happier, healthier you!

Alternate Nostril Breathing

The ancient practice of alternate nostril breathing, also known as nadi shodhana, is a cornerstone of yoga and Tantric philosophy. It is believed to bring balance to the body by manipulating the nasal cycle and bringing the left and right sides of the brain into harmony.

The technique involves using the right hand to alternately block one nostril while breathing deeply in and out of the other. This helps to regulate the flow of air, ensuring that both sides of the brain receive an equal amount of oxygen. This in turn helps to bring balance to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which regulate the body's fight-or-flight response and rest-and-digest response, respectively.

Studies have shown that alternate nostril breathing can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and enhance mental clarity and focus. It is also believed to help regulate the breath, which is crucial for many yoga postures, and to purify the nadis, the energy channels that run through the body.

Incorporating alternate nostril breathing into your daily routine is easy and can be done anywhere, at any time. Simply sit comfortably, close your eyes, and begin to breathe deeply through your nose. Start by closing off the right nostril and breathing deeply in and out of the left nostril. Then, switch sides and repeat the process on the right side.

The practice of alternate nostril breathing is a simple yet powerful tool for promoting balance, relaxation, and mental clarity in our busy lives. By learning to control our breath and bring harmony to our bodies, we can tap into a deep well of inner peace and vitality.

Start practicing Alternate Nostril Breathing today!

Surya and Chandra Bhedana

But did you know that there are variations of alternate nostril breathing, each with their own unique functions and effects? These variations include surya bhedana and chandra bhedana.

Surya bhedana, also known as "right nostril breathing," is believed to activate the solar or masculine energy in the body. It's said to increase heat and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our fight-or-flight response. Practicing surya bhedana can help increase energy, alertness, and focus.

On the other hand, chandra bhedana, or "left nostril breathing," is associated with the lunar or feminine energy in the body. It's said to have a calming and cooling effect, activating the parasympathetic nervous system which controls our rest-and-digest response. Chandra bhedana can help with relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety, and promoting restful sleep.

When alternated between the two practices, the effects of surya bhedana and chandra bhedana are believed to balance and harmonize the body, creating a state of overall well-being.


And there you have it folks, the power of alternate nostril breathing and the dynamic duo of surya bhedana and chandra bhedana pranayama! These yogic practices may seem quirky and unusual, but they hold the key to unlocking a more balanced, energized and peaceful state of mind and body. So go ahead, give it a try and embrace your inner yogi today! Namaste!

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Mark Breadner

Mark is the founder of YogaCoach

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