“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.”
Throughout the day, we breathe predominantly through one nostril or the other. This is a natural operation called the “nasal cycle,” wherein our nostrils alternate being more congested. For example, when the left nostril is more congested, we breathe more through the right nostril, i.e., the right nostril is “dominant” during that period.
Scientists have discovered that when your right nostril is dominant, the EEG (recording of brain activity) is greater in the left cerebral hemisphere [each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body], and when the nostril dominance switches, so does the activity of the brain hemisphere.
The cooperation between the right and left brain is essential for us to learn better, function more intelligently, and become proficient in anything. Whatever it is you are engaged in—reading, writing, music, art, yoga—each hemisphere has something important to contribute for you to have access to both technique and inspiration.
We balance breathing in yoga and find stability through our pranayama (control of the breath). Therefore moving the body & controlling the breath will facilitate brain integration. So check in with yourself during our practice and either slow down or check in whether the pranayama is working with the asana to create a higher level of operation.
In order to live a balanced, creative, integrated life, filled with connected relationships, it’s crucial that our two hemispheres of our brain work together. And facilitating that in yoga can lead to greater level of functioning throughout the day.
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