02 Sep Energy Balancing Technique
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Years ago, in my early 20’s, I was a hippy living in a geodesic dome that I built at a Northern California hot springs property. I slept on a hay bed and the dome had triangular skylights that allowed the moon to shine through and illuminate my space. I would hike on moonlit paths and lay in meadows bathed by the soft light. I always say that this was one of the best years of my life, being immersed in Nature and it’s natural rhythms. It was there that I learned about the power of lunar energy, which in Ayurveda, is considered the Feminine expression and is cooling, soothing and sedating. According to Ayurveda, the Sun expresses Masculine energy, with active energy that is intense and warming.
In Ayurvedic healing we bring awareness to the balance of Solar and Lunar energy that resides within us in our inner universe, the microcosm, and the outer-universe or macrocosm. We practice specific yoga postures and pranayama breath exercises and gem therapy and dietary guidelines to restore balance of our energetic, physical and emotional aspects of our whole being. This is what true wholistic health strives for – a balance of Active and Passive, Masculine and Feminine, Hot and Cold, Hard and Soft, Yang and Yin.
One very simple but powerful balancing technique can be practiced at your desk, or on a yoga mat, or while lying in bed before you start your day. It is alternate nostril breathing. The basic concept is to inhale through the left, exhale through the right. Then inhale through the right and exhale through the left. Use your thumb and ring fingers to open and close the nostrils, as you inhale fully and exhale slowly. You will find that this calms down the nervous system but also awakens the energy. It is a balance of left and right sides of the brain and of the energy meridians of the body. The left side in Sanskrit is called “ida” and right side is called “pingula.” This ancient balancing technique is simple yet powerful. Try it, for a series of 8 breaths. And notice how you feel. I trust it will be beneficial and supportive to all!
For more balancing tips, read “Restoring & Maintaining Balance” and “The Importance Of Sleep”