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October 23, 2005: Breathe - Right or Left?
Did you know that we breathe through one nostril at a time? Notice which nostril you are breathing through now. Can you switch nostrils by thinking about it? We naturally tend to switch nostrils about every hour to 90 minutes or so, but many of us have a tendency to favour one nostril over the other, so tune in and figure out if one nostril is more dominant for you.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the right is positive and yang, while the left is negative and yin. If you tend to breathe mostly through the right nostril you may tend to be quick tempered, nervous and irritable, and you may be quite driven. If you tend to breathe mostly through the left nostril, you may feel lethargic and lazy, and have very little ambition. Someone who breathes equally through both nostrils will be balanced, confident yet calm, but full of energy.
Using nostril breathing can be helpful to synchronize the brain and balance the emotions. So the next time you are feeling anxious, breathe through your left nostril for a while. Doing two complete cycles of alternate nostril breathing four times a day can help bring you to a place of balanced breathing. So, plug one nostril, breathe in, and let the air come out, and plug the other nostril, breath in and allow the air to come out, and repeat.
Chek, Paul; Oliver, Clifford, Remsen, Julie; Optimum Health and Fitness Through Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2002.
Dingle, Edwin John Breaths That Renew Your Life, Institute of Mentalphysics, 1976