IC Peeyush Bhargava Nasal Cycle and Swara Yoga W e breathe through our nostrils most of ...
of 1

Nasal cycle & Swara Yoga

Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Health & Medicine      Spiritual      Entertainment & Humor      

Transcripts - Nasal cycle & Swara Yoga

  • 1. IC Peeyush Bhargava Nasal Cycle and Swara Yoga W e breathe through our nostrils most of the time. The air goes in through both nostrils, left and right, and then through the trachea, into the lungs. Ana- tomically, in healthy adults, both nasal pas- sage ways are symmetric, but very often we feel that one nostril is more patent (open) than the other, especially when we get an upper respiratory infection. Sometimes we are breathing predominantly through the right nostril, sometimes through the left, sometimes equally through both, and rarely both nostrils are congested, and we have to breathe through our mouth. The best way to tell how we are breath- ing at a particular time is to exhale through both nostrils on the palm of one of our hands and to feel which nostril has a more forceful expiration. The increased patency of one nostril over the other occurs normally and cyclically with a frequency of one to three hours. This very intriguing physiologic phenomenon is called the nasal cycle. The nasal cycle results from alternating congestion and decongestion of venous si- nuses in the nasal turbinates, due to cycli- cal autonomic activity. When one nostril is more patent, the sinuses are vasoconstricted in response to sympathetic activation and exhalations), bhastrika pranayama (forceful the opposite nostril is less patent due to ve- When both nostrils are repetitive inhalation and exhalations), ujjayi nous congestion in response to the parasym- equally open, energy flows pranayama (slow and deep throat breath- pathetic vasodilatation. ing), and bhramari pranayama (humming The cycle exists even in the absence through sushumna (the bee exhalation). The health benefits of yoga of air flow, as shown in patients with total central energy channel), and the breathing exercises (pranayama) are laryngectomy. The nasal cycle can be in- attributed to the balancing effects on the fluenced with forced uninostril breathing which balances the left left and the right side of the body. when lying on one side. When we lie down and the right sides and Inspired by the yogic teachings, vari- on one side, the nostril on that side often ous modalities (including forced uninostril becomes more congested and the other side the sympathetic (heating) breathing) have been used extensively to becomes more patent. Pressure to the un- and the parasympathetic study the nasal cycle. It has been postulated derarm has also been shown to increase the that forced right nostril breathing leads to nasal resistance on the same and decrease it (cooling) functions increased left brain activity and stimulation on the opposite side. Yoga, a part of the ancient Indian sys- of the body. of the sympathetic nervous system. Similarly, forced left nostril breathing tem of healing, Ayurveda, has described this pingala (the energy channel on the right leads to increased right brain activity and phenomenon in great detail, under swara side of body) which controls the left cere- stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous yoga. “Swara” means breath in Sanskrit. bral cortex, the right side of the body and system. The physiologic effects of alternate Breath is the source of prana (chi), the force the sympathetic (heating) functions. When nostril breathing and kapalbhati pranayama governing all functions of the body. When both nostrils are equally patent, energy flows have also been studied. More research is breathing predominantly through the left through sushumna (the central energy chan- needed to investigate the role of nasal cycle nostril, the energy (prana) flows through nel), which balances the left and the right in the health benefits of pranayama. ida (the nadi or the energy channel on the sides and the sympathetic and the parasym- left side of body) that controls the right ce- pathetic functions. rebral cortex, the left side of the body, and Hatha yoga literature describes various Peeyush Bhargava is a medical doctor who the parasympathetic (cooling) functions. exercises for the prana: adi shodhan pranaya- provides Ayurvedic lifestyle consultations and When breathing predominantly through ma (alternate nostril breathing), kapalbhati personalized herbal supplements. www.vedic- the right nostril, the energy flows through pranayama (forceful repetitive abdominal healing.com.102 india currents february 2012

Related Documents