Irrespective of whether we consider that breathing as an activity that we perform or we identify our very existence with breathing, it is important to know the basics behind this activity. The basis of this article is our Yoga / Siddha system. Some of the interesting aspects are given…
If you divide the human body vertically along the sternum it has 2 symmetric sides – right and left side. (have you recognized that most of the organs are symmetric along this meridian?) Right side is called as male, +ve, Yang, Surya, Pingala, Ravi and so on. Similarly left side of the body is called as female, -ve, Yin, Mathi, Ida, Chandra. These 2 aspects are bipolar yet non-dual in the sense one cannot exist without the other. The Yin-yang symbol, the Arthanareeswarar image and the Star of David conveys this same aspect.
Out of the 72000 nadis / meridians in the body there are 3 nadis which is very important. Pingala, Ida and Sushmna. All nadis carry subtle energy called Prana or Chi through our body. When we breathe through our right side and the breath that comes through the right nostril is called Pingala and left breath is called Ida. It is actually the name of the nadi and the breath is called Surya (right) or Chandra (Left). The objective of the article is not to talk about Sushmna but look at the rhythm we have between right and left nostril breathing.
Figures given above highlight the 3 Nadis and 7 chakras. You would note that the flow of nadis is different in all the pictures. There are multiple schools of thought on this.
Right breathe characterizes solar power and hence physical energy, enthusiasm, drive, health, aggression, sexual potency and long life. Left breathe characterizes humility, truthfulness, creativity, spirituality, obedience, compassion etc.
We know that every human being is endowed with ~ billion breath package and the concept of long life is based on how much breath you save and not waste. Yoga states that if you breathe through the right nostril (Solar breath), then it is effectively 12 angulas of breath length and if you breathe through the left nostril (Lunar Breath), then it is effectively 16 angulas of breath length. Ask your Yoga guru about this angula measurements, most may not be aware of it. More details on this tomorrow…
Know thy Nature by Raguram Gopalan, http://ragsgopalan.blogspot.com