Last night I began teaching a beginners’ series for Kundalini Yoga. There were 6 lovely women in the class. Each of them coming with different desires and expectations which I might or might not learn over the next weeks but what’s most important is the feeling in the room of curiosity and openness. They were all willing and eager to participate, for this this I can only congratulate them.
Kundalini Yoga is yoga but not as you may know it It confronts you. It invites you to meet yourself. It challenges you. It amuses you.
Some of the poses are funny, like kangaroo hops. Some are strange, like lion’s paw. Some of the breath work is intimidating, like breath of fire but being a woman who loves a fast, effective and efficient outcome it’s the most powerful and transformative system I have encountered to change through awareness and to hold your centre when everything else is changing.
So I keep practicing daily while I am passionate about sharing the teachings with others so they have have these tools and techniques at their fingertips too.
I promised these lovely ladies I would send them the two pranayam we practiced so they can practice them, and then I thought they would be useful for all of you too.
These are basic and easy and can be done anytime and anywhere. One will energise you. One will calm you.Right and left nostril breathing. Right is to fire up. Left is to calm down. Click To Tweet
Breathing through only one nostril can change your energy and mood in less than 3 minutes. Not a bad return on effort and no excuse not to practice everyday. Right nostril breathing is associated with your pingala, sun energy, masculine, action and connects with the left frontal lobe, our analytical brain. Left nostril breathing is connected to our ida, moon energy, feminine, calm and sensitivity and connects with the right frontal lobe of the brain for creativity and flow.
Try them. I promise you’ll feel the difference almost immediately.
Let’s start Right Nostril Breathing – firing you up
If you have trouble getting started in the morning or you’re prone to that mid afternoon slump. Try this before you reach for that coffee
Sitting in easy pose with crossed legs on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Ensure your spine is straight and your chin is pointed towards your chest block the left nostril with the thumb of the left hand. Keep the other fingers straight and pointing up. Inhale long and deep through the right nostril. Pause for a moment before exhlaing. Exhale completely. Pause for a moment before inhaling again. Repeat 26 long, deep breaths in this manner and notice how your energy has changed.
If you’re feeling really, really tired, and want to really fire yourself up use the same posture and hand position, but this time perform breath of fire in and out through the right nostril. Breath of fire is a rapid breathing pattern of equal in and out breaths while pulsing the navel. Keep going for 3 to 5 minutes. (Use the timer on your phone).
Before you get on with your task allow yourself a few moments to allow the energy to circulate.
Left Nostril Breathing – calming you down
Stuff happens, that gets your knickers in a twist and you feel like you have ants in your pants. It can be a presentation you need to deliver, a date, a deadline or a conversation, you know you need to have, or a surprise of the not so happy kind. You notice yourself getting anxious or nervous and you know it’ll all go better if you could just relax.
Sit in easy pose with crossed legs on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Ensure your spine is straight and your chin is pointed towards your chest block the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand. Keep the other fingers straight and pointing up. Inhale long and deep through the left nostril. Pause for a moment before exhlaing. Exhale completely. Pause for a moment before inhaling again. Repeat 26 long, deep breaths in this manner and notice how your energy has changed. This is great just before you go to sleep.
Breath is the only thing we cannot do without. everything comes back to the breath but often when we panic we forget to breath. It’s a powerful tool to shape our perception of our world in every moment. With it, we can let go of drama, stay calm and step into flow more smoothly.
We can release blocks which result in self sabotage. We can let go of patterns and habits that no longer serve you (or never served you) We can begin to learn how to live with an open heart. Responding and receiving with love.
And all that from something you’ll be doing anyway. i’d say it’s worth a bit of practice to learn more about the breath. Wouldn’t you?
Please share if you think anyone (or everyone) you know might benefit from a bit of firing up or calming down.
After all we are all in this together and it’s better for us all when you are being your best self.