With the speed, complexity, and expectations of today’s world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the drop of a hat. When your emotions are running high, especially if unidentified or ignored, shifting your mood and finding your center can seem impossible.
We’re often blindsided by stressful situations and don’t always have time to stop, breath, process, and move forward. So we end up burying thoughts and feelings in our subconscious that later come back to haunt us, usually playing a background script on repeat that wreaks havoc on our peace of mind, body, and spirit. This can lead to chronic stress, fatigue, and physical imbalances.
One simple and beautiful way to clear out emotional residue, balance the mind, and find a fresh and clear perspective is to practice alternate nostril breathing. A basic technique in both Kundalini and Hatha, it is particularly effective if done before bed to “let go of the worries of the day.”
Inhaling through the left nostril stimulates your brain to reset your framework of thinking and feeling, allowing for a new grounded and peaceful perspective. Exhaling through the right nostril relaxes your brain’s constant computations and cautions, which breaks automatic patterns that keep you stuck in a funk.
So, give it a try! Shift your mental patterns and find yourself creating emotional balance and calmness, even after periods of intense stress or shock.
Perspective and Emotional Balance: Alternate Nostril Breathing
Sit in an Easy Pose, with a light jalandhar bandh.
Eyes: Eyes are closed, pressed gently up, focusing at the Brow Point.
Use the right thumb and right Mercury finger (pinkie) to close off alternate nostrils.
Mudra: Close off the right nostril with the right thumb. Inhale deeply through the left nostril. When the breath is full, close off the left nostril with the Mercury finger (the little finger), and exhale smoothly through the right nostril. The breath is complete, continuous, and smooth. An alternative method of closing off the nostrils is using the thumb and index finger.
Mantra: Although this can be done without mantra, you can mentally use the Bij Mantra, Sat Naam, to help the concentration. Inhale Sat, exhale Naam.
Time: Continue with long, deep regular breaths for 3-31 minutes.
To End: Inhale, exhale completely. Hold the breath out and apply mulbandh. Relax completely.