Newsletter December 2009
Breathing practices for balance
We live in a world of fluctuating events, externally and internally. The pranayama techniques described below help to balance the energy of the body, mind and emotions by manipulating the flow of energy in the nostrils.
Padadhirasana: breath balancing pose
Sit in Vajrasana (kneeling) with the body upright and straight.
Place each hand under its opposite armpit, with the thumbs upward.
Close your eyes and practise normal breathing with awareness in the nostrils.
Nadi Shodhana 1: alternate nostril breathing
Sit in a comfortable meditation posture.
Focus your attention on the nostrils.
Place your right hand in nasikagra mudra by placing the first and middle finger at the eyebrow centre. The thumb and ring finger are used to close the nostrils.
Block off the right nostril with the right-hand thumb and take five natural breaths through the left nostril.
Then block off the left nostril with the right-hand ring finger and take five natural breaths through the right nostril.
Lower the right hand to the right knee and take five natural breaths through both nostrils.
This is one complete round. Complete this process five to ten times.
Benefits: These two practices induce tranquility, clarity of thought and concentration. They lower levels of stress and anxiety, and balance ida and pingala nadis (refer to Swami Muktidharma’s article under "Features"). By influencing these nadis, the oscillations of the body/mind are also brought into a state of equilibrium.