Are You Breathing?

Woman doing yoga and breathing exercises

Fun Fact

I was reading about meditation and breathing recently and came across this info that I found just fascinating. Did you know that you breathe out of one nostril more than the other in an alternating rhythm throughout the day? The duration is longer than I imagined, 45 mintues to an hour per nostril. Wow, the body is so cool. Turns out there is a reason for this, of course. Kind of like seeing someone yawn and then you yawn. Our bodies do strange things, but each time there is a real purpose.

So, the dominant nostril can better detect some chemicals while others are better picked up by the less dominant side. The less dominate side is referred to as the resting nostril. By switching back and forth, your nostril nerves stay fresh. The guy in charge of all this is the brain. It’s actually the part of the brain that controls your fight-or-flight response. When you are stressed, this process becomes disrupted.

Breathing and Meditation

What to do about this? Well, have you ever heard of alternate nostril breathing meditation? I don’t think that’s the official name, but you know what I’m talking about. I actually used to do this meditation back in the 70’s and 80’s when I first started meditating.

Simple Exercise

It’s super simple. I’ll walk you through it and I’d like you to join in with me. Sit in a comfortable position with your back as straight as possible. Blow your nose, if you need to.

  1. Breathe in through your right nostril while counting to 4.
  2. Close both nostrils and hold for the count of 4.
  3. Exhale from your left nostril for the count of 4.
  4. Inhale from your left nostril for the count of 4.
  5. Hold your breath for a count, closing both nostrils.
  6. Exhale from your right nostril for the count of 4.

Super. That was 1 cycle. Now, repeat that cycle for 5 minutes. If that is too much to begin with, then start with 1 minute and work up to 5. As you do this daily, you’ll find that it will become easier and easier. When it becomes too easy, just increase the count number from 4 to 5 and so on. Also, while doing the cycle, you should begin to feel really relaxed.

I would suggest you add this to your morning routine meditation. Doing it in the morning will help reset your natural circadian rhythm and will set yourself up for a stress-free day. Now, who doesn’t like that?

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