If both are equally open, all the better. In that case, begin with the left \'i^^W nostril.
You can check which nostril is dominant simply by breathing through I^y J one nostril and then the other and comparing the two flows.
3. Place your right hand so that your thumb is on the right nostril and the little and ring fingers are on the left nostril, with the index and middle fingers tucked against the ball of the thumb.
Note: According to some authorities, you should place the index and middle fingers on the spot between the eyebrows (known as the third eye). We recommend the other method if it feels comfortable to you.
4. Close the blocked nostril and, mentally counting to five, inhale gently but fully through the open nostril — don't strain (see Figure 5-7).
5. Open the blocked nostril and close the other nostril and exhale, again mentally counting to five.
6. Inhale through the same nostril to the count of five, and exhale through the opposite nostril, repeating 10 to 15 times.
As your lung capacity improves, you can make your inhalations and exhalations longer, but never force the breath. Gradually increase the overall duration of the exercise from, say, 3 minutes to 15 minutes.
This technique, which in Sanskrit is called shitali (pronounced sheet-ah-lee), gets its name from the cooling effect that it has on the body and the mind. Traditionally, the cooling breath is believed to remove fever, still hunger, quench thirst, and alleviate diseases of the spleen. Here's how you practice it:
1. Sit in a comfortable Yoga posture or on a chair and relax your body.
2. Curl your tongue lengthwise and let its tip protrude from your mouth as shown in Figure 5-8.
Alternate nostril breathing.
Was this article helpful?