The breathing process is so natural for us that we do not pay attention to it. We inhale and exhale air automatically, not noticing which organs of our body take part in this. Of course, we know that we breathe in and out through the nose and that the air enters the lungs and so on. Have you noticed which nostril you use for breathing? It turns out that for breathing, we use just one nostril, and this cycle can be changing during the day. The cyclic nature of our breathing affects the functioning of many systems of our body, especially our nervous system. Therefore, both nostrils must participate in breathing.
Scientists conducted several studies and found that breathing through the right nostril activates the sympathetic nervous system, and breathing through the left nasal canal activates the parasympathetic nervous system. Thus, we balance calm and activity. If during breathing we use only one nostril, we will be either in increased activity or too relaxed. The results of the study showed that with the help of certain breathing techniques we could control our nervous system through breathing.
Pranayama is a breathing practice that affects the functioning of our bodies.
One of the most effective and simple techniques is Pranayama Nadi Shodhanа. Scientists have studied its effect on the human body, and they found that it acts positively on the nervous system, while your mind calms down, the level of anxiety decreases, and the level of concentration increases.
Performing this technique, you use left or right nostrils alternately. Sit upright, your arms, head, and spine aligned. Hold the right nostril with the thumb of your right hand and begin to inhale slowly using the left nostril. Taking a deep breath, pinch the left nostril with the little finger, and release the right nostril. Start to exhale slowly through the right nostril. After exhaling all the air, begin the inhalation of the right nostril and then, changing fingers, begin a slow exhalation through the left nostril. And so, alternating inhale and exhale, you continue to breathe at least 5 minutes a day.
Scientists from the Patanjali Institute in India found that 90% of the volunteers, who participated in their study, had normal blood pressure while using pranayama. Also, after several days of daily practice, their hand-eye coordination improved, and their concentration increased.
Another study showed that heart rate decreases during alternative breathing.
Scientists continue to study the mechanism of the effect of alternative breathing on blood pressure, the cardiovascular and nervous systems of the human body.
Their results will be very useful for scientists and doctors. But today, experienced yogis can already say with confidence that pranayama improves well-being, reduces stress, and helps people cope with daily affairs without losing their peace of mind.