Of the 72,000 nadis (subtle channels, like meridians) that yoga describe, 3 are considered of prime importance: Sushumna, the central channel, residing within or just in front of the spine; and Ida and Pingala, the channels to the left and right of the spine respectively. These nadis control and regulate our physical and subtle nervous system. Our physical body and subtle body link up through the breath. Left nostril breathing gives access to Ida, corresponding to your parasympathetic nervous system, that part that cools, calms, and downshifts. Right nostril breathing is a way to access pingala, corresponding to your sympathetic nervous system which heats, activates and stimulates.

Take a moment now to notice which of your nostrils is more open. In a balanced body, nostril dominance would shift every few hours. If you pay attention, though, you are likely to find that one side stays dominant longer than the other. This  imbalance, over time, creates bigger imbalances that manifest as body/mind symptoms such as: being too hot or too cold; excessive or deficient digestive fire;  difficulty falling or staying asleep, anxiety and depression, excess/low sex drive, menstrual irregularities and a deranged mind.

To support a balanced cycle of alternating nostril dominance, you can practice 5 rounds of nadi shodhana once or twice a day. You can do this practice anytime, but best to wait an hour after eating food. To learn how, use this recording I made for you.

As we head towards summer, and all the end-of-school-year activities, graduations and summer vacations, I hope you will find some time to incorporate a little nadi shodhana into your daily routine. If you do, leave a comment below.

Sending love,
Shannon

P.S. To support your home practice, help you trouble shoot problem areas of pain, stiffness, old injury, etc., this Summer I am offering a special  4-session-private yoga experience with me. I will travel to your home in Seattle, with my recording equipment and we will  settle in for a 90 minute session. We start with where your interests are, and the session unfolds from there (These sessions are also available in my office in Wallingford). Afterwards, I’ll send you  an MP3 recording of our session to use at home.  4 sessions used 1x week, every other week, or once a month (all classes used in 4 mos).These sessions may include yogic philosophy, meditation instruction, breathing practices and touch. I will be offering this special through August (first session begun by August 31). Go here to find out more or to schedule.