Breathing exercises – intermediate level
After learning the full yogic breathing we can start practising the two basic pranayamas. It is best to practise these breathing exercises with an experienced teacher.
Is a pranayama exercise but it also cleanses the lungs. Forceful exhalations expel the old, used air out of the lungs, making space for fresh air enriched with oxygen. In this way, the entire respiratory system is cleansed. It is a wonderfully vitalising exercise.
This exercise consists in inhaling through the left nostril, retaining the breath, and exhaling through the right nostril in a ratio of 1:4:2 seconds, then inhaling through the right nostril, retaining, and exhaling through the left nostril in the same ratio.
The alternate nostril breathing harmonises the whole nervous system and balances the activity of both hemispheres of the brain. Every two hours the activity of the brain shifts from one hemisphere to the other. The yogis discovered through self-observation that this natural occurrence is reflected in the flow of the breath through the nostrils: at times when we can breathe more freely through the right nostril, the left hemisphere of our brain is more active; conversely, when the left nostril is more open, the right hemisphere is more active. Alternate nostril breathing supports this regular alternation of breath and thus of brain activity. This is a prerequisite for a healthy body and mind.