I love having both hemispheres of my brain as resources, the left brain for practical matters, logic, reason, and the right brain for intuition, creativity, the big picture, connection with the Universe or the Source or Big Mind, whatever words you want to use to denote the unfathomable mystery in which we all live.
The right brain’s work is actually bigger than, and completely holds, the left brain’s work, which is in service to survival. Imagine that!!!
The right brain holds all other awareness not needed for survival. (Which is why stress can be so debilitating. If your focus is survival, literal or figurative, you’re probably not using your right brain.
Healing lies in the right hemisphere.
Western science has discovered that within a day, our brain hemispheres shift in dominance roughly every 90 minutes. This is often when people take a break from what they were doing — go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, stretch or stand up and walk around, make a quick phone call.
When the hemispheres switch, the nostrils also switch dominance.
You may notice that often, one nostril is more open, and that this changes. (Given of course that you don’t have a cold or allergies or obstructions to nose breathing.)
If you haven’t noticed that before, check it out. Which is more open now? When you wake up? When you go to sleep? When you’re paying bills? When you’re praying or meditating or listening to poetry?
Nadi shodhana, also known as alternate nostril breathing, influences nostril dominance to balance the hemispheres of the brain. It’s a yogic breathing technique.
There are several YouTube videos available to show you how to do that. This one shows that you can place one hand under your armpit to help the hemispheres switch dominance. This one is good for actually learning the technique.
Being able to switch quickly from hemisphere to hemisphere, of course, gives one a great advantage. The hemispheres’ roles and personalities are so different, it’s like having access to two brains with great and various resources instead of just one.
And who doesn’t want more resources in life?
I find the practice calming and centering. When life seems to be coming at you too fast, which applies to most of us with jobs / families / businesses, nadi shodhana is a useful addition to your day.