How many times do you get the feeling that you are just out of sorts, or off balance in some way?
Days when you have loads to do but cannot find the motivation to even begin? Or days when you feel as though someone has plugged you into the mains – you feel so wired that you simply can’t calm down?
This happens when our brain becomes imbalanced
What if we could literally change our body’s temperature or mental state, when we feel this way?
Lets first take a look at what the two sides of the brain are best known for.
The left side of the brain deals with rational thoughts and logic. It’s our analytical side.
The right side of the brain is our emotional side and deals with empathetic thoughts and intuition. It wants to connect with others and is holistic by nature whereas our left-brain is governs our sense of logic, facts, and numbers.
Right brain characteristics:
- Emotional Intelligence
- Holistic Thinking
- Artistic inclination
- Visual skills
Left Brain Characteristics:
- Language Development
- Fact Checking
- Math and Science inclination
- Analytical Skills
- Numbers Sense
So it makes sense to try and achieve a balance in the two sides so that we can get the best of both aspects of ourselves. Both hemispheres need to work together because one cannot function without the other. When they are not in tune we have those days when we feel a real sense of imbalance, and if we allow this to continue it can have a negative effect on our brain function and health.
One of the best ways to provide nourishment to the brain is through our breath.
We can use a time-tested technique called Nadi Shodhana.
This is simply alternate nostril breathing. It so easy to do, and has an incredible effect on our nervous system and brain. Not only that but it can also have a positive effect on academic performance too. In one study on engineering students in 2011 demonstrated how alternate nostril breathing can be used to improve academic performance. The students practiced the prānāyāma every evening after their classes for three months. At the end of the study they all reported improved feelings of improved health, improved memory recall, mental stress relief and improved physical relaxation.
Follow this simple practice on a regular basis or when you feel you need to improve your sense of equilibrium or cognitive performance.
Sit with the spine erect, and try to relax all the major muscles. If possible sit cross legged, or in half lotus.
Relax your left hand in your lap
Place your index and middle finger of your right hand, on the point of the third eye, between your eyebrows.
Use the thumb to close the right nostril and take a full breath through the left nostril, focusing on the passage of the breath into the body.
Hold the breath for 5 seconds.
Using the ring finger, close the left nostril and exhale slowly through the right nostril.
Now inhale through the right nostril
Hold the breath for 5 seconds
Now close the right nostril and exhale slowly through the left nostril
Repeat this pattern for several rounds.
Allow your breath to return to normal. As you do, notice your state of mind. How are you feeling? What sensations are present in your body? Quietly observe the effects of the practice.